Small jetty delivers big ideas
St Kilda Beach was once home to distinctive swimming-friendly structures such as sea baths and jetties. The last of these, the eccentric little Brookes Jetty, was demolished in 2015 in the face of community protest.
Supported by the City of Port Phillip, local citizens and business groups believe a clever new jetty will restore the beach’s character and encourage people back into the water.
To this end a design ideas competition for a replacement for Brookes Jetty was inaugurated in 2019. The $5000 Leighton Prize drew a remarkable 106 entries from Australia and internationally.
Chair of the judging panel, Dimity Reed, said the delightful entries reflect an international trend towards inventive reinterpretations of seaside structures. With many coming from local architecture students, this bodes well for the future of design in Australia.
State Architect Jill Garner presented the $5,000 Leighton Award for an elegant blade-shaped jetty to
Joao Sousa, JJs Architectura, Porto, Portugal, #77 The Wave
firstname.lastname@example.org +351 919 196 288
Their design is inspired by the fluid geometries of the coast, mediating between solid and liquid. The design evolves from a single walkway into an Aquatic Plaza that reactivates the jetty’s civic function. Wide terraces create a smooth transition between land and sea and create two amphitheatres, facing the sunset and the beach.
Highly Commended Awards went to:
Jimmy Carter & Barbara Materia, Architects. University of Illinois, Chicago #64 Water Coaster
Trinidad Amwenabar Moreno, Australia #57 Brookes Jetty
Jiaq HE, Architecture Student, Melbourne University #02 Boat
Mark Richards, Mark Richards Architects, Melbourne #48 Implied Dream
Vishnu Hazel, Architecture Student, University of Melbourne #58 Magnet
Feng Xue & Andre Braun, Atelier Feng Xue #88 The Paddle
Thomas Wooster, Architecture Student, Deakin University, #89 Naïve Memoir
Luna Park, adjacent to the former Brookes Jetty, was a fitting setting for the awards, as many designs reference the playful ambience of Melbourne’s most popular beach destination.
The competition was proposed by prominent architectural photographer John Gollings and was organised by local architect James Brearley and activist group Bring Back Brookes Jetty.
Judges were: Chair, Dimity Reed AM, restaurateur Frank Van Haandel, Dr Christine Phillips, Senior Lecturer in Architecture RMIT, and David Brand, local councillor and architect.
The entries will be on public view until March 13 at Brearley Architects + Urbanists, BAU, 117 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9 am – 6.30 pm weekdays or by appointment 0405 699481.
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