‘Never Demolish, Never Replace’(1)
This project gives an alternative reading of city regeneration by designing a cultural institution which adds large and complex programs into an existing structure as a research on adaptive reuse.
This new theatre proposal reuses and occupies the historic former Lower Campsfield market building in Manchester for an intervention which revives the building’s connection with the people and city context in terms of urban history, geography, and topography. The focus of the intervention as a theatrical piece is to reflect, stimulate and re-invent the long-standing connection and memory between people and the city using the historic building as a mean of interaction. As Rossi(2) puts it , “One can say that the city itself is the collective memory of its people, and like memory it is associated with objects and places, The city is the locus of the collective memory”. Moreover, the design intervention, in a wider context, explores the interaction of the architectural presence of a theatre in the city as a means of cultural expression.
Manchester is one of the UK’s biggest cultural hubs and this proposal will play a role in boosting the cultural evolution of the city. The existing structure is Victorian grade 2 listed, the intention is to preserve the majority of the building’s structure and façade. In response to the brief, the proposal has a clear and recognizable organization that allows the program to fit within the existing building’s internal and external context also using sustainable materials with low embodied carbon energy. The operational theme of the proposal is to overlap the programs of food market and dining with theater and performance. Dining becomes part of a larger cultural experience and revives some of the aspects of ‘Dinner Theatre’. The proposal offers an intervention that will culturally and socially respond to its locality with a direct link with the history and culture of people.
1. Lacaton & Vassal Manifesto 2004
2. A.Rossi, The Architecture of the City 1984