Young Slovak architectural studio Nice Architects designed an urban quarter in Adelaide, Australia, as a hill formed from recycled building material. The rubble from demolition sites is turned into a unique urban space that connects the city to the parklands. The Adelaide Rocks project won the People’s Choice Award and the overall Joint Second Prize at the open competition for re-imagining the former Royal Hospital site.
The artificial hill in the middle of the block is a multi-layered space built around the principles of sustainability and public accessibility. The proposal comprises a strong urban gesture – a hill built from recycled building material. The hill acts as a recreational and visual center for the city and inhabitants of adjacent buildings and connects the green parklands to the city.
Besides its recreational function, the hill supports climate control of both interior and exterior spaces throughout the site, utilizes geothermal energy by extracting heat via a thermal chimney, and also houses a storage of cooling energy. Although the project is unlikely to come to fruition, it certainly presents several viable strategies for reusing waste materials and regenerating urban spaces.