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EX • POSURE: Parramatta Female Factory

Part 1 Project 2021
Mackenzie Peachey
University of New South Wales | Australia
The Parramatta Female Factory lies on traditional Aboriginal Darug Land, located within North Parramatta, north-west of Sydney, Australia. Construction began in 1818, housing a solitary confinement cell block holding female convicts. The cell block was demolished in 1885 and there is no sign of this onsite today. The site was decommissioned in 1978, unoccupied since, and is heritage listed. The client, Parramatta Artist’s Studios (PAS), is a local art collective, providing studios for artists to develop their practice, in a community environment. The client is currently looking to relocate to Parramatta Female Factory, raising four key objectives, surrounding engagement with the local community, supporting PAS artists and alumni, activating the given site, and exposing its history.

Conceptually, the proposal is intended to expose and clarify the hidden history of the site. As guests descend into the proposal, they are probing history, and ascending with a sense of enlightenment. The scheme mirrors the demolished structures maintaining all details, with an inversion of materiality. The original glazed openings become sandstone blocks, inscribed with references to the history of the site. All sandstone will be sourced onsite during the excavation and features a high thermal mass. Low-e glazing is specified where there once were sandstone barriers, it is no longer a place of entrapment, but a place of freedom.

Mackenzie Peachey

Peter Farman
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