Duckbuild Thesis Studio

Sunshine is blessed with a well-placed railway station but is very poorly served by the design and operation of the station and the connective transport network.

The suburb, with its rich cultural diversity and history, is experiencing a rapid decline from a position of leadership in national manufacturing and employment, opening up many new possibilities for innovative design thinking.

VEIL’s work focuses on themes of food, water, transport, energy, information and eco-businesses and services and the development of new Local Activities Districts, and previous Sunshine studios in 2011 identified key sites and interventions to explore these themes. This semester provided an opportunity to develop them in more detail.

Simon Cookes’ Duckbuild Thesis studio was for final-semester students who were required to develop a high level of detail in their designs, particularly with regard to facades and environmentally sustainable design features. Whilst the thesis student attended guest lectures in the Studio Atelier, the majority of their work was conducted away from the site.

The studio focused on the future development of the Sunshine railway station and the surrounding precinct, re-imagined through new architectural and design strategies. Students immersed themselves in the area and worked with council and the State Government to develop innovative design outcomes. Sustainable design strategies at different scales were examined to develop projects that capture radical and current sustainability thinking.

Sunshine is a suburb currently wrestling with many of the problems facing Australian suburbs. New planning developments can create sustainable communities from scratch; suburbs like Sunshine require the ‘retrofitting’ of an existing community.