Digital Narrative for Placemaking: Diachronic Modelling of the Dennys Lascelles Concrete Wool Store, Geelong

Mediated Intelligence in Design

The project is an initiative for contemporary architectural historical practice and its incorporation of virtual and augmented realities has enriched the engagement of the communities through its ability to substantiate, recreate and disseminate lost histories through visible form. This project aims to demonstrate how digital technologies can help in the revival of the lost architecture of the Dennys Lascelles Wool Store, Geelong.

The Dennys Lascelles Concrete Wool store, popularly known as Bow Truss Building, is an early 20th century industrial building with expansive concrete roof once stood in Brougham Street, where the modern steel and glass TAC Building stands today. Along with Barwon Sewer Aqueduct this particular building is one of the two most celebrated engineering achievement by Edward Giles Stone a civil engineer who pushed design boundaries with reinforced concrete in the early 1900’s. It was claimed as being the largest flat-roof space in the world (almost an acre) without visible support, and thus creating a flood of natural light on the showroom tables by means of roof lighting. The site was considered very unique and was listed on several heritage registers including the Register of National Estate and National Trust register. The building was even nominated for a world heritage listing that was supported by several international referees. Unfortunately the rapid rejuvenation of the city of Geelong In the late 1980’s Geelong’s forced most of the industrial building to be relocated from the city centre. The heritage overlay of the city has been gradually wiped out due to economic pressure.  In May of 1990 the building was destroyed after the State Government of Victoria intervened to override the state’s heritage body on its significance. The site was left as a car park for twenty years until the TAC building was constructed.

The lasting legacy of wool making as well and industrial architecture including this legendary Bow Truss Building and many others is on the verge of being lost from the memories of city dwellers. The tangible as well as the intangible memories were wiped out at the cost of development. 

Project Team (Deakin):
Md Mizanur Rashid
Surabhi Pancholi
Chin Koi Khoo
Sofija Kaljevic

Project Advisors:
Tuba Kocaturk
Paul Sanders