Studio leader: Yvonne Meng
How does one deal with a historically significant building in the city? What does one do when the building is derelict shopfront?
JOB will explore how we approach a building’s heritage value beyond the physical fabric. We will question common approaches to dealing with relics of the past, and explore the intangible cultural heritage which architecture facilitates or represents. From this, we aim to generate alternative approaches for developing historically significant sites to project into the future.
This studio is about the city, people, how spaces adapt, and how we relate and react to social and physical environments. The studio views the city not a blank canvas, rather a series of layers, with changing social attitudes and fluid demographics influencing the built environment. Through this lens, we will interrogates the value we put onto ‘oldness’ and examine the relationship between architecture, programme, and shared urban history.
Specifically we will study Crossley’s building, aka the Job Warehouse on Bourke Street, recognised as being among the oldest surviving buildings in Melbourne. Accompanied by many stories throughout its life, the building has gained its own reputation in Melbourne’s urban narrative.
Job Warehouse is in a prime location in the city and thus the siting holds commercial value, but its current physical state does not. Parts are still occupied. The studio will explore how architecture can negotiate between commercial pressures vs intangible heritage, and explore how ‘oldness’ can influence the new.
The project will be a significant architectural intervention to Job Warehouse and projects are to vertically extend the existing building to suit the contemporary city context. The renewed programme will be a mixed-use building which will include new offices, gallery and retail, whilst retaining spaces for existing residents.
The studio will use an ethnographic approach to architectural analysis and we will be operating at the scale of the civic and the tectonic. Schemes are expected to acknowledge the street interface and public needs of the site and engage with the social and cultural context in which the project is placed.