Heritage, Collaboration and Poo

I am not going to write about collaborating on an architectural project with a built outcome. I think most design professionals understand the benefits of not only working as part of a team but how exciting it is when people from different disciplines get together.

Earlier this month I was one of 3 guides on an Architours ‘architecture and heritage’ tour. We had designed the tour for the current National Trust Heritage Festival which officially runs from 18th April – 19th May.

Architours has always prided itself on having architects, an urban designer and a landscape architect as guides offering opinions and information from different backgrounds. For this tour though we also invited a heritage architect, Janet Beeston, along to join the team.

As luck would have it there was an archaeologist as a guest on the tour. But it got even better as she had excavated the Casselden Place site where the Urban Workshop was built. The Urban Workshop was a joint venture between John Wardle, NH Architecture and Hassel completed in 2006 and the last stop on our tour – couldn’t have planned it better!

Photo 6-04-13 3 55 40 PM (1024x764)

I really like this project. The way the new and old built form, remnants, artifacts and memory layer – from my own many nights in the late 90’s spent waiting in Little Leichhardt Lane to get into Club 44 to fantastical visions of a walled garden at the rear of Madame Brussels brothel housing politicians, prostitutes and peacocks on a warm February evening…

But no amount of research could have unearthed this classic story from Katherine, the archaeologist. A couple of 14-year-old girls were on the dig one day, unenthusiastic about being there and less than interested in the amazing circular pits (some timber barrels and other deeper bluestone circles) that were being revealed. They decided instead to spend the afternoon making face masks from the mud.

Yes, the circular pits were the old cesspits…

Sign up for the architecture + heritage tour on Saturday April 27th here:
http://architours.eventbrite.com/
Find out more about the National Trust festival here:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.au/nsw/Heritage-Festival
An article on the Urban Workshop by Dr Karen Burns can be read here:
http://architectureau.com/articles/the-urban-workshop/

(AND if ever you need to top up your wine glass collection it appears the resident pub does not clear its tables at the end of Friday night)

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