Sinister Dialogues: an international symposium held on 25th September 2014 at the Manchester School of Architecture.
This ongoing project is an examination of how an uncomfortable, terrible or destructive past of a structure can be negotiated though building reuse. Sinister Dialogues examines the relationship between the past use of a building and the new elements of remodelling, and as such, aims to highlight how negativity can be redefined within the shell of an existing structure. The project uncovers the architectural strategies of adaptation, as an alternative to demolition, and discusses the necessary decisions to be made when such a building is reused.
The project leader, Laura Sanderson introduced the symposium, the speakers were:
German architect HG Merz, who transformed the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin,
British artist Abigail Reynolds, who created a series of artworks for the Topophobia Exhibition in Liverpool,
New Zealander academic Terry Meade, who writes about violence and domestic space in Palestine,
Venetian architectural academic Margahrita Vanore, who writes about Industrial Ruins,
and MSA Principal Lecturer Sally Stone from Continuity in Architecture, discussed the interpretation of existing buildings.
The next part of the project will take place on the 7th October 2014, when the final speaker, Irish architect Sheila O’Donnell, who worked on the Good Shepherd Laundry and Letterfrack Furniture College, will be presenting the work of O’Donnell and Tuomey in a talk entitled Addition and Subtraction.
“To live is to leave traces.” Walter Benjamin.