The flood of ideas was an open online forum held in the wake of the Brisbane’s‘flood crisis’ in January, 2011. The Apa discussed the topic vigorously and came forward with a strategy for the way land by the river is occupied, and the way the form of the city reacts to floods.
Katrina Torresan, Elan Barr and I each drew a selection of buildings and other small things over an Isometric grid square, then I collated them into the complete graphic.
NEW.FARM is a hypothetical scheme for Brisbane’s river suburbs that retrofits a response to the landscape into the existing city fabric. It is a rearrangement more than a re-design, building on the opportunities presented by the adaptable ‘Queenslander’ house type. NEW.FARM makes a distinction between ‘flood plain’ and ‘high ground,’ and presents a strategy for each. Dwellings on the flood plain are either raised to be above the level of a severe flood, or in-filled into the ‘high ground’ city. The land left vacant can then be developed as urban farmland or as park. The houses on the high ground must in turn be shuffled and adapted to accommodate the buildings moved from the flood plain. Queenslanders can be stacked under the one roof to form multi-residential buildings. Others are tessellated into backyards and other open space at the edge of the flood plain, increasing density and facilitating the urbanisation of the area. What the hill-dwellers lose in their private back yard space is made up for with a productive allotment and access to the produce from the urban farm. The flood-plain-dwellers save on their insurance premiums. When the river does flood, the farm land is fertilised by the muddy water and the homes are kept dry on the hill.