A Discussion About Sustainable Historic Design

Thursday, June 9, 2011 @Headlands Center for the Arts
6:30PM Dinner + Presentation:
$25 General / $20 Headlands Members

8PM Presentation only: FREE Admission

At the conclusion of Open to the Elements, a week-long participatory workshop at Headlands, Rotterdam-based design collaborative Observatorium and the workshop participants will share examples of their working processes, research, and redesign proposals for the possible future rehabilitation and re-purposing of a long neglected historic building: Fort Barry’s early twentieth century army gymnasium. Consideration will be given to the gymnasium’s historical context; current and potential use by artists, visitors, and wildlife; and questions around public land-use and sustainable energy sources.


Workshop Overview

Join us for Open to the Elements, an intensive research and design residency presented by Headlands Center for the Arts for those who are and would like to be architects, philosophers, environmental designers, artists, and ecologists.

Headlands’ urban wilderness, situated in a military base turned National Park, poses everyday challenges of balancing human needs with natural and cultural resources.

Led by Observatorium—a Rotterdam-based artist collaborative dedicated to public art and place making—Open to the Elements is a multidisciplinary platform designed to envision the possible future rehabilitation and re-purposing of an historic building: Fort Barry’s  early twentieth century army gymnasium.

Two dozen workshop participants will engage directly in a collaborative creative
process in the contexts of shared meals, workshop meetings, studio practice, and guest speaker lectures on specialized topics, all situated in Headlands’ world renowned artist residency program.

Open to the Elements takes place from June 3 through June 9, culminating in a public symposium and dinner on Thursday, June 9.  You’re invited to participate and contribute your visions to the future of this unique site.

“The Observatorium’s design, research, and architecture workshop is an exciting multi-disciplinary colloquium where individuals can both advance and retreat by living and working on the edge of the Marin Coastal wilderness at the Golden Gate, and by finding an optimum in the interdependencies of nature, preservation and art. Together, we will think about restoration, ecology, sustainability, history, preservation, design, and the gymnasium’s connection to Headlands’ other historic buildings. The gymnasium project also looks forward to the future of the Headlands as a world-class destination for the arts, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012.”
–Andre Dekker, Observatorium

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services.


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Gym’s History

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