Dream Discotheques for Parramatta anticipates and conceptualizes the future via the prism and framework of the past; and designs dream discotheques for Sydneys burgeoning second city, Parramatta.
A creative and educative collaboration between Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) and UNSW Built Environment Architecture (UNSW), Dream Discotheques for Parramatta is firmly placed in the suburbs, architecture and cultural history of Western Sydney; and is driven by the desire to utilize new frameworks for creative exploration – community memory, remnant architecture, music and Popular Culture.
Led by co-curators Dr. Dijana Alic (UNSW) and Jonathan Wilson (ICE), over 30 Master of Architecture candidates from UNSW Built Environment Architecture program were tasked to research and design their dream night spots for the Parramatta of tomorrow.
Using three heritage buildings and/or remnant sites the Roxy (1930-extant), Astra (1935-1986) and Cumberland Land and Investment Building (1889-extant), as base design, participating students explored the relationship between contemporary and heritage architecture; community history and demographic change; remnant architecture and urban development.
Students were required not only to conceptually revitalise lost spaces and offer new community access points, but to also offer new interpretations that might add to the historic fabric (and memory) of a growing contemporary city. As foundation they researched the cultural, economic, aesthetic and political impacts/memory of a range of iconic international discotheques/clubs, including Studio 54 (New York City, 1977-82) and The Hacienda (Manchester UK, 1982-97); and concurrently examined a range of contemporary nightclubs from across the globe (Shanghai, Berlin, Beirut, Sydney, Melbourne and Parramatta).
Studio based and client focused, Dream Discotheques for Parramatta was defined by a common architectural agenda matched by individual theoretical and architectural approaches. Designers engaged in the histories and debates on community and cultural identity, and explored the relationships between the dominant culture and the subcultures of contemporary Australia. They were asked to design for people, profit and Parramatta.
Dream Discotheques for Parramatta is presented by the 2014 Sydney Architecture Festival.