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The Workshop for Georgina von Etzdorf by Simon Conder Associates

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This big shed interests me. I haven't visited it but buildings have many lives and one of them is in the imagination - which pieces together narratives conjured up by selected facts and images. I'm concerned less with whether what I feel about it is 'true' than what these stories represent to me.

Once a dilapidated farm building, the workshop skilfully retains something of this history in a certain hybrid quality - neither wholly a farm building (barn, shed) nor wholly an industrial hangar or out-of-town store, despite resembling all of these. It's the same type - a place of production - under a different name: agricultural work replaced by design and craft production. Embodying our nation's cultural change through subtle alterations of the paradigm, this building denotes the future: new jobs for an existing, but reinvented, rural community.

I like the inherent concept of sustainability, underlying the choice to recreate rather than waste, a concept which applies equally to the community employed here as to the material fabric of the building. Architects should be taking this on board. Rather than being unnecessarily restrictive, an inventive reuse of existing structures will be the watchword for future reconstruction programmes and bring about an exciting new aesthetic.

Its clear, almost cartoon-like elements - pitched roof, windows, ventilation unit - evoke deep-rooted associations with something archaic and paradigmatic. In current (Blair Witch) mythology, even the sense of foreboding evoked by the big black building in the woods has deeply enjoyable resonance...

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