(re)collecting rural.

Memory Heritage and a Rural Identity Under Threat

In a climate of expansion and homogenisation of culture and the built environment, the continuing urban bleed of Melbourne into its surrounding rural towns threatens to supersede and suppress a local identity.

This thesis examines the role of architecture and the museum typology in maintaining the local identity of Warburton — a peri-urban town on the outskirts of Melbourne — through interactions with heritage, relic and artefact. A disused food factory is taken as the existing architectural condition, imprinted with traces of past events, practices and paradigms, and transformed into a factory of identity.

Through an experiential sequencing of spaces, exhibits and contextualising views, the scheme seeks to make sense of and re-collect past traces of industry, settlement, water and power — edifices of a rural identity considered at the scale of the wider ecology, the town, the plot and the brick.

Semester 2, 2021
The University of Melbourne
Design Thesis
Supervisor: Rory Hyde

Heritage alterations to the Sanitarium Health Foods Factory, a museum bridge across the Birrarung and a manufactory of rural identity
Warburton, Victoria