The façade of Police Headquarters Block.

Exhibition Venue: Duplex Studio, Police Headquarters Block
Police Headquarters Block was completed in 1919. In its original conception, this place was a male-dominated world designed by and for men.

As a utilitarian building for a male-only police force at that time, this building has a grand neoclassical façade and an overall structural clarity that conveys solidity and masculine power to the outside world. It marked the maintenance of law and order as a male domain and the social construction of the public sphere as a male sphere.

LG1 Plan

LG2 Plan

Architectural plans and archival materials can provide unique insights into how the architecture was intended for use at specific points in history.

These plans, based on the original drawings from 1916, show the functions of the sub-basement and basement levels of the Police Headquarters Block. The original drawings, now in The National Archives of the UK, bear a signature attributed to Leslie Owen Ross, an assistant engineer in the Architectural Office of the Public Works Department.

Heritage as Transformative Space
The function and meaning of architecture, as both inhabited and embodied spaces, change over time.

Transforming the original areas of the gymnasium, stores, and armoury into present-day heritage interpretive spaces, this exhibition opens up new spaces for re-discovery of histories with alternative stories, gender dialogues and self-reflection.

Gender & space

Reinforce or Challenge Dominant Norms?

Gender is a social construction that shapes the roles and relations of men and women in many societies and cultures. Gender roles and expectations are learned, produced, and reproduced from people’s interactions. They can also change over time. Forms of gender inequality, such as domination and subordination, are not biologically predetermined and can be changed.

Space is not a rigid or neutral container where events occur. Space is gendered in a myriad of ways through enactments of perceptions and practices to manifest societal power relations and cultural values. The gendering of space has physical, cultural, metaphorical, and emotional dimensions, which impact our everyday experiences and sense of identity.