Journal

22nd

SEP

Sensitive Sites
Sensitive Sites

AOS has a strong record in dealing with some of the most sensitive sites in the world.  In the past, we have worked on sites such as HMAS Lonsdale in Port Melbourne, and the Queensbridge Square - Freshwater Place project to name just two.  Today we have two really sensitive sites on our books: one in Mecca; and another in St Kilda.

The City of Port Phillip have engaged AOS to undertake an evaluation of the St Kilda Triangle site to identify the sensitive views and vistas, develop guidelines to protect the most sensitive, and identify opportunities to frame new views or contribute to new vistas with sensitive development on the site.  Our methodical, evidence based approach is made use of GPS cameras, GIS based 3D modeling and a step-by-step sensitivity analysis that will hopefully help take some of the heat out of hotly contested issues.  The AOS report and the subsequent Strategy Paper can both be found on the council website: www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/stkildatriangle.htm

The Mount Kandamah project in Mecca required us to prepare a development framework and economic assessment for a large and highly sensitive site overlooking central Mecca.  It required us to understand the complex dynamics of religious pilgrimage, and apply our understanding of urban systems to propose a development structure that builds upon the way Mecca operates. Through a systems approach we are able to maximize the opportunities for the site by offering back advantages to the surrounding urban structure, by integrating the site into the pilgrimage experience and helping to reduce the pressure on public infrastructure by offering alternative routes.  In a sense that ought to be the goal of all good urban design: capturing opportunities for synergy between the site and its context, so that the overall system benefits.

 These two projects, although separated by differences in culture and size, both demonstrate the value of analytical approaches in urban design.

 They show how important it is to understand the basic building blocks of an urban system, including the role of landmarks in helping to define an urban area and drive the way it can develop.  

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