DEMOCRACY IS LIVING. It is not static; it is a fluid, free and changing system. Nothing is permanent and everything adapts and morphs itself in time according to its circumstances. The same is true in the growing nature of landscape, people’s changing values & behaviours and the infinite possible interaction between the two.

Our roles are less to predict, pre-program or represent the building’s performances but to facilitate and enable changes to take place . In the light of democracy, the idea of control is dispelled . Circulation, activities and spaces are defined by users within the built landscape inside and outside. Landscape design emerges as the mediator between the need for public’s accessibility and residence’s security by creating intentional yet ambiguous boundaries between the two.

For instance, the residence is sheltered by a deflecting slope that works as a rooftop garden and is surrounded by waterscape on the East which creates a perimeter without walls.

Democracy is an on-going & mutual symbiosis between the governing body and its nation. There is no one higher than another, none more prominent than the other. It is non-hierarchical. The same is true in the layout and built form of this building. It is multi-nucleus, an expression likened to the satellite city (an ideal form proposed by Kevin Lynch that enables growth and change ) which was also envisioned by Walter Burley Griffin for the city of Canberra.

Democracy does not suggest hierarchy but one of continuous horizontality- the field condition that is shaped by landscape.
The landscape is celebrated, reigniting the identity of Australia and the shaping of its capital city.

 

Defining Democracy

Democracy is manifested in people and the environment where changes are made possible because of our fluid nature. A collection is time lapse images of Canberra from an aerial view enables us to observe the change that takes place and how nature takes its course. Such changes happen through time in response or in parallel to the circumstances of its
surrounding.

Values, behaviours and standards change with the circumstances surrounding our lives. Another case study was taken from the strike that took place in Cairo, Egypt. A series of images expresses the fluidity and ability of the community to change the landscape of the city for a common cause. A place without walls meant that we can observe the behaviours of people from different families as they share a common ground and how they organize themselves. It was a space that accommodated democracy.

The behaviours of people were also tested in different enclosed spaces, in vast entrance lobbies as opposed to a passage governed by walls. Combining several time lapse videos and hand drawn diagrams, the survey reveals that immediate visual accessibility affected their walking direction.

Democracy is also traceable on our global satelite map. When this map is read comparatively with the map of democratic countries in the world, a similar pattern of intensity emerge in the same places. On the surface of observation, it informs us that countries labeled as democratic have highest access to the internet. And access to the internet means exposure to the parallel happenings beyond our physical boundaries in an instant. It is a tangible experience spatially as well. Whether accessibility is expressed visually or physically, they are both manifestations of instant ability to connect and relate.

Democracy is inclusive, it takes into account the voice of people to determine the governing system. It isn’t tyranny or about dictatorship. It is never exclusive. Such relationship is like a field condition. It is never about the object but the form between objects.

Field conditions are bottom-up phenomena defined not by overarching-geometrical schemas but by intricate local connections. Form matters but not so much the form of things but the form between things.” -Stan Allen

The field enables changes to take place. As Branko Kolaveric put it, “ The roles of architects and engineers is less to predict, pre-program or represent the building’s performances than it is to instigate, embed, diversify and multiply their effects in material and in time.”

 

Mediating Landscape

Nothing takes the role of a protagonist- neither the context nor the content.
Nothing is set apart from the ecology. They are one. It is “architecture without exteriors” (Kazys Varnelis in A Brief History of Horizontality).

It is the kind of freedom and democracy that the forest offers. Australia is “the largest estate on earth” (Bill Gammage). The bush, the forest and the ground is an integral part of Australia’s history and identity.

Architecture needs to learn to manage this complexity, which, paradoxically, can only do by giving up some measure of control.” -Stan Allen

The vertical elements vary in heights and distances, which gives liberty to users to define the space accordingly. The functions of these elements range from boundary bollards for security purposes, structural columns, space dividers to stools and pavements.