I hope it survives the clean-up. In the past ten years an unfortunate string of natural disasters, namely bushfires and floods, have hit the national park and their destructive forces are clearly imprinted upon the landscape. One of the things destroyed by the floods was a s blue powder coated steel footbridge that crossed the river just below the base of the falls, so the connection between the MacKenzie Falls car park and the historic Zumsteins picnic area downstream was severed. Rather than simply rebuilding the footbridge, which had been widely considered an eyesore, Parks Victoria engaged landscape architecture and planning practice Hansen Partnership to prepare a concept plan for the MacKenzie Falls Precinct.
The first steel bridge along the trail zigzags through a cool microclimate at the base of an escarpment wall. With little digital site material available, the designers worked tirelessly on site, walking the area to map the valley from scratch while plotting out possible path alignments along the way.
Rather than crossing the river below the falls and leading up to the ridge-line as it did before, the path would take visitors through the base of the valley, as close to the river as possible. By keeping the path a safe distance from fast-flowing water and jagged rocks, the designers avoided the need to install any handrails a major factor in making the new design resilient against floods. The first of several bridges and elevated walkways along the trail zigzags through a cool microclimate, created by a field of fallen rocks lying adjacent to an escarpment wall.
However, the shape of the bridge is not arbitrary, explains Anton Malishev, senior landscape architect at Hansen Partnership. Image: Ricky Ray Ricardo.
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At the steepest point along the path, a spectacular steel staircase is bolted onto a rock face. Shaped like Tic Tacs, as Schutt describes, the rounded-edge steps snake downward in a cascading motion, subtly referencing an adjacent waterfall and serving as a counterpoint to the hard angles of the bridges on either side. The next bridge extends over a wide part of the river, taking the path to the opposite side where it joins a path of stone and crushed rock.
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Uncoated steel was chosen as it would rust over time and take on the warm hues that are found in the sandstone, and its expanded surface also allows a closer connection to the water as it flows underfoot. The project was completed in August , but as irony would have it, the area was closed off again five months later after a large bushfire tore through the region.
During my visit, almost six months after the fire, the scorched ground extended right down to the base of the falls and along the river valley.
However, the only visible damage to the trail was a dent in the mesh on one of the bridges, probably from a falling rock or log, and some seared timber joinery further downstream. These similarities are meaningful, because they point to the kinship shared by all human beings. This course, a component of the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture , is open to public registration.
A Universal Language in Stone and Steel: Architectural Poetics, Globally Considered
Image: Mayan city of Uxmal. There are no required prerequisites for this course. Course content is suitable for those with some basic previous exposure to architectural language. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit.
The ICAA provides up to three complimentary spaces in each Continuing Education course for students or young professionals to attend. Upon signing up, you will be entered into a pool of applicants.
Individuals will be randomly selected two weeks before the course begins, and all sign-ups will be notified via email. Rogers for his generous support of ICAA programs for young architects and designers. ICAA Chapters manage course registration for their own events.
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While Chapter programs may be listed on classicist. The ICAA National Office does not offer recurring continuing education classes on a regular basis, but aims to offer future sessions of classes whose demand exceeded capacity. Core classes are generally offered annually or semi-annually. Most ICAA continuing education courses are suited to all artistic and academic backgrounds.
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