Lachlan Wiles


From the entrant’s submission:

The project is a re-adaption of an existing industrial precinct located in Altona North, Melbourne. It consists of a masterplan and centres around five case-study interventions within the plan itself: an unmanned aerial systems factory, an apiary and integrated performative and regenerative landscape; a nursery with flexible and lettable workspaces; an innovation hub with commercial and research/learning activities; and an autonomous logistics mega-centre.

Dualistic ideologies that posit human culture as separate from nature have dominated western thinking for hundreds of years. Our cities and the way we inhabit the world are a direct and physical manifestation of these beliefs. By challenging traditional ideals, this project envisions effective non-idyllic integration between human culture, nature and technology through the exploration of built and unbuilt ecologies.

The project treats the site as a proxy or test case aimed at addressing topical challenges relating to climate change and urban sustainability while tackling issues such as food production, water and waste management, sustainable energies and locally-based manufacturing. It speculates on how we might see ourselves living within a broader system of things through an entanglement that seeks to create a symbiotic ecosystem between culture, nature, and technology.

Through careful investigation and treatment, the sites endemic grasslands and related natural and urban ecosystems, waterways and industrial buildings have been repaired and regenerated. By transforming and re-adapting existing volumes and open spaces on the site, new inclusive and beneficial relationships have been created, allowing for a denser and more interconnected ecosystem. Through the project’s methodologies, boundaries have blurred and distinctions have vanished, allowing for the creation of a place where we can shift current understandings of our place in the world to one that encompasses a wider territory.