PRRES 2022: The utilisation of assemblage theory in the study of the repurposing of redundant city centre space

Event Start Date:
19th January 2022
Event End Date:
19th January 2022
Event Venue:
Virtual, Australia

The utilisation of assemblage theory in the study of the repurposing of redundant city centre space

Pacific Rim Real Estate Society 2022, Virtual, Australia

Dr Victoria Lawson, Dr Cath Jackson and Dr Allison Orr

Repurposing a building, rather than demolishing, means a new scheme tends to start from a very inefficient scenario. This paper seeks to better understand how city centre repurposing schemes are shaped by property-related factors, across five case study developments where former uses had contracted or ceased altogether. Faced with the subsequent empty space, the paper critically examines 1) the extent to which a building’s material content, and that of its surroundings, determines decisions at the feasibility stage of city centre repurposing schemes, and 2) which material aspects assisted or resisted the actual act of change, once repurposing works had commenced. In this vein, initial empirical results suggest the importance of innovation in overcoming the sheer space taken-up by infrastructure passing vertically through a building and in communicating externally what’s changing internally, and the importance of flexibility in planning policy to cater for uses in the ascendance, in these building ‘shells’.

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