Weddell Town Centre Design CompetitionWeddell NT Australia
In planning new cities, urban growth and places for people to live, work, learn and recreate, we must be highly aware of our responsibilities, and the context in which we work. This project involved a design competition for a new urban expansion near Darwin, extending human habitation and urbanisation into the savannah hinterland and ecosystem. The challenge was to set the framework for urban development in this location, grappling with the uncertainties of the long-term future.
We aimed to create an urban precinct which is visibly, spatially, contextually and functionally integrated with the landscape and natural flows of the land, water and air. This approach provides the basis for a truly eco-sensitive, responsive, sustainable city.
Context: An understanding of place, landscape and history is fundamental to this planning project. It is no longer acceptable to simply impose old ways of thinking on fragile landscapes. We must respect and engage with the land in a harmonious, balanced and sustainable way.
The Master Plan: The Plan reflects a new way of thinking, of balanced, holistic design, and of careful insertion of urban form into the natural setting. It also encompasses a flexible, adaptable outcome, responsive to changing conditions and circumstances over time.
Performance outcomes and experiences: This city will be judged on how it performs, and how it is experienced. The Brief articulated the key objectives, which formed our strategic approach. This approach will be evident in the everyday experiences of Weddell’s residents and visitors.