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High Watermark, an Evolving Landscape Legacy

Part 2 Project 2023
Gracie Grew
University of Sydney | Australia
Written into England’s possession in 1901, the high water mark remains today a legal solution for an ever shifting boundary moment, bringing into existence two separate entities of ‘wet’ and ‘dry,’ on either side of a property title.

Stepping away from the desktop screen-saver image of nature, High Water Mark seeks to re imagine climate affected rivers, dams and floodplains as sites of terrain vague - uncertain, or non-defined landscape conditions. As opposed to being land’s binary opposition, the ambiguity, change and movement of water territory points towards the irreducible link between land and water, forming a new terrain of creative and social intervention.

A string of landscape interventions along a water’s edge, a lookout, a cultural camping site, reflective pool and visitor center seek to re-interpret the cartographic separations of Manly Dam as a site where conditions of flood management, visitor movement and education are gently interwoven with water. At architectural scale, a visitor center bridges over a re-naturalized creek corridor, three pavilions sheltering under a continuous canopy.

Leading visitors towards new recognitions in history and climate, the project seeks to advocate for a new liquid urbanism, reconciling the natural variation of water territory with human activities. Whilst architects cannot heal 200 years of occupation, precise and phased intervention can facilitate heightened experiences of landscape and storytelling, promoting institutional recognition and change.

Gracie Grew

Tutor(s)
Michael Tawa
2023
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