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When a Corroded Landscape Meets its ‘Neighbours’- a Way to Spatial Inscription

By

  • Shuai Li
  • School of Architecture & Urban Design
  • RMIT University

Description

Mining activity has changed parts of Victoria’s landscape irrevocably. Generating the wealth that built the city, supporting its rapid development.

So, when a corroded landscape meets its neighbours what manifests is a balance between land, nature and culture.

As the curator of the land, this place of memories holds narratives of the past and present; offering moments of pause, thought and discovery, derived from the peculiarities of site and the story of its artefacts.

They form spaces dedicated for contemplation and reminiscences of the site’s history. The journey immerses visitors into the site and its stories.

Key Features

1

The project’s goal is to provide a holistic view of Ballarat, creating a rich and nuanced understanding of its values – resulting in a Statement of Significance that will reflect the past and present.

Ensuring what is valued is retained in the land(scape) into the future. Each intervention is an instrument, articulating material relational experiences and a perception of time, through sequences of viewed attractions, conceptually linked to the processes of nature and culture and significant historical events.

2

Mining is also a story of democracy that culminated in the Battle of the Eureka Stockade, fought between miners and the colonial forces of Australia on 3 December 1854.

The Eureka story shows that not all themes are tangibly expressed in the urban landscape. The Eureka story is an essential part of local community identity, and an important milestone in Australia’s democracy.

The tangible expressions of this story are a new building and the often-used symbol of the flag. But do people feel like the spirit lives on?

3

Bluestone, volcanic basalt, spreads across much of the state of Victoria and has become a distinctive feature of the built environment, both in urban and rural Victoria.

It is also a sign signifier of heritage culture and the symbolic value of the past. It’s story of formation, from nature to culture, carries a strong affective charge, and has the capacity to tell an intriguing story of a city’s sense of itself.

4

Both miners and their governments have strong relationships with the land. Men extracted materials from the earth, cutting into the ground to in turn build over the ground.

Where people gather, cities are built, with economy, and policy soon following suit.

Gold contributes to it all, its excavation changes landscape features; while the act of miners change democratic freedoms.

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