Thesis Studio 10
(Re)public (of) architecture

Studio leaders: Ammon Beyerle and Jonathan Daly


The old Kangan Tafe site in Coburg is about to be sold. Situated in the heart of this diverse area of inner Melbourne, this 9,000m2 site comprises a mix of 2 to 3-storey buildings and open space. Strongly opposed to the loss of valuable public infrastructure and angry at the continuing political inertia on climate change, the community rally and seize the site.

A proposal is drawn up by the community to develop the site as an adaptive reuse project, where solutions to the climate crisis can be explored and contested by the public, in public. A diverse, intersecting and overlapping public programme is proposed to engage with the everyday life of the community. In this new public space typology explorations of the self, the social, and relations with built form and ecology will be enabled and enhanced. The project attracts financing from major hedge funds shifting their investments to address climate change. You have been selected as the architect!

This studio focuses on the exploration of public space in the future. Students design an adaptive reuse public architecture – a building inside and out – that engages with political, philosophical and technological concepts of environmental sustainability, power and empowerment in the public realm. Urban Design theory argues that this space must be truly accessible, open, passionate, adaptable, productive and reprogrammable space; we will explore tangible examples of the heterogenous, plural, and agonistic.

Students survey international architectural and relational art precedents, as well as physical models of social and environmental sustainability systems, before inventing their own brief and program. In particular, the studio is founded on deeply philosophical concepts of the self, the social and human-non human relations with built form – all within the context of sustainability. Students are challenged to investigate, develop and then explicate their own ecosophy, considering urban intensification, democratic confusion and climate crisis.

Architecture 2020_winter