This October, three Bartlett academics held a thought-provoking workshop entitled ‘Negotiating Heritage’ at the Chinese Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, China. The workshop, run by Edward Denison, Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber, focused on the case study of ‘West Lake’, a heritage site situated in urbanised and prosperous East China. The purpose of the project was to challenge conventional notions of heritage and ineffective ‘museum-style’ treatment of sites.
Participating students were divided into five groups to explore the different ways that West Lake is inhabited: residential, commercial, culture, leisure and tourist. The students then investigated how architecture and urban design could be applied as an innovative tool to develop historical urban space. By the end of the workshop, each group had produced a final collective model to show how they had handled the site context and history of their assigned theme.