Small works: big presence

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Stawell powder magazine (c. 1875).

Stawell powder magazine (c. 1875). Image: Peter Bennetts

This reflection by Nigel Bertram on the impact of small projects, was a footnote from Architecture Australia May/June 2013.

As part of our Stawell Steps project we studied local structures and techniques, such as this powder magazine (c. 1875), and thought about the role of small public works in a country town. This brick enclosure was once part of a boundary wall but is now within a parking area. We were drawn to the ambiguous presence of such things, which fall outside usual categories but which have a strong urban presence and a long life. We studied drains, culverts, mine shafts, storage structures, steps and sports grounds – things on the edge of both architecture and landscape, but belonging to neither.


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