Exp Architects inc. duo Melissa Wakefield and Alana O’Halloran have strong connections to the Heritage Buildings of Saint John’s Uptown. Both have involvement with the city’s preservation and renewal of Saint John’s protected districts, and together they’re bringing their love of Saint John’s old brick buildings to THIRD SHIFT.
For their project, Silent Figures, they will be transmitting messages in Morse code via the brick walls of our built heritage Uptown – giving a voice to the silent figures that are the backdrop of our modern lives in Saint John. The selected buildings will represent a vignette of our architectural past, present, and future; important heritage properties, the recently rehabilitated, and those waiting to be revitalized.
The team recognizes that Morse code has its roots in the Maritimes as a means of transmitting stories across railway and naval channels, and they hope to encourage the public to look at their build environment through a different lens, in considering “what is this building telling me?”. The projects outcome “is not to have the message un-coded … but rather to create an understanding that buildings speak to us without realizing it, and perhaps we should listen more attentively.”