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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Renovation
  4. United States
  5. brg3s Architects
  6. 2014
  7. Memphis Slim Collaboratory / brg3s Architects

Memphis Slim Collaboratory / brg3s Architects

  • 01:00 - 5 June, 2014
Memphis Slim Collaboratory / brg3s Architects
Memphis Slim Collaboratory / brg3s Architects, © Ken West
© Ken West

© Ken West © Ken West © Ken West © Ken West +18

© Ken West
© Ken West

From the architect. The historic home of famed blues musician Memphis Slim has been reconstructed into a music collaboratory where local artists can work together. Located in a blighted section of the city, the collaboratory has reactivated the surrounding area, and houses rehearsal space, a recording studio, workshops, career training, and a computer lab.

© Ken West
© Ken West

Project Statement:

Peter Chapman, the famed blues singer and pianist better known as Memphis Slim, drew attention for his punishing performing schedule and unorthodox lifestyle. Extreme poverty characterized much of his life, but also created a personality which was uncommonly resourceful. His life embodied the paradox of his music: hard times and rough experiences were transformed into an upbeat and lively musical energy, the essence of triumph.

First Floor Plan
First Floor Plan

Memphis Slim’s boyhood home is typical of many in the low-income neighborhood in which it is located. The original home reflected the character of the individuals in the community: strength, survival against overwhelming odds, and resourcefulness. The collaboratory embraces those qualities, building a space that will inspire future musicians to achieve despite potential setbacks, while simultaneously engaging the community.

The collaboratory design takes elements of the original house and celebrates them.

© Ken West
© Ken West

Carving out sections of the re-built exterior façade reveals the reclaimed wood framing of the structure. The fenestration creates long views through the structure to the interior spaces, opening up to the community. Enlarging the original home’s porch- where Memphis Slim entertained soul legends Rufus Thomas and Isaac Hayes – forms an exterior stage for the collaboratory. The cedar rain screen relates to the original materiality of the home’s lapboard siding, and the use of vernacular materials throughout the project celebrates the neighborhood's character.

© Ken West
© Ken West
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Memphis Slim Collaboratory / brg3s Architects" 05 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/512492/memphis-slim-collaboratory-brg3s-architects/>
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