A warehouse located on a prime, central city site is a rare commodity and could easily be demolished to make way for a new build. For this building, however, the architect and developer had a different vision to salvage, and indeed enhance, the original architectural style by converting it into an exciting new creative space.
Light Space, in Brisbane's central suburb of Fortitude Valley, incorporates six small creative businesses in studio spaces upstairs, while the lower level can be hired as a venue.
Architect Stephen Cameron says the developer John Mcdonald could have been forgiven if he had demolished the existing tired-looking warehouse and put up a block of apartments for a significant profit. In choosing to restore the warehouse instead, he has found a greener solution one that favours environmental sustainability, recycling and adaptive reuse.
"At the beginning, it seemed to be a relatively straightforward project a simple renovation. We were planning to make a few small alterations to an existing warehouse in order for it to be used as an event space," says Cameron, who now works for Hassell. "But as can sometimes happen, the brief evolved until we were eventually undertaking an extensive renovation of the entire structure.
"The architectural process was different to anything I'd encountered before," the architect says. "Instead of working to an agreed plan, we were part of a much more integrated process. The initial drawing outlined the concept of the project, but ultimately I was on site every day, making decisions about the design. This created an extremely close relationship between myself, the client and the construction team, which I think benefited the project immensely."