JMLA are leaders in planning for climate change and ecological sustainability. The Display Garden will exemplify everything that we are asking our clients to implement in their projects. The Display Garden encapsulates the interrelation of 'structure' and 'landscape' in inner city living. John Mongard has given talks to over 1000 people over the last two years about the Food Forest and Garden Pavilion ideas contained in this project.
The Display Garden arose from the desire to allow our clients to visit a sustainable project within Brisbane City centre. Using a 400 m2 site in West End, Australia, we are testing our capability to become sustainable and building a food forest in the city. By planting productive trees and shrubs that can grow in dense or shady places, and by reclaiming lost spaces such as carport rooves, we are growing food close to our kitchen, aiming to reduce our carbon footprint (one third of our Australian carbon footprint is currently absorbed by food systems).
The building and landscape works in West End are intended to be exemplars in sustainable living and the project will be used to show clients various approaches, materials and spaces which can be incorporated in inner city living.
Stage One began with research into sustainable systems culminating in the installation of solar power to run all the energy needs of the site. Twelve panels comprising a 2.1kw system have been installed, and a further three panels proposed as part of an upgraded solar powered hot water system for the Pavilion and the Spa Bath. Pipe lag is being dealt with in these works. The house and garden have LED or fluorescent lighting and solar lights are proposed as part of the Pavilion facade.
The existing Queenslander was re-roofed and insulated, and heat reflecting paint installed on the western facade. Three water tanks totalling 11,000 litres have been installed to provide bathroom and kitchen sink water, and for irrigation. An osmosis filter provides drinking purified water for the house. A large storage area and laundry which can double as workshop/craft areas have been installed under the house. A carport with a viewing and growing deck over, and a Mediterranean style orchard garden with fruit and olive trees and low maintenance succulents were built on the footpath.
The area for the new pavilion has been carefully excavated and all soil kept on site and used to create infill mounds for new productive gardens, and to prevent overland stormwater impacts. Fifteen cubic metres of topsoil and subgrade have been progressively incorporated into the rear garden, which has been raised up to achieve a looping path and several flat sitting/growing area.
Site stone and stone samples have been used to make permeable pathways. Site rock and old bricks have been recycled for banks and stabilisation. No waste or soil has left the site.
Eight bamboo groves have been established for western sun screening and the canes used to build fencing and a chicken yard in the rear corner.
Old bathtubs from a nearby apartment have been recycled for raised vegetable beds, and food vines installed along trellises and between trees. A native bee hive is being established to assist with pollination of vegetables.
Large eucalypts and rainforest trees have been retained and pruned, and smaller fruit trees planted in between. A range of food forest trees and plants suited to shade and semi-shade in the subtropics are being grown and trialled in an intensive tiered garden.
A worm farm and three compost areas recycle food waste and provide garden fertiliser. Two ponds provide habitat for native fish and brown-striped frogs. A collection of bromeliads provides infill colour and groundcover through the food forest. A tree-fern walkway has been built along the perimeter of the Queenslander.
A traditional Japanese spa bath has been researched and designed for contemporary living, with sustainable water and heating systems.
Skyring Architects have collaborated with John Mongard Landscape Architects to design a garden pavilion which is sitting in an existing cleared area surrounded by the grove of pre-planted and now six metre bamboo. The structure is placed central to the garden to achieve the sense of a Japanese Garden Pavilion : immersed in landscape.
The timber pavilion comprises a single room over three levels with an external spiral staircase: a meditative space on the ground, a craft studio on the first floor, and a bedroom in the loft. The timber framed pavilion utilised recycled timber and recycled windows and all components are man-handle able due to limited access. A purpose built stone faced spa bath is built facing the lush garden and focuses on the timber bath. Solar heated water and insulation systems are utilised to allow water re-use. A water feature using a recycled stainless tub in amongst the advanced palms provides a viewing focus from the spa bath to the garden. The garden pavilion is surrounded by a recycled timber deck providing an outdoor room between the Queenslander.
The Timber Spa Bath is a new product which will provide the Australian eco-tourism and eco-living industry with a sustainable Australian answer to the experience of the hot spring baths of Japan and Bali.
The spa bath is designed for two people and for bathing sitting up. Filtered, hot water falls into the spa bath thru a timber bath post and spout prior to bathing. The bathers are immersed in hot mineral water which is suffused with magnesium and the scent of cedar from the untreated timber. The experience creates a natural hybrid between a bath tub, a spa bath and a plunge pool.
The Timber Spa Bath is innovative in its unique construction method using finger jointing and dowelling to prevent timber warp and shrinkage, and incorporates completely new designs for drainage and filtration. It is reinventing the look and feel of an Australian spa bath. It is creating a hot mineral water equivalent to a spring bath utilising therapeutic magnesium salts. It will be solar powered, locally made and have a neutral carbon footprint when utilised in South East Queensland.
Australian cities are becoming too dense to afford the luxury of bathing in swimming pools. Our infill city and green living developments will graduate back toward the spa bath due to lack of space, the rising cost of energy, and concern over the use of water.
Australia's population is ageing, bringing a rise in arthritic and bone related pain. Hot spring baths are renowned as a means of improving general well being and relieving arthritic pain. The Timber Spa Bath aims to combine the therapeutic benefits of hot mineral water with the experience of daily bathing.
The spa bath industry in Australia is a dinosaur from the 1970s - offering ugly fibreglass forms with even uglier nozzle attachments for spraying water. These baths use too much energy, waste too much water and have lost the art of bathing.
The health and wellness industry in Australia is growing in parallel with a new interest in greener living. The Spa Bath is a phenomenal attraction in places like Kyoto in Japan and Ubud in Bali. In these places, a whole tourism experience is built around the art of bathing. Queensland as the Sunshine State needs to create a spa bath which is beautiful as well as sustainable in order to fulfil an unmet demand.
The timber bath is the essence of the art of bathing - allowing the aromatherapy scents of the natural timber to combine with medicinal waters imbued with magnesium for their therapeutic benefits. The Timber Bath continues as a bathing experience in Japan and South-East Asia. Currently no-one makes timber spa baths in Australia, and no one has produced a hot spring bath with solar power and low energy output. The combination of hot spring salts and an aromatherapy based timber bath has not been developed to our knowledge in a commercially available home product.
JMLA's Queensland eco-tourism clients require wellness centres with spa baths. JMLA have developed the timber spa bath in response to the complete lack of appropriate products in Australia's eco-tourism industry.
The bath runs with a AC inline pump which drastically reduces the power requirement to filter and heat the bath water. Unlike conventional spas which use energy-hungry, bulky heat pumps, the Timber Spa Bath will be able to be run from three thermal solar panels. The pump runs for only two hours prior to the bath being used (unlike conventional spa baths which run all day).
The bath water is designed to spill over the timber lip of the bath and into a perimeter 50mm stainless steel drainage grate. The water then is designed to be harvested into outdoor garden areas if available, since it will be filtered using magnesium, not chlorine or salt. The magnesium content in the water will not negatively affect plants.