Earth Sciences Garden, Monash University



Architect:

rush\wright associates pty ltd - Michael Wright

Builder:

Australian Native Landscape Constructions

Manufacturer:

Austral Bricks

Bricks Used:

Brahman Granite

Building Contractor:

Australian Native Landscape Constructions

Photography Credits:

SEE FILE NAMES. 1 and 3 Chris Erskine, Rest, Michael Wright. Plans, copyright www.rushwright.com


The new Monash Earth Sciences Garden establishes a new global precedent for the teaching of geology. The rock collection is arranged around tracings of the shapes and forms of Victoria’s diverse and ancient geomorphological features. These include rocky eroded coasts, the volcanic plains, and the sandy dune fields of the west. The artificial landforms drain towards the cracking clay pan, which holds water for short periods after rain.

Rock specimens, pavements of stone and brick, gravels, mulches and plantings all echo local landscapes. Forms and shapes collide, creating difference and roughness at spatial boundaries, and experiences of wild landscape types found in nature.

Contrasting rock types, of different formations and ages, are arranged so that students may map and understand the varied geological processes of Victoria. The angle, orientation, and specific placement of over 500 specimens reveal a hidden story, while the larger arrangements create a diverse series of spaces traced from regional geomorphology. Mapping the stones gives students direct insights, in a large outdoor classroom.

Brick was chosen here for its colours, durability, and origins in naturally sourced clays and sands. The brick pattern is a tracing of a geological survey map, in five earth tone colours.