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Bluecoat - Extension

Part 1 Project 2002
Martyn Thomas
Juan Camilo Maya
Carlos Fernando Quiceno
University of Liverpool, UK
The project extends a grade 1 listed building, exposing the interaction between haphazard developments and a timeline between 18thC charity school and 21stC arts centre.

The fabric of Bluecoat is considered a receptacle for traces of the transient exhibition/performance/events that make its local cultural significance, being sedimented over time. The resulting strata, split like slate and upended, make a structure from which the centre can hang and form an ongoing record of its cultural operation.

The importance of the existing core element as hinge between successive inside and outside spaces and its role in exposing the new piece is played on, introducing the intervention at the front door, developing this space by the outright replacement of the existing interior, pulling the new gallery floor away from, and thus revealing, the curved wall, reinforcing the character of both old and intervening.

Concurrently, the notion of extension is taken literally, each new piece being an extension of the existing, each revealing some significance of the building's story.

Facade operates as logo and extends through ninety degrees to cup the gallery function. Three extended walls enable a long stair that holds and reveals bluecoat archive. All is modified by the igneous intrusion of a mythic contemporary ground derived from the immediate urban field in an ongoing process oscillating between 2 and 3d media.

The interaction of these elements thus presents extension as investigation and summary of the building's histories and incorporates aspects of its urban setting at this moment.

Martyn Thomas
Juan Camilo Maya
Carlos Fernando Quiceno

Martyn's approach to his final year degree project is site-based and involves layering building and site in a series of connections whereby they become one.

The liveliness of the building form and the cleverness of each space in relation to its neighbour is a delight.

The scheme is a mature piece of work and he has handled a sensitive intervention with immense clarity of purpose.

• Page Hits: 1156         • Entry Date: 14 September 2002         • Last Update: 14 September 2002