PrimeArt_An expansion of the threshold between the artist and the audience; the gallery and the street
Through a forensic analysis of the former Odeon Building on Pilgrim Street, my project acts almost a memorial, to the building and celebrating a home-grown and grassroots artistic community, which are now being displaced from Pilgrim Street, as well as a tour de force demonstration of what could have been an extraordinary public space to rival Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall
Cultural Regeneration of the Former Odeon Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne
PRIMEART is a cultural and architectural regeneration of the former Odeon Building in the East Pilgrim Street Development Area, Newcastle. The project will provide the opportunity for the arts and the audience to work and play in an experimental ‘palace’ of art, community and exchange. The artists’ community that exists in the East Pilgrim Street area is predominantly due to the temporary leases that have transformed empty office buildings into meanwhile spaces of creativity and community. The scheme provides an opportunity to culturally regenerate the city centre of Newcastle by creating a permanent sustainable solution for the established artistic community and encouraging public interaction and exchange with the arts. There are three main elements to the proposal.
The Arts – to establish a permanent facility for the existing creative artists’ community that makes the ‘arts’ visible within the city centre.
The Public – the provision of a public and community space that encourages social interaction through the freedom of exchange
The Threshold – to expand the threshold into the gallery space and to place art in everyone’s everyday.
The provision of flexible and affordable studio spaces, project space, exhibition space and the creation of a communal, collaborative environment for the artists will allow for the natural growth of organisations and programmes throughout the building. Whilst the creation of a public Urban Piazza that will run through the ground floor area will bring the people off the street and into the space of the arts, influencing a social bridging of the artist and the audience. This area will also provide a space for the artists to share and promote their most current works with the public.
The Vertical Studios
Providing the artists with studio ‘plots’ of varying sizes, the Vertical Studio Space caters for many different forms of art; allowing the individual to use their located plot as they wish. This space acts as the first encounter of the extension to the threshold between the artist and the audience, the gallery and the street.
The Urban Piazza
The Urban Piazza acts as an extension to the public realm, providing a safe and accessible environment for the public and the local community. It is a common place, connecting the artists’ community to the public through a bridging of the threshold. The large covered space promotes flexibility whilst providing a space to encourage exchange, debate and conversations.
The layering of the fixed Artspace creates openings in the broken facade so that the onlooker can see into the artists’ space and Urban Piazza. The Artspace includes fixed studio spaces, Project Space, the Cine-Variety Theatre, Bookshop, Workshop, Makerspace, Event Space and the Multi-Studio Workspace
Who influences you graphically?
I take influence from a lot of different mediums in my work; from visual artists such as Forbes Massie who portray realism in the still shots of a passing time, to architecture practices such as Monadnock’s one-point perspective collages and Ceruzzi & Murphy’s illustrative images. At the end of this project I found that I was balancing between realism and illustration; from the early development images being more illustrative in manner like a working drawing, and then the finished articles became more defined in parallel to the completion of the project.
What defined the selection of views /images through which you choose to reveal the proposal?
For me the project was always about the creation of a new street and connection within the city and a place where the social barrier between artists and the audience was broken down by a freedom of space. Therefore, when it came to deciding specific views I focused on the depth of each image, all showing how each space of the proposal are somehow connected. Further, my images predominantly take on a off centred one point perspective in order to show these connections clearly. Activities also played a big part in my choice of views, throughout the project I tried to imagine how the communal spaces would be used on a day-to-day basis.
What is your take on the classical orthogonal projections as the plan, section, elevation and axonometric?
For me classical orthogonal projections tend to be the most honest and beautiful ways to represent architecture, but for this project I felt that it was hard to show the liveliness of a place and moment through these methods. Therefore, I predominantly chose the perspective to explore the spaces in my thesis.
What programs did you use?
I used Revit for creating the 3D model that was the base of drawings and visualisations. Then once rendered I used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to add textures, colour, life, and enhance effects, like shadows and lights in the views.
You talk about the term forensic, how could the drawing as a tool to analyse and develop an idea have been explored in greater depth rather than one which shows the final product?
The drawing could have gone into further depth to illustrate how the proposal works as a whole; how each of the three sections of the proposal: The Vertical Studios, The Urban Piazza, and The Fixed Artspace inform one another and how the individual would engage in each of these spaces. The detailed elements of the thesis have also been lost in the depth of the visualisations and some of the simplicity within the design has been overpowered by the presence of colour. The drawing as a tool would have enabled elements to ‘breath’ in space and illustrate the design at its most honest form.
If you could add one more image/ video/ challenge another medium- what would this be and why?
I would challenge at an image type previously mentioned: the classical orthogonal projections such as the axonometric drawing. Focusing on one part of the design thesis such as the Vertical Studios to illustrate how the mechanical and social system