KMSS is the first large project Andrew Maynard has undertaken in Tasmania, Australia, the place of his birth. The Melbourne based architect has strong links to the small, yet strong architectural scene in the unique island state of Tasmania.
KMSS was Maynard’s first commercial job and it allowed him to explore issues of suburban banality that plagued his youth. Suburban storage units are currently a booming industry in Australia. It is the new room of the typical suburban house. Storage units are a product of the consumer ideology of the suburbs. After television, consumption has become this main pastime of the suburbs. Consumer items fill every part of our homes. The Storage industry is an extension of this culture.
Most storage units take up unwanted, pseudo-industrial spaces of the suburbs. Many of these spatial types were the playground of Andrew Maynard’s childhood. While studying architecture [at the University of Tasmania] Andrew was a skater and part of the subculture / counter-culture that goes with it. Spaces such as the site of KMSS are important to Maynard. These are the left over spaces, the unwanted spaces of culture and society. These are the spaces that are typically adopted by youth / subculture / counter culture / skaters / graffiti / stencil art. KMSS allowed Andrew to insert a pragmatic structure / object into a pragmatic landscape and to contribute to these leftover spaces in a cultural / spatial way rather than simply accepting that it is unwanted by mainstream society and therefore unimportant.
The tight budget forced Maynard to adopt a typical material palette, however this constraint allowed him to further explore ways of creating “architecture at no extra cost”, further subverting the consumerist paradigm. The Concrete walls to front of the structures are blank canvases awaiting sub-cultural decoration by graffiti and stencil artists. Maynard hopes that the front walls will allow artists to explore a range of socio-political graffiti art rather than the aggressive, territory marking, vandalism that results from mainstream exclusion.