Les changements climatiques au cœur du projet architectural de Sobi Slingsby

Par Annika Niel

21 février 2017

Sobi Slingsby, australienne en 4e année d’architecture à la Griffith University (Australie) a participé du 13 au 23 janvier 2017 aux séminaires inter-semestres de l’INSA Strasbourg. Elle y a présenté son projet d’étude Climatically co exist. Celui-ci a été primé par l’ambassade de France en Australie, qui a financé, en partenariat avec la Griffith University et l’INSA Strasbourg, son voyage jusqu’à Strasbourg.

L’architecture : quel impact de l’espace ?

Sobi a toujours voulu étudier l’architecture. Elle s’interroge notamment sur l’impact de l’espace sur les personnes, leurs humeurs, leurs sensations, leur vie quotidienne… Pour Sobi l’architecture devrait toujours apporter des réponses à son environnement et coexister avec son climat.

Il lui semble que les australiens ont un rapport très fort à la nature (70% des touristes australiens privilégiant les espaces naturels (parcs nationaux…)). Ce lien très fort, Sobi regrette de ne pas le retrouver dans tous les projets architecturaux :”l’architecture australienne devrait davantage travailler sur les problématiques liées aux changements climatiques.“.

les changements climatiques au cœur du projet Climatically co exist

Le thème du projet d’étude qu’elle devait réaliser en 4e année, était la construction d’un casino sur la Gold Coast (sud-est de l’Australie), un territoire touristique connu pour ses espaces naturels composés majoritairement de plages.

Sobi a profité de ce travail pour faire passer un message écologique et social. Elle a imaginé un casino au sein d’un parc national. Elle profite du bâtiment pour mettre en lumière les effets des changements climatiques déjà observables, par exemple, la montée du niveau de l’océan.

Actuellement, la communauté locale tient à ce lieu qu’elle utilise comme espace de détente, public. Tout développement privé est très mal perçu. Le projet de Sobi préserverait l’usage public du lieu, tout en montrant les impacts environnementaux sur ce territoire. Un laboratoire de recherche sur les changements climatiques serait également hébergé sur ce lieu.

Ci-dessous une explication complète, en anglais, donnée par Sobi sur son projet :

The Gold Coast is located in South East Queensland, Australia. It is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and happening city life. it is unique in the way the whole city is positioned on the beach, consisting of several high rise buildings.
The Gold Coast is bustling with the prospect of tourism related developments. One of these proposals is a casino.

How ever the location of the casino is to be on ‘The Spit’, currently a large public area sounded on three sides by the ocean and Broadwater and consisting of mostly undeveloped open free public space. The locals value it for this very reason. Anyone can enjoy the beauty of the Australian beaches; walk their dogs, surf, snorkel, fish all within close proximity to the city.

The notion of a Casino or any development on site has resulted in an uproar from the local community. Not only are they afraid of loosing the beautiful public space but the proposals thus far have only illustrated mass high-rises and large scale development, completely changing the identity of the spit and restricting it to private use.

There seems to be a common thread of development on the Gold Coast not considering the notion of climate change in proposals and a lack of future proofing. This is extremely important for a city consisting of high-rises, built in sand at sea level and also surrounded by tidal canals.  

Climatically in South East Queensland there is great architectural opportunities and relationships to be had with the outdoors. The idea that if an awareness and interaction is created with changes in weather and climatic conditions then occupants on the gold coast will have an awareness and start to plan for a future climate.

Climatically Co exist is a proposal for the Spit to be turned into a National Park. With this protection the community can still enjoy their outdoors public space whilst the cities tourism industry will also benefit too, as over 70% of tourism in Australia is for the natural environment. National Parks and city parks have proven successful in the past around the world, with an increase in surrounding property values and touristic income.

The Structures that make up Climatically Coexist consist of a series of houseboats, floating in the Broadwater, linked by a circular jetty to a heavy weight stable building, in which the high tide enters.  
These structures would provide spaces for elements of a casino (back of house, entry hall, public restaurant and bar, gaming rooms and private high end gaming rooms) as well as facilities and future accommodation for the national park and finally a climate change research institute that the Gold Coast needs for future proofing further city development.

These structures consist of two styles; firstly the houseboat that sits on the water. These light weight pods, constructed of fero-cement and timber framing expose the use the to movement of the water, and with large glazed walls the location is unforgettable.
These pods also have the ability to come and go as the demand requires and with a simple adaptable floor plan can be used for both casino gaming rooms, private accommodation and research stations. They can be towed up the river in cases of extreme weather and can be re arranged on the jetty as required.
The second structural type is a more permanent building consisting of a timber frame and concrete walls. The walls are non-load bearing, merely implying the strength and stability of being on land. Whilst the walls and floor stops the framework and roof continue beyond into the water. This not only provides cooling breezes through the structure but also give the implication of the ocean entering the building.

Both structures are linked by the circular jetty, encasing and symbolizing the co existence between the climate and the built environment and the two opposing sides of development.

The site has been cut away to the south western corner to allow for the tide to enter into the centre of the circle and lap against the entry hall. The earthworks have been shifted to the north east corner of the site to not only allow for a linking bridge over the existing road to the beach walk but also hide the structures from view.

The user approaches the structures on the larger circular jetty, through grassy open space, a low-key walkway gradually rises up a little to reach the understated entry hall, glimpses of water are instantly experiences through the open building and under the jetty. As the user walks through the hallway the ocean opens out in front, coming to a confronting drop off and T intersection as the water has entered the building and the human scale walkway has changed direction. To the right the user is greeted by grassy open space on the water edge with large steps leading to the restaurant and bar. The open space is full of natural light and difficult to distinguish if it is simply a large deck of a closed building. This is a result of the saw tooth roof drawing light and breezes through the space and large staking sliding panels for walls, completely operable.
The curved walkway then continues towards the ocean and the earth drops away. The user is then open to the elements of the ocean as they walk towards the houseboats.
Locals fish and kids swim off the jetty, it is a public space essentially and not until you enter a house boat is it privatized.

About halfway around the circular jetty, the jetty ramps down and then up again, this allows for the high tide to cover the walkway, making it not accessible to the eastern half from this side. The eastern half houses the private high end elements of the casino and requires some separation from the public spaces. The high end is also accessible via a private drop off entrance.

The smaller circular space houses the climate change research labs and accommodation and facilities for the national park.

Overall the use cannot avoid the climate and changes in weather, the tides are ever apparent as well as the temperature and changes in coastal make up. Climatically coexist aims to make the user more are of their surroundings and the impact of climate change on The Spit as well as provide natural public space that the community can enjoy.

Sobi Slingsby

Ci-dessous le projet de Sobi illustré :

SOBI SLINGSBY Australie – INSA Strasbourg architecture

A lire également : une Australienne à l’INSA du 21/01/2017

une Australienne à l’INSA

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