Salvaging the past

old-farm-barn-in-Bredbo-NSW-renovation-DIY-future-art-gallery-art-space

The hunt for a sustainable new home for The Lost & Found Office has turned up a few historic treasures in need of a little love. None more so than this blue beauty, an ancient shed in the tiny village of Bredbo, New South Wales. The council files are murky as to its original provenance, but we do know that at some point the former barn became an approved dwelling, now somewhat dilapidated with its decrepit kitchen, leaky bathroom and resident bats.

Over the years, the harsh alpine climate, party-going weekenders and local termites have all taken their toll. Countless builders have suggested that we should knock it down and start again. But we can’t countenance such disregard for the past – like many old buildings, the site is both full of character and part of the town’s history; on sojourns to the Bredbo Inn and local markets we have heard numerous stories and snippets of folklore that relate to the colourful past of this place.

Inside, a soaring gable ceiling reveals the bare bones of this humble structure – huge wooden trusses, suspended high above, that give it structural strength and enduring functionality. We have seen nothing quite like it in the other places we’ve visited and so we can’t bear to swing the wrecker’s ball.

The spirit of our creative practice is all about salvage, collaboration and transformation – thus we embark on a labour of love to save the shed and transform it into a fabulous live-in studio and art space. We are aided by our local experts – tradesmen who know the place inside out, neighbours always willing to share stories and knowledge, and the wise and witty folk regularly gathered down at the Bredbo Inn to speculate, plot and propose new and outrageous ideas.

Over the coming weeks we’ll share some of the details of this renovation, as we refresh our creative space. In the meantime you can marvel at the shed in its original state, here. Note: this site also contains a bunch of ads, so be sure just to click through the ‘next photo’ link located immediately below the main image.

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