By examining theories of place with an emphasis on memory, it is possible to understand their interrelationship, and discern their contribution to the potential that exists through imagination for architectural invention.
Within the field of architectural discourse, this work offers a critique of the current practices of assessing cultural heritage. Practices currently in place for the assessment of cultural heritage claim to be concerned with preservation of ‘place’. These practices are not keeping abreast of current interpretations of ‘place’ in architectural discourse.
In architectural discourse, Kim Dovey explains ‘place’ is a term understood as “not an object or setting so much as a kind of interactive relationship between people and a setting together with a set of meanings that both emerge from and inform this experience and interaction.” Memory is a significant component of this interrelationship.
This work uses the example of one beach house, the Wilson House, which was withdrawn from the Queensland Government’s Environmental Protection Agency Cultural Heritage Register, to demonstrate the influence of memory, imagination and invention on the experience of place and the assessment of cultural heritage.
It is through memory that place is made, and through place that memory is conserved. The nature of the reciprocal relationship between memory and place in the conservation and continuation of place is revealed.