This month’s point8 session will be different. We are given an unique opportunity to tour and discuss The NC Music Factory (NCMF) a part of the new “Uptown Village” project – a new and ongoing project at the edge of downtown Charlotte. The session will be led by Noah Lazes, (from the ARK Group, the developers) and Adi Mistri of Mistri Hardaway Architects.
NCMF, as many of you might know, is a phased development that intends to convert a large complex of unused (fiber) mill buildings into a multi-use Arts/Cultural district, with a focus on music and entertainment. Now there is more than enough cheerleading of development projects in all the local media – enough to make one indifferent and maybe even a bit suspicious about all of them. Then why are we doing such a session?
Many reasons actually. A project of this scale may be approached at various levels, and could raise a lot of interesting issues. For example:-Usually many “Developments” mean that an area is being cleaned of a lot of unwanted and unfashionable elements (which often include artists’ communities), are gentrified, and sanitized of anything free, spontaneous and uncontrolled. Whereas this one attempts to bank on the involvement of the cultural and alternative communities for its success. Which also leads to interesting questions, like how can a ‘cultural destination’ be made from scratch? Can culture be (artificially) created? -Architecturally there is something fascinating about the transformation of the once grand and often mysterious industrial spaces into spaces of day-to-day use and entertainment. And the Uptown Village project is at a stage right now where one can see areas in all the various phases of that metamorphosis. What is the best architectural vocabulary to use when attempting such a translation? How can one make all these disparate elements and functions to add up into a great experience? -Also as a group of individuals involved in various creative endeavors, it might be helpful for us, as well as for the city, if we took a more active interest in these developments that could directly or indirectly affect us. In the process we might also be able to bring in the element of objective critique which is often lacking in most discussions around here. It is time to be more involved!
There is so much to think & talk about, so much to see. Be there!
h4. *Image courtesy: ARK Group