Crib Point, Australia. Louise Wright & Lucinda McLean
“The preparation of an Urban Design Framework for the township of Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula repositions our role as the architect. The Crib Point Urban Design Framework, involving analysis and guidelines to be followed through in some concept designs, is a test case for the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. ”
Approach As part of such vulnerable environment, it is essential for architects to rethink and reconfigure their role within the built environment. Traditionally, architects design according to a given brief that pre-outlines the framework of a particular project. These frameworks might not fully capture the current issues that are critical towards the site and context of the project. By being involved in different stages of developing a framework, architects will be able to help gather loose information and produce a better and broader understanding of the context. In conjunction with space designing, solutions that a developed should also consider the ecosystems so that biodiversity is not compromised.
Scales In researching and developing a feasible framework for Crib Point’s future development, reference is drawn to its neighbouring towns, Mornington Peninsula and Westernport. Although Crib Point has a reasonable amount of resources, it was not as developed as Mornington Peninsula nor did it have pressures for further development.
Current conditions Crib Point is surrounded by rare vegetation types. The layout of the housing zones is defined by loose, scattered spatial organization, unintentionally creating gaps and walkways between houses and public buildings. Moreover, there is a large amount of industrial and port-related zones that were left unused without frequent maintenance.
Proposed programs The proposed program for Crib Point is to fill in the gaps of loosely allocated vegetation without having to move them around. The other proposal is to cater for housing provision on cleared land that at the same time has direct links to the surrounding vegetation. New buildings were also considered in terms of increasing programs and services that could serve the local community. While there are many redundant large port areas, proposals for low-impact community use programs are also considered.
Challenges and opportunities When developing the framework of a particular project, it is important for architects to clearly define what needs to be done and what is redundant. In order to achieve a higher level of sustainability, architects need to have a strong understanding of issues such as siting, construction systems, subdivision patterns, fencing, roads and so on. Architects, before developing a design brief should consider how the brief would impact the local context and also innovatively generating solutions that would improve what has already exist within the site.
Role of architecture Architecture is a form of spatial solutions that can be applied to the site in terms of blending in and adapting to the existing condition of its surrounding context instead of altering too much of the existing context to suit the architecture. Architecture should exist to reinforce and improve what exists, not to add on as burden to existing conditions.