UNSW Built Environment: Simon Chan Graduation Project 2010

28 01 2011

Staging the Public: Reconception of a Train Station

As part of their final year studio, students from the graduating year of UNSW Master of Architecture 2010 explored different aspects of architectural investigation. Simon Chan was part of a group that worked on visualising infrastructure as architecture through the re-conception of a train station. He reflects below on his project titled “The University of Sydney Station – a proposal to resolve the congestion problem at the existing Redfern Train station”.

Written by Simon Chan:

The location of the existing Redfern Station is a traffic knot, caused by the conflagration of pedestrian, vehicle, commuters and cyclists traffic, this troublesome situation is compelling for a major change, with the consideration of both Sydney University expansion into North Eveleigh in 2020 and the future development of Australian Technology Park. A new station is proposed to resolve these flows.

The new station is inserted at the heart of the future university site and ATP,aligning with Codrington Street which belongs to the university, with the other end pointing directly to the Channel 7 office, an office which house up to 2000 staff members. As the result McDonalds Town Station is demolished allowing a more even coverage of station that currently does not exist. 

The project consists of two bridge buildings linked by an open pedestrian bridge; each bridge contains its own program. The first bridge contains the train station and an accessible roof, with gallery space and a nightclub, access via a ramp that is open before and after the train operates. The choice of program is a protest against the current timetable system of train operation, and the mixing of activities that have previously been perceived as incompatible. The second bridge is the University Learning hub, containing small collections of books and digital media, reading rooms, classrooms and lecture theatre, allowing both individual and collective uses. 

The new University of Sydney Station becomes a place to stop, to contemplate, to listen and  see, to rest and refresh, to talk and exchange, with the presence of movements and unpredictable events. 

For a full explanation of Simon’s project including images, please click here.

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Ali Gates

17 08 2009

Hey all! It’s Ali Gates again. So now we’re faced with our third year second semester design assignment in Landscape Architecture. We’re looking at the proposed Sydney metro train line that is to run from Central to Roselle. We’ve been given a lot of freedom in this design studio. Our task is to pick one of the proposed stations and come up with our own brief and meet it. I’ve decided I will focus on Central Station. As this station is already huge and confusing enough, I will try and make the metro line link easily accessible and visible. Also I’d like to link Pitt Street with the station better as at the moment I feel the station has turned its back on Pitt Street and it feels like a bit of a dead space.

What’s cool about this semester’s design studio is that we’re going to be working with students from other courses as well. I believe there are a class of Architects, Interior Architects and, I think, Industrial Designers looking at the Metro line at well. I think this will be a great experience to see the project through their eyes when we get to see what they’re doing.
Sydney trains
So far we have been looking at other stations on the Sydney rail system as precedents. At the moment I’m half way through a one of these precedent studies. This assignment required us to take a trip on a train anywhere we liked, and then we were required to express our experience on the trip in any form we chose. I decided to go on the train line from Epping to Chatswood. I had never been on this line before but I found if very efficient. I went on a Sunday and was surprised to find that it ran every 15 minutes- on a Sunday! I wish all the trains ran that often! However there were not many people using the trains- I had a carriage all to myself. This and the fact that it’s all underground made the whole experience feel very mechanical as I was devoid of all human contact. Anyway this is the painting I decided to do to reflect my journey. It’s not finished yet but I’m pretty happy with it so far. This assignment is a bit abstract but it’s nice to have a break from the usual.

UNSW Built Environment Alumni: Industrial Design Graduate Anton Grimes

25 05 2009

“Model -making offers a depth of detail that can’t be achieved through any other form of communication:”

Anton is a 2009 finalist in the Australian Design Awards (James Dyson Award)

Movement is crucial to our lives, however current methods of transportation are limited in the way they can be used and have a clear, negative impact on the environment.  With a rising population and population density, there is an increasing demand on an already limited infrastructure.

The Link scooter system is designed as a modular transport solution that can be retro-fitted to existing Streetscape Smart Poles.

Link operated by housing share-scooters in a series of hubs.  The hubs act as both a charging station and as the hire and return station for the scooters.  This system gives the user independent movement at any time.

The scooters and hubs are constructed from a series of robust aluminium castings and pressings.  These parts house polycarbonate and ABS mouldings, which form the physical interface, including the scooter release and power indicator.

Each scooter is fitted with NiMH rechargeable batteries and a 24 V electric motor, which assists the user when traveling between hubs.

The system works as a public hire and share network similar to those in other countries, such as Velib in France.

UNSW Built Environment Planning: Laura Goh

6 04 2009

Hi Everyone!  My name is Laura, and I am a 22-year-old student in the Bachelor of Planning program at UNSW in my fifth and final year.

Why did I choose Planning?  In high school, I really enjoyed geography, especially learning about the city and the way that urban dwellers interact with each other. When I read about the BPlan degree it seemed like the perfect fit to continue my interest. I looked into other planning degrees in NSW but decided on the UNSW because the program was well established (the Planning degree at UNSW celebrated its 40th Birthday in 2006!) and is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), which was important to me as I want to work overseas in the future.

The BPlan degree contains subjects that look at traditional environmental and transport planning, as well as subjects with a more modern focus, such as urban design, and social and heritage planning.  Apart from the ‘core subjects’ I have taken electives from many other faculties at UNSW.  I have taken geography, law and arts electives and I even learnt Japanese for a year!

What’s happening this year?  At the moment everyone in my year is deciding on the topic for their thesis – yes it is all a little bit scary but I had a chat to one of my lecturers earlier this week and I am happy to say that I HAVE A THESIS TOPIC!  Hurrah!

Apart from uni this year, I am working part time for the same government agency that I did my work experience year with (they must have liked me!).  In the BPlan degree, each student is required to do one year of practical work experience (so really in a five year degree, you are only studying for four years…phew!) The mandatory work experience year sets the degree apart from other undergraduate planning degrees and having a year of work experience on your CV will give you an edge over the graduates of other planning degrees who have not yet worked in the industry.  By the time most of the BPlan students graduate from UNSW, they have almost 2.5 years of practical planning experience already!  Don’t worry – the degree is flexible enough for you to balance both study and work.

If you are interested in the environment in which you live, then planning is for you!  Even if you don’t really know what you want to be when you ‘grow up’, the BPlan degree will give you a range of skills that could be transferred into a wide range of jobs – both in Australia and overseas!

UNSW Built Environment Planning: Queenie Tran

3 04 2009

“Planning…What’s that?”

When answering the inevitable “So, what do you do at uni?” this is the response I most commonly receive.

Hey, my name is Christina and I am 3rd year Bachelor of Planning student.

My interest in the planning profession originally stemmed from my keen interest in geography at school. As well as this I have always had a curiosity about different communities and what shapes them, to become the unique places which they are. I have also been concerned with the planner’s role of looking after the community and being able to see the greater picture, in making sure that everyone in the community has the right to the access of education, transport, green space, health care and facilities and services. Therefore, it was my interest in both the natural environment and the built environment that drew me to planning.

I didn’t immediately know planning was what I wanted to do. I was not like other people at my school that had decided really early on the degree they would apply for. I thought about what I was really passionate about and what I really enjoy- and it became clear that planning was an area which I would like to both study and work in. Since having studied planning for two years my interest in it has broadened. I have been exposed to many different areas of planning such as: Environmental, Heritage, Urban design, Social Planning, Transport Planning and Strategic Planning. Since I have been exposed to these different areas of planning I have been attracted to the planning profession even more so, and I am keen to explore it further. The great thing about the degree is that it allows you to do just that- I am about to embark on my twelve month placement with the NSW Department of Planning.

I chose to study at UNSW  Built Environment as I saw it to be an innovative and progressive faculty which offered interesting courses to study. The faculty gives students a wide range of opportunity to study both within and outside of the faculty, which gives students the opportunity to gain a broad education. I first found out about the faculty from my careers advisor at school and then from there I attended an information day at UNSW, where I spoke to students and lecturers who discussed the Bachelor of Planning degree with me. This sparked my interest in planning as I received very helpful advice from the UNSW representatives- so don’t be afraid to come and talk to the representatives, they really can help you!

If you think you have an interest in the bigger picture, shaping communities, being involved in small intimate classes and working on innovative and engaging tasks, then experience the journey that is the BPlan!

UNSW Built Environment Planning: Joel Ginges

30 03 2009

When I first set out selecting my UAC choices in 2006 while I was still completing the HSC, I was somewhat hesitant about selecting the Bachelor of Planning as my first choice for university the following year.  The notion of a “Town Planner” and what they do isn’t something well known in society.  Many people assume that a city grows by itself – buildings are erected in areas with no or little reasoning and transport links are formed due to need, not so much by the wants of society.

Within the first week of the course, all first year students read Professor Zehner’s paper, ‘What Planners Do?’ which outlined the various roles and activities planners carry out within the profession.  I found this to be an excellent foray into the world of planning as it detailed the various roles and relationships that planners have with the general community, tiers of government and the construction industry.

What I found interesting though was talking to my classmates over the first few weeks of the course, trying to get to know each other. One of the “hot topic” questions raised among us was “What made you do planning?” Many of us considered planning to be a rather “oddball” course, especially among my circle of friends – many of them elected to do other subjects such as Commerce or Engineering instead.  But many of us who shared a similar passion for geography throughout high school, and loved urban landscapes and their various physical and social attributes ended up choosing planning.

Over the past 2 years, I have enjoyed the course. Planning is a profession that can take you many places, and there is always a strong demand for our services within the community. You will make good friends in the course – people you socialise with in and out of uni on the weekends. If this describes what seems right for you – go for it, you won’t regret it!