18 Brinkburn Avenue, an abandoned building, with history and once meant something to the community, now, dead on a street with heritage. This stood out to me, I understand charrette week is meant to be fun, working with the different stages of the school, nevertheless, I wanted it to be beneficial towards myself. The project was to unpack the history of the building and the street that it remains on, with the goal of proposing designs as to what this forgotten part of Gateshead could become whilst considering the findings that took place.
A place for…?
Visiting the shop was an experience, I don’t know what I expected but the condition was considerably worse than I imagined. Finding the remains scattered around the building with rare items such as the fifty-year-old wallpaper from when it used to be a hardware store or the five-meter-long ancient shop banner “Lilly Starbright’s Florist”. The toilet didn’t even have a proper door, one of the sinks were leaking. Nevertheless, working with what we had throughout the week we drew a few plans and ideas of what the shops could be, talking to the locals and what they felt about the shop, finding out that it really meant a lot to them and they are passionate about the heritage of this area. Therefore, in the end, we decided it would be best fit as a place for the community. Scheduled with different activities for diverse demographic use depending on the time of the day and day of the week, to relax, create, socialise or anything the community wants it to be. Coming up with the name was a chore, no one wanted to speak up, there was a few like Community or the Peoples Place, could be fitting located next to the “People’s Park” (Saltwell Park), we then just decided on 18 Brinkburn.
Creating the space
Creating a proposal was part of what we needed to present on charrette, our main attraction was to recreate the shop front and the front room of the 18 Brinkburn with cardboard. We struggled with the foundation of this structure and how it would actually stand by itself. Someone then suggested we use small cabinets to replicate the two bay windows of the shop front, from then on, we built up, hanging the banner from the ceiling with fishing wire, creating a cardboard version of our proposal for 18 Brinkburn Avenue. A place where the community could relax, create, and make it their own.