…One more transect study worthy of note (memory triggered upon reading Infranet’s recent posting of their arctic port studio: Frozen Cities, Liquid Networks brief) is from landscape architecture student Brock Hogan, which he did for the Hypermobility studio I taught at RMIT in 2008.
The site for the investigation was a terrain vague between sites, sandwiched between the Port of Melbourne (shown above on the left), where a significant portion of the Australia’s material flows arrive and embark, and the new Docklands housing and entertainment redevelopment (shown on right). The two programs come together at the highly degraded and polluted Moonee Ponds Creek and the overpass of the Bolte Bridge: a site of poorly bundled infrastructure. The studio sought to find ways to restore the creek and to cross program linkages between these infrastructures and the adjacent luxury development rather than construct the typical, green space “buffer”.
One of the biggest challenges to overcome was the post-911 world-wide security measures in place for all ports – by necessity international ports don’t cross program with anything in the public realm outside of their complex mobility and surveillance systems.
At the start of the studio students were asked to examine how the port infrastructure fit (or didn’t fit) into the surrounding urban environment. The image above shows three transects that Brock physically ran, around the outer perimeter of the port, looking for connections and opportunities. The images below are the representational diagrams from that experience.
(click images for larger view)
His method consisted of stopping every 30 seconds to photograph the edge he was encircling. The photos were placed in sequence and digitally stitched together. The line of red outlines the perimeter wall (transparently fenced) that couldn’t be physically penetrated, and the grey outlines are measures of ambient sound coming from within.
The transect merges bodily spatial exploration (in a similar manner to the parkour) with a graphic analytical framework. I thought the graphics were particularly successful at conveying the port’s overlooked physical relationship to the city.