Anna Makarova is an interior and spatial designer with a strong interest in the potential of adaptive reuse and solutions improving human wellbeing. She believes that the great power of design lies in its ability to tell stories in a spatial context, turning it into an interactive journey capable of inspiring, educating and fostering a sense of connection. Anna is fascinated with site-specific design solutions that amplify the storytelling potential of buildings in a sustainable way.
Anna’s relationship with historical buildings goes back to her childhood in Russia, a country that has lost a lot of its cultural heritage through negligence, politics and even malice. To deepen her understanding of the complexity of the historical and cultural fabric, she chose to study History at the London School of Economics. To Anna, history is inherently linked with storytelling, and she is eager to explore the surrounding world, looking for stories yet untold and ways to tell them. In her projects, she engages with historic and derelict buildings, developing critical design concepts and exploring ways of embedding history into the design language without resorting to pastiche.
Anna Makarova is eager to question the existing reality, guided by the problem seeking approach to explore the sustainable ways of creating positive change. Ultimately, Anna wants to be someone who makes a difference: be it for a disused building, a fragmented community or simply a single person in need of some courage.
In my (A)mend project I focused on amending a dish that I made in one of my pottery classes. The outcome became a play on perfection / imperfection and destruction / creation by heat.
perfect / imperfect
Something that was intended to be perfect - i.e. made on the wheel - was complemented by a wax addition moulded by hand, rather than perfectly created with a mould. The intended-to-be-perfect dish is contrasted by the new addition, turning it into an afternoon serving dish - an epitome of perfection when it comes to traditional tableware.
destruction / creation by heat
The dish was ruined when it was placed in the kiln, it cracked under the heat, i.e. destroyed. At the same time, it was (a)mended with a wax addition, where the wax was heated up and then moulded by hand.
The wall that I chose as my main observation focus holds in itself inherent tension. It used to be the main focal point of the great hall and the house, mainly because of the ornate Jacobean staircase.
The staircase, made of dark wood, gave the wall an impression of solidity, permanence and heaviness. After years of decay, the staircase is gone, and the solid, previously impermeable wall is now porous, with various apertures framing the visual pathways outside, overlooking what used to be the servants’ quarters.
The intention behind this model was to test an architectural language while attempting to incorporate the notions of porosity, openness, transparency and a play on the inside/outside. The wooden frame with glass increases the transparency while enhancing the potential of viewpoints and apertures.
LOST HOUSE intends to contribute to the discourse on adaptive reuse by showcasing the potential of reprogramming existing buildings. The program is centred around the journey through the landscape that culminates on the hill leading to what used to be the main wall of Nettleham Hall. From there the site is divided into two parts: ARCHIVE and SALVAGE GALLERY. Both spaces allow visitors to experience the history of demolition, leading to a greater understanding of its scope and implications, as well as potential scenarios for the future of the existing building stock.
During my BA degree in History, I wrote a final dissertation on the subject of the destruction of country estates in England. Approximately 2000 stately homes vanished during the 20th century, with the rate of destruction reaching 1 house every five days in the 1950s.
In a way, Nettleham Hall is fortunate to come back from oblivion, gaining a new program, a new life. So many houses were not as lucky, and I would like to preserve parts of them in a temporary archive, contributing to the discourse on demolition, preservation and reuse.
The salvaged pieces would be temporarily exhibited in indoor gallery spaces before making their way into the landscape to continue their decay, serving as a reminder of history and potential being lost.
All the information about the houses and the pieces would be preserved in a public archive.
The ARCHIVE building is divided into four different learning spaces centred around the notions of openness, accessibility of information and the sharing of knowledge.
PUBLIC ARCHIVE provides background information on the pieces in the SALVAGE GALLERY, as well as the context of demolition in the UK. Here visitors can learn in an open-ended way about what they saw, at the same time broadening their understanding of architecture, adaptive reuse and its potential.
MEZZANINE READING SPACE serves as a natural continuation of the PUBLIC ARCHIVE, providing a quiet, secluded space to read and take in the atmosphere of the space.
RESEARCH ARCHIVE is a specialised library providing in-depth access to information on demolished buildings and their layouts via an archive of historical documents, including plans, photographs and drawings.
AUDITORIUM is a flexible learning space, serving both as a breakout area for the PUBLIC ARCHIVE and as a learning space of its own. It is equipped to be used as a lecture hall and a space for screening films and documentaries, allowing visitors to engage with all types of learning in an open, non-intimidating way.
Showcasing Decay Within the Ruined Internal Walls of Nettleham Hall
SALVAGE GALLERY is an exhibition space for pieces taken from decaying houses and buildings across the UK. This space allows visitors to be in close contact with something that is usually inaccessible; something that in day-to-day metropolitan life seems to be a problem somewhere far away. SALVAGE GALLERY brings visitors to face the full extent of the problem of the disused building stock, hopefully encouraging them to explore the potential avenues of change through architecture and adaptive reuse.