Tze Way Ng

In Mildura, clean water from Murray river is vital for the people’s livelihood. A booming regional horticultural hub for global export, it has high value contribution to Victoria’s Economy.1 This dependency is exacerbated by the semi-arid condition & the climate change environment.2 With the existing problem of highly saline Murray river due to land cleared for crops,3 the salt interception scheme introduced to remove the salt from Murray River (& keep it usable for crops) - has led to a new potential crisis of groundwater over-extraction.4

In a world where the livelihood of the people is dependent on the exploitation of the environment with infrastructures situated out-of-sight from their living space, can architecture play a part in influencing the people’s way of life or will they continue to close one eye for their own survival?

By proposing a stealthy infrastructural salt extraction and processing plant, project masquerades as a Civic pool and salt museum for the Mildura’s hot climate, the thesis will explore the question through the new typology that brings infrastructure closer to where people live.

Through manipulation of spatial journey, views, and phenomenological experience using scale, the infrastructural process subtly reveals itself through architecture. The methodology employs tectonics and materiality of infrastructural origins yet imbued with programme of civic use. The extraction process itself enhances the spatial experiences in these spaces.

1 McKinna, Sunraysia Export Alliance Scoping Study (January 2019), 7.
2 MilduraDevelopmentCorporation, Mildura Region Economic Profile, 7.
3 Barry et al., “Salinity Management in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia,” 1. 4Davies and Lawrence, “Engineered landscapes of the southern Murray-Darling Basin: Anthropocene archaeology in Australia,” 180.