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Biophilic Boneyards by Daniel Sulis

Biophilic Boneyards is a direct response to the acceleration of industrialisation and urban sprawl in the Hunter region. Theoretically stemming from a biophilic viewpoint, the project investigates the juxtaposing fabric of the built environment against the fabric of the natural world, seeking to reconcile ‘artifact’ and ‘nature’ as a unified whole. It eradicates any egotistical stigma of architectural superiority allowing for the resurrection of a lost landscape. The project constitutes a density of program; preservation, research and education that explores environmental conservation practices and the longevity of native biodiversity within the Hunter region. The project strongly engages in landscape conservation through architectural explorations and articulation of topography and building form. A landscape language of carving and embedment immerses users in educational explorations of the immediate environmental context being studied. The integration of rooftop gardens creates a series of informal learning spaces transforming the building into an experimental arboretum. Laboratories open directly onto the arboretum allowing students and users to conduct practical investigations to the applied research of material within laboratories. At the heart of the project, a public seed bank allows for collaborative interaction between diverse community/user groups in collecting, storing and conserving native flora of the hunter region. Responding to the broader context beyond the boundaries of the SCA, the project aims to assist groups such as the Plant Science Group at the University of Newcastle with their active involvement in ecosystem restoration and environmental rehabilitation of deterred mining sites.