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Building upon: a designer's approach to adaptive reuse

Shroff, MB and Worrall, J ORCID: 0000-0002-9733-0887 2020 , 'Building upon: a designer's approach to adaptive reuse', in K Hislop and H Lewi (eds.), Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) 37: What if? What next? Speculations on History’s Futures , Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ), Australia, pp. 501-515 .

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Abstract

With heritage policy stressing cultural significance extending in many cases beyondthe material reality of an existing building towards intangible heritage, this paperseeks to put forward an alternative approach to those that emphasise a stableunderstanding of existing buildings as material artefact. The propositions describedin this paper aim to promote new conceptual tolerances for creating architecturefrom existing buildings via a design research modality.This paper sets out a speculative, design-oriented approach and methodology tomediating the relationship between intangible heritage qualities possessed by existingbuildings and their agency towards the creation of new form for adaptive reuse. Itdescribes the creation of mnemonic and metaphoric devices to mobilise and teaseout these qualities via acts of oblique questioning and imaginative interpretation.The specific case employed to mobilise this inquiry is the Union House building at theUniversity of Adelaide, designed in 1969-1975 by Dickson & Platten. The re-readingand focus on a single building provides a consistent base as a starting point, allowinga clear mapping of a suite of design strategies, akin to a “theme and variations”approach found in musical composition.The consistent premise is for a building realised in-situ through a new 2500m2 volumeand selective demolition of the existing Union House. Re-readings of the existingbuilding are conducted in search for distinctive points of departure emanating fromthe host building. Through various techniques, the generated propositions aim for“conceptual fidelity” to the host while articulating an expanded field of architecturalqualities sourced in its existing condition.

Item Type: Conference Publication
Authors/Creators:Shroff, MB and Worrall, J
Keywords: critical adaptive reuse, experimental heritage, Dickson and Platten (architectural firm)
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) 37: What if? What next? Speculations on History’s Futures
Publisher: Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand

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