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The Richard Demarco Archive and Gallery

Part 1 Project 2013
Yufei Li
University of Dundee Dundee UK
As a post-industrial city, Dundee has suffered in the recent past from a poor self-image and pessimism about its built environment. Perceptions that there was no opportunity to reverse the decline of fortunes suffered throughout most of the 20th Century alternated with desperate acceptance of any inward investment whatever the consequences for the fabric of the City or its future development.

The project aims to make proposals for the Richard Demarco Archive and Gallery, promote Scottish art with European avant-garde. The focus of the building is a series of archives and galleries to put archive material on public display in addition to visiting exhibitions. This part is then related to Demarco’s retreat building that allows special access for artists and researchers, yet maintain a high degree of security for private collection.

The design tends to bring in Dundee’s past image of a harsh, industrial city to the present, that awaits to be discovered and revived. It sits in the middle of a residential district near the city centre as a culture enrichment element of the area. The main Archive and Gallery building fits in the urban fabric on the upper site, with a ramp going down to the basement and connecting to the exhibition ground in Demarco Retreat building sitting behind. The two parts are brought together as one integrated design, which is looking for a transit from exterior to interior, void to solid, fragment to unit in terms of concept.

The design has emphasised the importance to explore possibilities of new architecture to revive the city image and evoke the aesthetic values from the past industrial culture. Constructed from old industrial materials alongside the integration of traditional architectural feature with tectonic approach, new designs have the potential to express memorable features as a resemblance of the historic urban fabric while generate future memories to cover up the interval left by the industrial ruins.

Yufei Li


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