In the academic year of 2020-2021, the PA studio looks at the future of performative architecture in Newcastle city centre, as the effects of pandemic restrictions have seen all venues hit pause on operating as usual, we hope to build resilience and help to turn challenges into success, attribute to the future synergy and symbiosis between cultural venues & the audience, urban centre & its inhabitants, quotidian activities & social interaction.
We started the exploration by studying the theatre and similar venues as an architectural and urban typology, a place of expression for an art that has always been able to precisely reflect the current world with crises and its mutations. Each student in the studio was asked to develop a particular ‘narrative’ nuance under the studio ethos, by investigating the existing Newcastle-Gateshead Cultural Venues (NGCV), talking with insiders, using a wide range of exploratory research methods, and then slowly building a specific narrative which helped to define the potential project as a synthesis of the present, also encompass the availability of technologies, cultural preferences, contemporary aesthetic tendencies, values of cultural or urban practices etc.
This year has evidenced students embracing these opportunities, with an extensive selection of sites, scale and topics on display, their projects have also addressed much broader themes such as alternative development, multisensory experience, city as a stage, social equity etc. They have responded with imagination and creativity to all aspects of architectural design process.