Woomera, Desert City

  • Urban Design Thesis
    University of Melbourne 2002

    Woomera is an example of typical Australian suburbia dropped into the South Austrlian desert. Constructed orignally to house research scientists and their families, developing rocket and missile technology during the Cold War. The town was designed for a target population of 7,000. Today the town is home to fewer than 300. Whole sectors of the town are abandoned and mothballed. Located adjacent to the town is the controversial Woomera Detention Centre for asylum seekers and refugees.

    This thesis proposes designating Woomera as an international City for Nomads. Bringing together nomads of conscience and circumstance (refugees), indignineous nomads and the grey nomads (anglo-celtic retirees).

    The urban plan is a multi-cellular city model, where each cell is of a walkable neighbourhood scale and contains all the basic city program. Treated largely as blank canvas, the site is once again an experiment in desert living. The city will be dense and multi-layered and will utilise green infrastructure to moderate the harsh desert micro-climate.

    The perversity of the desert location crash tests the potential of new green technologies and traditional desert architecture to sustain at acceptable cost and impact a modern and comfortable desert city.

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Contact Details

Daibhi Mac Domhnaill
Fumbally Exchange,
Fumbally Square,
Dublin 8,
Ireland

t: 087 7596581
e: daibhi@ait-place.ie