Rethinking Utopia Today

Response to Place
This proposal for One Alfred Street in the Sydney City CBD is a critique of the urban phenomena and the utopian association that the residential high rise evokes. This project develops the idea that within the bustling inner-city environment consumerism is the ultimate utopian desire, always changing and in pursuit of the new or the next best thing. This dream however, is burdened with an ultimate dystopian realisation or the unrealistic projection that destroys any notion of complex social order.
Rather than pursue a similar reality the building appropriates the object of mass production – the car automation machine from the production line – and develops a new architectural paradigm that is more befitting for the urban context. This idea totally revolutionises our traditional concept of building practice with technology available to us, not tomorrow but today.

Response to Technology
The building develops a sophisticated system for the automation machine that relies on the building to both SERVE and SURVIVE. The robots are retrofitted to enable it to perform three major tasks as an integral component of the building’s design.
ONE: The first stage of integration is the use of the machine during the construction phase that relieves people of heavy lifting and laborious tasks. The machine is programmed to construct the building piece by piece, 24 hours a day.
TWO: The second function is the optimisation of the facade to protect the building from the harsh Australian climate. Half of the modular facade panels are solar collectors that the machine moves around to protect the units from the sun and collect solar energy for the building and the machines.
THREE: The robots also provide a lift service for the occupants of the building that delivers them to their front door. By removing the traditional lift core better unit efficiency is achieved as well as cross ventilation for every unit.

Response to Australian Culture
The proposal is a response to the increased densification of living within the urban environment, particularly the Sydney City CBD. As technology quickly becomes more advanced, the urban dweller is among the first to embrace technology as a prosthetic attachment to their body and the new sophisticated lifestyle it entails. All excess power generated by the facade system is stored in battery cells within the basement and provides a major hub for these people to connect into. This project becomes a celebration of the ‘plug-in’ generation, interconnected with the rapid transformation of a technological driven society it embraces the ubiquitous automation as part of the development for modern life and a future full of hope.

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