Mar 11, 2020

We're backing the Architects’ Journal #RetroFirst campaign.

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Second Lives is one of SEW’s key place making principles, encompassing our belief that an evolutionary, additive approach to existing structures can create a more compelling architectural response and, fundamentally, permits for a more environmentally sustainable practice.

This belief is why we’re backing the Architect’s Journal #RetroFirst campaign, which calls on the government to promote and incentivise the reuse of existing buildings in the face of the climate emergency. It asks for government action to encourage greater use of retrofit and refurbishment in three key areas: tax, procurement, and policy.

Our interest in Second Lives was ignited by our work on Park Hill in Sheffield. Since then, we’ve continued to look at places with a tabula plena (or ‘’full table’’) approach, working with any memorable structures or features we find on a site. This has manifested at places including The Old Vinyl Factory, Balfron Tower, and, perhaps most evocatively, at Mayfield in Manchester. Here, our involvement began in 2016 through a competition process where we worked with U+i to shape the winning proposal that went against previous plans to demolish the former Mayfield Station building and depot. We recognised the structures heritage value, and successfully made the case to bring it back to life as a flexible events destination, which has now been realised with the help of The Mayfield Partnership and This Must Be The Place Agency .

To read more about our #RetroFirst approach to places in our proposition article Second Lives, click here.


We're backing the Architects’ Journal #RetroFirst campaign.