2015 BIA Graduation Exhibition: student profile – Simone Rego

Posted on Nov 23, 2015 in Teaching
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The White Bay Power Station, a heritage listed former coal-fired power station is the site for the 2015 graduation project.

re:collect
My proposal began with group research (with my partner Cathrine Lee) into the site, site visits, reports on top of reports, on top of reports, and lots of time spent understanding the structure and mechanics of our site, the White Bay Power Station.

From researching, reading and seeing there were a few key points I was interested in: the fact that there was little to no information on its indigenous history considering its distinct link to the city, the way the site had been closed to the public but had stood as a landmark of Sydney’s development from the 20th into the 21st Century, and the way that moss, rust and ‘life’ had begun to reclaim the dormant site.

And so, ‘re:collect’ started…

…with aims to revitalise the White Bay Power Station; reestablishing lost connections, and enhancing existing features to celebrate its past as well as its future potential as a museum, gallery, learning and dining precinct for Sydney and the Bays community.

After the research phase in Semester 1, I tried to pinpoint locations on the site I thought would be key to redevelop, and ways in which I could tie my ideas of ‘re:collect’ into the existing shell of the Power Station. Through earlier assessments of precedent studies and inspiration boards, ideas and visions for interiors began to quickly develop and moods for spaces became set.

The Coal Handling Shed underground storage unit and the chimney stacks were the distinct features that initiated my excavation, beginning a new passage into the site. The Coal Handling Shed became an atrium and main reception space for visitors, which mirrored the way the coal had originally entered the site, as the coal was stored underground. One of my main design elements within this space was to redesign the existing rail tracks, choosing to create a custom light feature that replaces the rail stretchers, suspending fluorescent tube lights over my new reception counter. The existing chimneys were then hollowed, to create pinpoints in my underground Museum of Lost Histories that spotlighted visitors and aimed to make their presence known within the site.

re:collect celebrates the existing palette of the White Bay Power Station, and colours we associate with Australia, such as pressed tar to replicate coal, and varied finishes of aged coreten and reclaimed steel which speaks of the industrial nature of the site. By reintroducing natives in the form of a Remedial Alley within the existing Transformer Alley, I wanted to bring knowledge of the Indigenous community and the way flora had played a vital role in their society.

re:collect envisions a site where visitors can reflect on the past and look to the future, creating a new link to the site with interior spaces dedicated to heritage, histories, learning and creative arts for the local community of Rozelle and Sydney.

2015 BIA Graduation Exhibition – Imprint
Opening night Tuesday 24 November
Exhibition open to the public 25-27 November

Website: https://imprint.be.unsw.edu.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imprintunsw2015?_rdr=p
Instagram: https://instagram.com/imprint_unsw2015/

Graduation Exhibition Committee 2015
Bachelor of Interior Architecture