Continuity in Architecture are interested in the cultural heritage of the city, not only in the city as a collection of historical artefacts but also in the way people have and will use these buildings and spaces. The Atelier considers buildings not as solitary objects, but as integral and related pieces of the city that encourage a convivial coming together of people. We believe that it is important to understand the intangible and tangible aspects of historic fabric in order to engage with it in a meaningful and dynamic way. Bryony Roberts in her discussion of Tabula Plena, suggests that the examination and interpretation of site can be stretched to describe a board game or even the table after a dinner party – “with the complex arrangements of plates, glasses and silverware positioned by a series of social negotiations” (Roberts, 2017).
This year the Atelier has continued to work on collaborative projects that examine the future of the Historic High Street, inspired by John Lloyd, who in his seminal article The Closing of the High Street Theatres, stated that these smaller shopping areas “… were - and still are - theatres of human interaction” (2020). In collaboration with Preston Council, the BA3 brief was the creation of a new Guild for the city, to be situated on a large complex site housing various historic buildings and surrounded by a diverse selection of heritage assets. The site currently acts as a ‘shortcut’ from Preston Flag Market to the Bus Station. Starting with the definition of the public space around this route, students have proposed new buildings and spaces for making, educating, and selling the products of their Guild – working in and around the historic buildings on their site.
Working vertically with the MArch cohort, we have continued to draw inspiration from a deep understanding of both the intangible and tangible qualities of place, amplified by the examination of new case studies (Sergison Bates, LRO, Feilden Fowles, Adjaye Associates, noA, Mae Architects, Helga Blocksdorf Architekture, Flores i Prats Arquitectes), site visits to the Preston Harris and Blackpool Museum (Buttress), factory visits (Darwen Terracotta, KLLangton Decorative Plasterwork, Hargreaves Foundry), and a keynote talk from Stephen Bates (Sergison Bates architects).