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un arch: 0318.aqueduct

Pavilion / Aqueduct

In the front yard of a suburban Brisbane house, a structure has been inserted that can only be described in comparison to seemingly unrelated typologies:

piazza / aqueduct / trellis / farm / verandah

Civil Engineering.
A conduit or artificial channel for conducting water from a distance, usually by means of gravity. A bridge like structure that carries a water conduit or canal across a valley or over a river.

A fine steel structure establishes a grid of portal frames that create the two missing sides of a courtyard for which the existing house makes up the other two hard edges. Industrial floor grating of 23mm thick spans between the portal frames and provides a shade structure and access point for garden maintenance. A raised planter box defines the edge to the structure and a rhythm of alternating copper of lead spheres drop below the structure as a balustrade and scaffold for what will become a fringe of landscape.

On the ground level a series of concrete ‘islands’ extrude out of the earth. These form functional objects in the garden landscape: stair, seat, fire pit and fish pond.

The fish pond is part of an aquaponics garden, which ties the concrete and steel elements together as one giant mechanism. Water is gravity fed from the central pond down two concrete channels on the ground that follow the line of the steel structure. The water is pumped up from two sumps to the two gable ends of the structure. It then drains through a bedding of clay beads (used as an alternative to soil for their weight and porosity), watering the vegetation before returning to the central pond.

Elemental attributes of water, fire and wind are integrated into the scheme. artificial lights made from suspended copper domes + silicone, and an expressed balustrade set up for a diaphanous connection with existing and future landscape.

The aquaponic-machine core is a prototype for future urban agriculture and vertical farming.