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The Invisible Canal Project

Part 2 Project 2005
Kris Bird
University of New South Wales Sydney Australia
The Invisible Canal Project is an urban experiment in reading space as text to regenerate place, inspired by land and memory. The chosen site for investigation is Sydney’s Alexandra Canal, Australia’s most polluted water way, intended as an inland maritime route from Botany Bay to Sydney Harbour. This idea forms the project’s conceptual spine. It allows an interpretive reading of the lands between the canal and Sydney’s Fish Markets, which was mapped, strategised and filtered through a masterplan. As part of an urban system of architectural interventions, a derelict Coal Loader became the detailed testing ground for the project.
Kris Bird


This project engages with fine grained mapping of place at diverse levels – social, cultural, environmental, urban and architectural. The distinctive premise is that design emerges from the given conditions of place, and may be articulated through opportunities and implications afforded by what is always already-there. This approach permeates the work – from project definition and cartographic analysis, to thematic and theoretical framing, precedent studies, environmental technology and architectural proposition. The Invisible Canal Project evidences a sophisticated process, founded on careful observation and on the quiet and silent potential of architecture to both register and transform the city’s forgotten patterns.

2005
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