Peter Chapman, aka Memphis Slim, grew up in a low-income neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. The collaborative project fuses a desire to preserve an important historical landmark, while also giving back to the community by establishing a center for creativity. Using the original wooden frame of the house, brg3s expanded the center to include a glass front façade that filters natural daylight into the center. The original porch, which was famed for impromptu jam sessions with Slim, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes and the like, was enlarged to create a stage-like setting, encouraging students to continue this music playing tradition outdoors.
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The exterior was also covered with a cedar rain screen, which relates to the clapboards of the homes in the neighborhood, while also providing a function. Much of the original reclaimed wood remains inside, including exposed beams on the ceilings. The first floor was carved out to create a glassy lobby, as well as a meeting area that can double as a classroom, and an open staircase leads upstairs to the recording studio and computer lab.
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The Memphis SLIM Collaboratory has incited social change through architecture, giving the lower income community not only a legacy, but a place to follow in Slim’s inspired footsteps.
Via Arch Daily