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“Relationships, History and Context” – Bathurst Rail Museum Adaptive Reuse Project with Tony McBurney | Member Lean In Session
The new Rail Museum began as a ‘toy shed’ and has become a critical exhibition of the cultural heritage of Australia’s Oldest Inland Settlement, and particularly the epoch of Rail as it opened the frontiers of NSW. An old Rail Institute Building that grew a Prime Minister is now a prime artefact in the exhibition of a community and culture - well beyond a building to store a very large train set!

Norberg Shultz described architecture as “the concretisation of relationships in space”.

For 40 years of practice, Tony McBurney has been exploring the expression of relationships through the medium of architecture. The “Bubble Diagram” has been traditionally taught to first year students as a mind-mapping exercise to arrange functional relationships. Tony still uses these to assist clients achieve buildings that just work well, but more than that his practice Integrated Design Group (IDG) wants their buildings to really function at every level of human perception and environmental interface, and this through navigating the myriad of other relationships that motivate, deliver and delight in the finished work.

“Living Relationships in Built Form” is the banner under which IDG seeks to uphold architecture above the mere pursuit of ‘object’ to a meaningful expression and inspiration of the dynamic relationships for which built form exists.

As a regionally founded practice, IDG prioritises sensitivity to the context in which their works contribute and to the unique perceptions of the people who will engage with them. Almost every project springs from ‘first principles’. To this end, the practice deliberately steps beyond its own comfort zone, including pro-bono work in East Africa and South East Asia. “We don’t just take our preconceptions to other cultures, but we explore, search and listen to understand the perceptions that stakeholders bring to their projects, allowing those to primally inform the work”.

Jun 30, 2020 12:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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