Thesis: Productive Suburban Landscape

As the suburbs continue to surge ever outwards, more and more of our cities’ hinterlands are consumed by land hungry housing and business estates. With this endless expansion there emerges a clear disconnection between the city and the land that sustains it. It is clear that there no longer exists an awareness of the agricultural value of land within the urban conscious.

In Dublin city, there exists opportunities to initiate an agricultural intervention and reconnect the city with its land. Pockets of forgotten ground or ‘wildscapes’ are evident across the city at present. These wildscapes offer the chance to initiate an agricultural dialogue within the urban matrix.

The land at Broombridge is one of the key wildscapes identified within the city study. The multifaceted landscape strategy proposed for the area offers a variety of crops, land uses and cultivation practices that co-exist independently within the collective scheme.

The landscape layout presents a smorgasbord of produce and uses that range from intensive aquaponics to a more gently managed ‘wild’ parkland. This collection of agricultural gardens offers varied slices of productive land uses with the city environment.

The Organic School at the heart of this proposed landscape affirms the potential of the land by rising above the ground and allowing land related use and occupancy underneath the building. Uninterrupted by walls or enclosed spaces, the ground becomes an active, constructed plane where the architecture emerges as a fluctuating, floating figure. Direct work upon the land is conceived of as work upon a manipulated architecturalised void.

The position of this thesis is that the city cannot survive without the agricultural hinterland that sustains it. A cultivation of the land within the urban context is a call for a renewed collective awareness with regards to the future co-dependency of city and land.        

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