Drawing influence from the horizontal landscape of Los Angeles and Reyner Banham’s observations of the city, in his book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), my time in this residency begins to explore the horizontal potential of Swansea and any resulting associated feelings.
Following ‘mobility outweighs monumentality’ (Banham, 1971, p. 5) in Los Angeles, my response will focus on the mobility and modularity of architectural forms within the city.
Visiting the Civic Centre, Swansea
Opened in 1982, the Swansea Civic Centre is a Brutalist landmark of the city and has been an influential piece of post-war 20th century architecture on my practice. However, the building faces demolition and is listed by the 20th Century Society as one of the top 10 buildings at risk.
Aside from being a symbolic piece of Brutalist architecture, the Civic Centre has only been standing for 39 years, questioning the length of time the building has been in use, highlighting a possible sustainability concern.
My time in this residency will look towards a future Swansea, and explore a method of repurposing the Civic Centre, utilising the building’s architectural forms, in order to draw attention to this particular example of endangered post-war architecture and consider whether the structure’s monumentality can be altered for modularity and mobility, if demolition becomes inevitable.
Working drawings exploring methods of modularity and mobility in existing and endangered post-war architecture.
Possible civic routes for the Civic Centre.
Concept animation exploring a possible method of modularity and mobility for the Civic Centre, creating airborne environments, repurposing the existing architectural forms.
Modular Civic Centre platforms.
Concept collage exploring a method of modularity for the Civic Centre, altering the building’s monumentality for mobility.
Civic platforms become airborne and operate within the above civic level, offering vistas of the landscape and cityscape and explore the horizontal potential of Swansea.