Fred Scott: re-using buildings
This is the accompanying image to a short text by Fred Scott on architectural recycling.
Scott's 2008 book, On Altering Architecture, (reviewed here by Graeme Brooker) takes interior work as the re-occupation of the architectural frame, adjusting the frame, bending a new programme to fit – a real act of spatial and material collaboration where neither the architecture is ascendant, nor is the activity within it, with all its clutter, subordinate.
Of course this presumes that we have architecture, and the various programmes that are fitted into it over time have some sort of spatial identity. I've been rather swamped lately with images of 3 story office park buildings where all that changes is the — well, nothing really changes much from one to the other. The same goes for the inside. It is all very inexpensive great grand-daughter of burolandschaft – tan if it is a middle of the road installation, grey if it is slightly cooler.
Scott's re-use and re-occupation is a much more active, passionate, flinty relationship than unthinking co-habitation. With no such thing as pure architecture, unless as a drawing or a model in a vitrine, the reality that all buildings live in a conflicted world of conflicted people in identity struggles with each other and their environments simply has to be acknowledged. If this was considered our starting point, messy as it is, we would have much different architecture.