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Recycling ‘down under’: The evolution of ways of working with one’s heritage
This paper concerns itself with the story of recent ‘recycling’ projects in Hobart, Tasmania. Tasmania is an island separated from the rest of Australian continental landmass that has evolved slowly in relative isolation, thereby gaining a large number of historic buildings, which were patched up rather than knocked down and rebuilt. The paper looks at two projects undertaken by Circa Morris-Nunn Architects to show how the recycling became an enriching process, with the new insertions/ additions contributing to the old heritage fabric in many very diverse, innovative ways; with the final architectural entity being far more inclusive and culturally enriching than a newly constructed building could ever hope to be. The paper presents an effective way of keeping what is culturally worthwhile in the existing building stock, which gives an identity to a particular place, and yet rejuvenates it, making it relevant to a new generation.
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Robert Morris-Nunn Am is regarded being Tasmania’s most adventurous practising architect. The basic thrust of his design work has been to explore different new approaches towards a more enlightened socially humane architecture, which have often integrated as part of their resolution very elegant structural ideas. He has also developed innovative strategies for ecologically sustainable design. A high proportion of his projects have involved the recycling of historic buildings, from major civic edifices to humble sheds. He has won many Australian architectural awards, including a National Environmental Architecture Award for the Forest EcoCentre at Scottsdale and a National Architecture Award Special Jury Prize for the redevelopment of the historic IXL warehouses facing Sullivans Cove. His work has been illustrated in many international books and publications and he was recently awarded a prestigious Order of Australia in recognition to his ongoing contribution to Architecture.