Olivia Ryan

Embracing What We Left Behind

Rachel Whiteread’s turner prize winning project ‘House’ in 1993 was hugely influential and became a main design driver for this project. ‘House’ pays tribute to the last house standing on Mile End in East London by casting it entirely out of concrete shortly before its demolition. Once demolished, the casting remained, paying homage to what stood before. Although the monument was temporary, it left a lasting legacy to what once was through the use of great art.

Liverpool Biennial is all about creating pieces of art within the context of Liverpool, therefore, their foundation building should embody this concept entirely. Embracing what we left behind – a project that is primarily influenced by historic Liverpool is focused around the archaic grid that once existed on site in 1920, marking 100 years this year. The grid consisting of Georgian terrace houses and a grande hall, a place that was once full of life and people.

The aim is to incorporate this rich history into design, making art and permanence out of what was once forgotten, instead of leaving the past behind, we are embracing it and using it as a driver to create the future. In this, the Liverpool Biennial Foundation is not simply another art foundation but a piece of Liverpool, perhaps even a landmark. Every aspect of design is focused around its presence and permanence, from the concrete cladding through to the prominent position at the top of the hill, it is making a statement.

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