Urban civilisation cycles through periods of gentrification and erasure of the past. Redfern is the suburb it is today due to the many urban transformations it has undergone. The most significant erasure being the declaration of “terra nullius” by Captain Cook in 1770. Since then, agricultural, industrial, low income housing, and now highly sought after residential addresses have been the label for Redfern. European occupation of Australia, and specifically Redfern has been a mere blip in time compared to that of the traditional
owners of the land, the Eora Nation. There is the need to respectfully preserve and acknowledge the past across multiple scales of time. The site, a highly politicised and culturally significant terrace is adjacent to ‘The Block’ that has more recently been
the locus for a controversial student accommodation development. In the wake of the now publicised Pemulwuy development and broader urban transformation strategies proposed by the NSW government, students are to provide a contextual response to a variety of cultural and political drivers. The studio seeks to adaptively reuse an existing terrace to
form a museum and an art gallery to be utilised by the Eora Nation as a space for an ‘artist in residence’. These new programs are to act as an armature to the existing Redfern
community centre and the surrounding community facilities. The entirety of the project is to be interior based, focusing on adaptive reuse, heritage and installation fit-out. A defined
envelope will be established extending the existing terrace to accommodate the proposed new programs. The new gallery is to be integrated into the City of Sydney’s ‘City Art’ program and specifically the ‘Eora Journey’ installations which aim to give recognition of the Eora Nation in the public domain. Techniques of multi-scalar precedent investigations (from major cultural institutions to the detailing of object installations), historical investigations, iterative model making, diagramming and community engagement will be used to explore the various themes of the studio.