The east part of Perth was once home to the banks of Claise Brook as it meandered as an intermittent tributary to the Swan River between numerous swamps and wetlands from Lake Monger to the north-west of this site.
In the early 1900’s wetlands were drained for the development of market gardens predominated by Chinese farmers.
Since then, this intricately balanced chain of wetlands and connecting waterways is referred to as “The Lost River” and bears the namesake of this street- Claisebrook Road. By the early 1900s market gardening in Perth was done almost exclusively by Chinese immigrants. Many of the Chinese gardeners were from the Guangdond Province which was predominantly a rice, fruit and vegetable growing area. The deep peaty soils along the margins of local wetlands coupled with fresh water available from natural springs and hand-excavated waterholes persisted until demand for land, irrigation systems and fertiliser-based agriculture forced migrant market gardeners to relocate to fringe areas like Wanneroo and Spearwood. With no children and no new Chinese immigrants arriving in Perth, the Chinese swamp gardeners gradually disappeared from Perth.
The proposal adapts an existing structure with minimum demolition. The reuse of the existing building offers sustainability benefits, saving on wasteful demolition and material and energy for rebuilding. The artwork screen consisting of metal plates acts as a shading device reflecting heat and the proposed roof terrace adds to increased insulation on the roof.
The community gardens will help to reduce negative environmental impacts by promoting sustainable agriculture and reducing water runoff. The rooftop garden will also help to improve air quality and increase biodiversity.