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Finalist: Tara-Lee Carden

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City of Flux: Liberating the Concrete Terrain by Tara-Lee Carden, Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design.

City of Flux considers the Wellington CBD’s potential response to climate change over the next century. The design component of this research is to modify a section of the existing urban fabric, like a hinge between land and sea, to accommodate, prepare and adapt for flooding. In order to form a design framework to respond to sea-level rise, internationally implemented adaptive strategies have been employed. The scheme operates as a water-management network, with an infrastructural backbone in the form of a high- and low-line canal system for ferry transport and three architectural connectors that allow direct access to buildings flanking the site. 

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This imaginative proposition grapples with the almost insurmountable problem of impending sea level rise. Moats, canals, locks and aqueducts are all employed to create a new urban playground and work precinct on the Wellington waterfront. The need to think beyond artificial property lines and take into account the city’s underlying geomorphology is addressed directly and confidently.

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