Architype Dialogue presents
What was the most difficult issue about working on an adaptive reuse project or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?
Inherited buildings or artefacts have an associated consciousness and memory, formed by years of existence. Keeping this in play, is one of one of the most engaging aspects of adaptive reuse projects.
In the case of the CarriageWorks, we sort to express both the new use as a performing arts centre, as well as, the inherited artefact imbued with urban memories, being a factory for making carriages.
This strategy allows for a contemporary expression of the new use, but introduces aesthetic common territory for past and present to meet. It is this tension, between past and present, that generates the architectural expression of the third ethereal building, that can’t quite be defined.
Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?
As practicing architects with a large range of work, our roles are more often than not determined by each project. We spend quite some time before each project ensuring that architectural roles are suitable for each project. In light of this, we are seeing the role of the architect rapidly changing.
With adaptive reuse projects, I like to think of the architect as a detective searching for evidence and inspiration in the history and the form of the artefact. At the CarriageWorks, the architectural strategy was underpinned by the notion that the architectural concept for the new use lurks within the artefact.
How is your building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?
There is now an acceptance in NSW, that significant heritage buildings can have contemporary architectural additions, which would not have been accepted 30 years ago. This approach creates richer cities, as it allows buildings to magically transcend time, with more than one generation represented at once. This is of course, why we must represent our generation.
In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?
Academia and practice are interconnected, but the correlations are not always obvious. One obvious connection however, is that we are animating our projects as part of the design process, supported by digital technology and young architects. We are very interested in the experiential qualities of architecture, which animation helps to optimize.