Matthew Walton

University of Queensland

From the entrant’s submission:

An adaptive reuse of Toowong Village Carpark in Brisbane, Australia, as a social condenser in a ‘fictional’ future that has caused cities to become decentralised due to a series of future pandemics. Due to skyrocketing fuel prices, public transport and cycleways become the main method for travel. Abandoned carparks are used to connect cycleways, provide community facilities, sporting facilities, and public spaces. Dubbed the, ‘Subtropical Boulevard’, the site acts as a connection point over the invisible and visible walls created by Coronation Drive. The existing fabric and character are still apparent in these once underutilised spaces.

Through a series of interventions, a site which becomes quite desolate in the future due to decentralisation will be activated for public use. The context around the project’s conception, within the heart of lockdown mid-2020, provides a highly relevant approach to an increasingly decentralised future for major cities. What if car use is reduced by 90 per cent due to working from home and increasingly walkable micro-communities? How can architecture assist in adapting deserted carparks to be used in a new way that best serves the community? This project aims to answer these questions.

This project aims to stretch across scales and beyond architectural expression, to provide a tangible impact for the community. Beyond buildings; the project suggests community facilities that assist with metal and physical challenges, along with urban agriculture, to meet immediate needs for food in a global environment where transporting produce becomes inhibiting. Beyond the macro scale of the city, the project also aims to resolve highly technical details as a small scale. This results in humane spaces which are both inhabitable and architecturally engaging.