Studio leader: Yvonne Meng
TOTAL interrogates the value we put onto heritage, and explores the relationship between architecture, programme, and the public realm. Looking at the iconic Total House on the corner of Russell and Little Bourke, the studio will examine architectural relics and their programmes, and question its significance in present-day social and urban contexts.
TOTAL will investigate the city, people, how spaces adapt, and how we relate and react to social and physical environments. Car ownership is declining, and cities are promoting people-friendly spaces. We will be interrogating the presence of a multi-storey carpark in a contemporary city, and examine the how spaces designed for vehicles may be adapted as spaces for people.
However Total House presents an added layer of complexity - heritage significance means students must navigate and address its historical and stylistic value and develop an appropriate, well-researched position to vertically extend Total House as a mixed use building. Designed by Bogle Banfield Associates in 1965, the original building is considered significant as a rare example of Japanese-influenced Brutalist architecture.
The studio will be structured around a series of design exercises ranging from the scale of the urban to the scale of the detail. This will culminate in a final project where students will propose a significant architectural intervention for Total House. Projects are to vertically extend the building as a mised use building to suit the contemporary city context.
The studio will explore the way we read a city through artefacts of the past. We will investigate modes of occupation, the human experience, issues around preservation, and processes in adaptation, reappropriation, and erasure. Students will also be asked to critique the value (and limitations) of heritage as it relates to the identity of the city.