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The Chelmer Village Museum Project

Part 2 Project 2000
Sally Pearce
Sally Pearce
University of Westminster, UK
“From a strictly commercial point of view, 100% accuracy ....... (is) unimportant. Anything above around 75% is accurate enough and ensures that you will make more money than your competitors; the remaining 25% doesn’t really matter.”
James Roberts, Spam for Tea, Julian Opie.

To search and provide for the 25% uncatered for in Chelmer Village, 25% being by its very nature undefinable. The prevalence of abandoned trolleys within the village provides definition of a culture unrestricted by the rules of suburbia.
The trolleys, as a metaphor for 25%, provide a means of defining a new development within the constraints of the site.
The project seeks to serve suburban obsessions with nostalgia where symbolic, sentimental value is accorded to the past. To become a legitimate source of inspiration, the museum is set in the future. Affording the village a degree of hindsight a new value through its nature as an historical site.

Inspired by the appropriation or misappropriation of perceived historical styles within the site. Objects commonly used, but given little value, acquire importance in the future. A novelty of the past, the trolleys provide a template for a range of house types.

A live/work museum where the traditional form of the commuter village can be observed and experienced.

Sally Pearce
Sally Pearce

Tutors Statement

Sally Pearce was nominated for this award because her work raises issues of content through design.

Her project for Chelmer Village Museum results from an extensive enquiry into explicitly normal architectural environments and culminates in social commentary. It is unique because it is created from within the constraints of excessively familiar architectural sources.

Structure and programme of this museum are generated from research into to the suburban context, housing typology and style. This has revealed how little the bulk of our architectural stock has changed over the modern period. Has the typical 'high architecture' response of escapism, and fantasy ultimately weakened our ability work in these places?

Chosen elements from this context are then assimilated into her scheme.

For example:

* How can the prevalent issue of 'live-work' developments be deployed in the running of the museum?

* How might the external support of the trolley be transformed into a structure for the house (one that also incorporates Masonite systems)?

* How can the poetic appreciation of casual, abject positioning of the abandoned shopping trolley develop a strategy for suburban infiltration?

* How would land use change in a car-less society?

Ultimately this museum is a critique of the gradual historicisation of UK culture. It looks into the future (without recourse to futuristic style) and suggests that the short history suburbia of may become comodified to provide yet another venue for culture.

Jason Griffiths

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