competition entry to rebuild a jetty
in collaboration with Louise Allen
2020, BRING BACK BROOKES JETTY ST KILDA COMPETITION
There is a strong sense of nostalgia in regards to the demolished Brookes Jetty, St Kilda. The old jetty was a narrowly intimate 1.2 meters wide beautiful timber structure, characterised by its thick timber boards and rhythm of timber piling; aging with time, extended over the existing concrete stormwater drain. Many memories are made here; walk out to the sea, reconnect with nature, picnic and swim, propose or get married, scatter ashes, meditate and daydream. Hereby the intention of this proposal is to somehow bring back the beloved jetty, building upon the characteristics of the old jetty whilst also acknowledging that this will be a new jetty over the old. The new jetty is meant to rekindle those memories made, and also allowing the making of new memories.
For one, the plungeboard is designed specifically for friends to leap into the water, with a metal ladder on the side to climb back to the jetty. A series of ledges, for akin fishing mates to sit on, with their feet dangled in the air. Swimming below the jetty, the gaps between the timber boards allow playful light to glimpse through. This proposal also acknowledges that the concrete stormwater drain will need to be rebuilt. If budget permits, an ecological solution to stormwater is presented. Rather than a straightforward drain to divert stormwater as quick as possible, the drain is allowed to spill through the sides, akin to a river, bringing back native planting and land formation around and beneath the jetty.
The first part of the jetty is intended to be built with concrete, reminiscing the engineering history of the drain; but formed with timber boards – alluding to the next structure. The main part of the jetty is then built with treated timber similar to the old jetty, as timber weathers characteristically with the passing of time. Nevertheless, the timber posts are accentuated on the sides of the jetty, a nod to timber carpentry. The rhythm of timber posts is foreshadowed as poles wrapping around the initial concrete structure as well as bollards leading from the Burley Griffin pillars. Knowing that the timber would need to be replaced in the future, a masterplan is envisioned. Replaced timber poles can perhaps be reinstated as bollards further back towards Shakespeare Grove, reinforcing the axis of the jetty and also renewing the material memory of the jetty. These reclaimed timber can also be constructed as solid timber benches along the axis – like the one at the end of the jetty; as a place to sit and daydream.
In a deliberate manner, the timber posts continues rhytmically past the jetty and slowly descending in height, evoking an image of the previously demolished jetty towards the ocean, a melancholy of an unattainable past. The series of timber posts lowers itself towards the ocean, a gesture to the horizon and the sunset. Then, a series of recessed solar lights atop the posts, illuminating the jetty and the ocean beyond. Here at the end of jetty, the strongest memories are made; a couple proposing in matrimony, or the scattering of ashes, expressions of love – with the ocean, the sunset and the horizon as witness. Hence, the name Memory Jetty.