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Phoenix Cast Works

Part 2 Project 2022
Ben Frank Watkinson
University of the West of England | UK
Negotiating the notion of public spaces, the conservation of intangible heritage and making a connection between the ‘collective procedures of everyday activity’ and the experience of the city in which it is manifested, the proposal facilitates the production of glass tiles through casting, milling & carving, re- casting, firing and archiving upon the reincarnated glassworks cones.

Going beyond a typical museum typology, it invites people to contribute to a collective layering of memorialised experiences and developing a sense of self-identity as a contribution to well-being. Instead of glassware’s inherent elitism of commission and ownership the project hands the power back to the action of the everyday and the individual. The proposal seeks to avoid the gentrification and subsequent elitism associated with ‘craft’, through a blend of both digital and analogue making and an integral learning pathway for participants, and in doing so re-imagines an urban typology for the former glassworks site in Bristol.

The Architecture expresses forms and spatialities of the original glassworks drawing upon the iconic chimneys above the furnaces, re-imagined through layered tracings and interpretations of site and its context; speaking to both the tectonics of the modelling and the more conventional vernacular of the site’s industrial heritage.

Ben Frank Watkinson


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