The Atrium: Archerfield Wetlands Precinct
Archerfield Wetlands is one of six priority projects that form part of ambitious Oxley Creek Transformation project, an initiative of the Brisbane City Council planned to be developed over the next 20 years. The wetland is 150 hectares of green space, only 12km from Brisbane CBD and it is located beside one of Brisbane’s major industrial precincts. The project will create a new recreation, education and environmental regional parkland.
Archerfield Wetlands is a complex and degraded site, constrained by regular flooding, surrounding industrial uses, aviation and major roads, along with severe contamination from past uses and decades of neglect. Despite this, the site still maintains significant ecological value due to the great biodiversity of different species on the site.
Fulton Trotter Architects’ regenerative approach to the design included the adaptive reuse and transformation of the decommissioned Inala Wastewater Treatment Plant into a major park gateway for the Oxley Creek corridor. ‘The Atrium’, as the redevelopment was named is a new community, education and commercial hub within the precinct.
The design repurposes existing infrastructure within the landscape to help tell the story of the site’s history whilst creating a dynamic new chapter for the brick and concrete tanks, encouraging community engagement, blurring the lines of internal and external spaces and creating a platform for heightened enjoyment of these unique natural wetlands. The adaptive reuse of the existing structures also contributes to a significant reduction in the project’s carbon emissions.
As visitors progress through the site, there are physical traces of the history in the form of solid circular forms (tanks) with a rectilinear roof edge that encapsulates these solid forms (anti-building around the ‘buildings’). Both within and around the spatial envelope created by the roof plane there are curated landscape spaces which relate to the building forms and functions. These landscapes are a representation of the natural environment to act as a showcase, display and orientation into the site.
The project aims to educate visitors and be a catalyst for change in our society, by demonstrating how even the most damaged and polluted of sites can be transformed into something that benefits the community and helps regenerate the natural environment for years to come.
Image: Render by Place Design Group