Last updated: 9th August 2022
Fergus Egan (b. 1997) is studying at the Architectural Association in London, UK. His work has been exhibited in Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne in Australia as well as in George Town, Malaysia and Yangon, Myanmar. He works with the design of processes and frameworks to develop projects that are community driven. He has a keen interest in working with communities and heritage to understand a place's history and context.
“If everything was, would anything be?” seeks to question the clear distinction and hierarchy between what is and is not heritage within the City of Fremantle. It aims to do this by blurring the identifiable heritage qualities by introducing material elements within the urban landscape.
The project began by mapping the various heritage overlays within the city to identify what areas are important to what groups. Through mapping these heritage overlays, it was found that the Princess May Reserve was isolated within the heritage zoning of Fremantle. I then explored Adelaide St as a possible connector between the heritage of Fremantle. A matrix drawing was constructed to explore the street conditions along Adelaide Street, specifically looking at the differences and similarities between the different zoning. This study revealed that the heritage zones along Adelaide Street look at the singular historical monument, the facade, and its impact on the streetscape, while the non-heritage zones explore the multiplicities of place.
This idea of the singular monument led me to Aldo Rossi’s “Theory of Permanence”. I question Rossi’s distinction between the two monument types, pathological and propelling, within the city, proposing that many artefacts exist in a flux condition between his two states. Interested in these flux conditions, I explored how the act of care could help bridge and blur the distinction between what is and is not heritage. The proposal sought to dismantle elements of limestone heritage within Fremantle, documenting them and displacing them within the city, simultaneously introducing new ‘heritage’ elements of raw materials extracted from the surrounding quarries in Greater Perth.
This ambition for the project was integrated into the project brief of creating a plan for the Princess May Reserve. The brief required a flexible art space for the client onsite, DADDA. DADDA provides art space and programmes to people with a disability and mental illnesses. The proposal takes the form of a circular mesh pavilion in which deciduous plants grow. The pavilion helps promote a sense of care through the act of maintenance. The leaves that shed from the pavilion are cleared up and used to form a universally accessible vertical planter garden wall that wraps the services area. Through this maintenance ritual, the project seeks to help people engage with the park, bridging the park’s isolated condition within Fremantle’s heritage zoning and promoting care for both heritage and non-heritage artefacts within the city.
The project sought to understand the systems and specific context involved in maintaining a park and design a project that achieves beyond the requirements of the initial brief.