In response to the modern fascination with the façade of heritage architecture – an aesthetic that is all too often removed from any context or relationship to time and place – we researched and wrote an essay for the Paper for Emerging Architectural Research (PEAR) that proposed the concept of ‘heritage landscapes’, whereby a non-physical cultural overlay of narrative, time, memory and experience of use informs the physical, bricks-and-mortar image of a building or an area. In doing so, a heritage landscape bestows a sense of place that differentiates it from others.
To highlight this concept, we drew on two of our past projects: The Tiny Travelling Theatre and the Roaming Market. Both were compact structures that could be moved to different areas, and bore little physical resemblance to their historical precedents – a 17th-century coal salesman’s living quarters-turned-music club, and the market town of Lambeth, respectively. Instead, what these projects sought to evoke were the essence, atmosphere and qualities of the original inspirations, thus demonstrating how contemporary architecture could be located within tradition by creatively adapting precedents to new conditions.
A copy of the essay can be downloaded Here