21 Oct Bentley 360 Pop-up Park
Since 2012, PLACE Lab has been working with the Department of Communities on Bentley 360, formerly known as Brownlie Towers, a public housing estate based on a 1960s planning ideology of free standing towers surrounded by vast parkland.
It has been a personal journey working on this project. When we first visited the site, most of the tower residents were being gradually moved out, and most houses were already vacated. The former Olympic standard swimming pool abandoned. Household items and children’s toys left behind in the houses and backyards by the previous residents, left a glimpse of a life previously lived here. The sense of loss of community was vivid.
Should we wipe out any trace of any memory here, which may not seem at all glamorous in main stream opinion, and start a brand new community? Or perhaps every trace of collective memory has its own value in shaping the cultural tapestry of the future local community? In 2012, we made an inventory of materials to be salvaged from the site, hoping some of the community memories could be retained through the landscape in the future. Retained items included old pool signs, shade structures, bricks, rotary clotheslines, letter boxes, timber from fallen trees and even sections of concrete footpaths.
In 2019, after sitting in storage for six years, those salvaged items were brought back to the site to build Bentley360 Pop-up Park.