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Old Frogs Hollow

Part 2 Project 2011
Benjamin Walters
University of Newcastle Newcastle Australia
Old Frogs Hollow explores alternative methods of working with urban sites, especially those where the fabric of remnant buildings needs to be updated or mended. The project, sited on Edward Street in Brisbane, is an adaptive re-use and rehabilitation of the existing heritage listed site to include a creative industries program which includes a theatre, gallery, and studio housing. The historical component of the project sets out to preserve the last remaining examples of the 1880’s light industrial and warehouse precinct which is architecturally expressed through the Victorian style mouldings and vertical hierarchy of the existing façade. The site lies on the fringe of this low lying, swampy district which was formally known as Frogs Hollow.

The challenge was to create a contemporary space without compromising the unique qualities of a site which is deeply ingrained within the urban fabric of the city. This exploration involved the cutting, tearing out, extracting and removing of previous renovations before inserting, installing, attaching, sewing together, and restructuring the site through a series of surgical insertions as a mode of repair. As a result, the project focused on an approach to the site as a summation of parts rather than the traditional wholistic approach.

This approach sought to place architectural gestures and moments within the existing fabric as a series of violent incisions which repair the derelict buildings functionally before inserting the artistic program requirements of the creative industries typology. These insertions further articulate Spencer Lane through a series of interconnected thoroughfares which culminate in a textural public space in the central court which separates each of the differing artistic programmes.

Benjamin Walters


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