Heritage assets is the term used by the NSW heritage council for sites deemed of historical importance. It is a title that suggests the potential for transformation of cultural significance into economic value. The recent trend of city-stocktaking attempts to convert quality of life into numerically logged and stabilised formats for comparison and competition. However, it is perhaps the global post war preservation movement that already demonstrated an example of the economic argumentation for qualitative aspects of cultural and social significance; in short the monetization of history.
Against this backdrop, the heritage assets studio posed the problem of ‘adaptive reuse’ for the White Bay power station, an industrial relic slated for development as public amenity. Students transformed this site into a mixed-use film studio and industrial museum. The two programs, one based on the generic canvas of the backdrop, the other requiring a highly specific close range framing and viewing, were shaped by an extensive cataloguing of preservation terminology and potential formal strategies.