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(Re)Collecting Rural

Part 2 Project 2022
Jeremy Bonwick
University of Melbourne | Australia
In a climate of expansion and homogenisation of culture and the built environment, the continuing urban bleed of Melbourne into its surrounding rural towns threatens to supersede and suppress idiosyncratic local identities.

This scheme examines the role of architecture and the museum typology in maintaining the local identity of Warburton — a peri-urban town on the outskirts of Melbourne — through interactions with heritage, relic and artefact. The former Sanitarium Health Foods Factory, Melbourne’s manufacturer of Weet-Bix until its cessation in the 90s, is taken as the existing architectural condition, imprinted with traces of past events, practices and paradigms, and transformed into a factory of identity.

A Transept of connectivity, between symbiotic morphologies — armatures of the main street and the Birrarung (Yarra River) — holds a new bridge form which engages with existing built fabric and the land to houses programs of museological display, practice, craftsmanship and community.

Through an experiential sequencing of spaces, exhibits and contextualising views, the scheme seeks to make sense of and re-collect past traces of industry, settlement, water and power — edifices of a rural identity considered at the scale of the wider ecology, the town, the plot and the brick.

Jeremy Bonwick

Rory Hyde
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