2016 Inception Award | The OUTPOST



a fluid landscape on the imaginary line


The Landscape

Water accounts for 71% of the Earth’s surface and 70% of the human body. Of that 71%, 0.001% is accessible to life for basic needs
and industrial purposes. This vital and scarce resource is considered an economic commodity by society that privatizes it for a pro t; an estimated 0.01% of this total accessible water is contaminated by fossil fuel production every year.

This privatisation has led to the contamination of water globally, transforming it into a toxic
uid that spreads its containments through the troposphere. Worldwide, 748 million people are without access to a clean source of water and an estimated 3.5 billion without the right to clean water. Expansion of the global economy and consequently society has altered the equilibrium between survival and available water.


Distinction of space through hard line boundaries creates a notion of territorial ownership with resulting spatial exclusion. In extremes, this has led to a parasitic relationship between people and the environment. To oppose this spatial articulation, the inverse needs to be instigated. Spatial porosity between private and public territories would challenge absolute ideologies and communicate the necessity of gradients for spatial mutualism. The body and metaphysical relationship to space is the agent for proxemic change where territorial perception is uid.


Botany Bay is a working harbour, a mixed zone of public, residential and industrial spaces situated within de ned demarcations. These zones carve the land into segmented economic properties that isolate inhabitants and divorce them from the natural conditions; this has had negative impacts upon the entirety of the site. The privatised use of water, expulsion of toxic

waste and consumption of space negates the responsibility of their impact on the land. The Caltex Oil Re nery located on Kurnell Peninsula, the southern headland of Botany Bay, is an example of human’s manipulation of the land;

to exploit and eventually discard the bounded terrain without acknowledgement of the sites impact on the greater territory. The site line absolves human’s responsibility yet Earth has no site line, it cannot be sold and demarcated.


The Outpost, located on the discarded core of Kurnell’s Oil Re nery, is a microbiological park, toxic water plant, public baths and commune that inverses our relationship with water, territory and perception of ownership of space.

The project dilutes our notion of individual ownership of territory by interplay of the body and tectonics through water. This uid negotiated landscape challenges humans’ demarcation of land, aiming to reconsider territorial absolutes with gradients of ownership that create porosity between private to public domains with micro to macro industrial relationships.

Through a series of territorial shifts of work, living and public spheres a new spatial organisation unfolds new possibilities for established programmes. This blurred demarcation creates reciprocity between the environment, inhabitants and knowledge.

Water is the threshold for change by the agent of bacteria. The movement of contaminated to clean water is used to amplify tension between the body, landscape and mental state. The agent (bacteria) puri es the demarcated site and reduces contamination of the greater territories; on visible land or in the invisible water table meters below.

Naively, society considers bacteria a contaminant to our own body; however scienti cally engineered bacteria may now hold a solution to a global water crisis. The Outpost program applies microbiology throughout the landscape as a social, scienti c and mental space within the commune and public domain. It aims to erase the imaginary line between public-park, industry, residences and water as an economic commodity. Outpost challenges the location of territory edge conditions resulting in a new orientation of the body in space and perceived ownership of land.