Last updated: 3rd February 2023
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 in Malaysia, Yangon in Myanmar and London in the UK. 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 in order to build less and adapt more.
“If everything was, would anything be?” questions the clear distinction and hierarchy between what is and is not heritage within the City of Fremantle. Through the displacement of existing and the introduction of new heritage materials within Fremantle, the proposal seeks to blur the heritage zoning archipelagos within the city.
The project began with exploring heritage systems at a local, state, national and international level. The disconnect of the Princess May Reserve from the rest of the heritage zones was revealed through mapping the various heritage overlays onto the City of Fremantle. Adelaide Street was proposed as a link between Fremantle’s West End and the Princess May Reserve heritage zones to overcome this island condition.
A matrix drawing was constructed to explore the material condition of Adelaide Street to identify the aesthetic differences between heritage and non-heritage zones. This study revealed that the heritage zones look at the singular historical monument, while the non-heritage zones explore the multiplicities of place.
This exploration led me to Aldo Rossi’s “Theory of Permanence”. Rossi proposes that monuments within the city can be categorised as pathological (a monument fixed within the city) or propelling (adapting through use). I questioned this dichotomy that Rossi proposes and argued that these monuments within the city are constantly in a state of flux, existing between the two conditions.
Interested in this flux condition, 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 - whilst simultaneously introducing new ‘heritage’ elements of raw materials extracted from the surrounding quarries in Greater Perth.
This ambition was further 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. A series of pavilions are positioned on site, each having a different operation that promotes care. The first pavilion takes the form of a raised circular mesh structure in which deciduous plants grow. Throughout the year, the plants drop leaves that are cleared up to fill the wall structure of the vertical planter garden wall that wraps the service area. This plant waste is used to fertilise the raised planter beds located to the west of the Old Boy’s School. Instead of considering buildings in a finished state, the constant need for maintenance in the proposal encourages and promotes care for the pavilions and site.
The proposal seeks to challenge our thinking of heritage as a fixed or static object. Instead, through the displacement of existing and introduction of new materials within the city and the utilisation of maintenance embedded within the design of the pavilions, it seeks to reveal another layer to the city, which is constantly in flux.