An exhibition on the deconstruction of the Werner Gilchrist house opens Friday, April 6 from 6-9 p.m. in the UNM School of Architecture and Planning's Rainosek Gallery, located at 2401 Central NE. The show will be up until May 1.

The installation A sum of its parts : Deconstructing the Werner Gilchrist House features documentation of the recent deconstruction of the Werner Gilchrist House and examines the transitory nature of buildings and notions of edifice and assembly. The exhibition features the materials, photographs and artifacts accumulated during the deconstruction of the house.

The Werner Gilchrist House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was a city Historic Landmark building located in the University Heights Neighborhood slated for demolition in November 2011. Three UNM architecture graduate students, Bron Heintz, Hilary Noll and Bailey Porter, intervened in the conventional demo-to-landfill process of building demolition by carefully disassembling and salvaging as much of the building as possible, and diverted over half of the materials from the waste stream for reuse.

This exhibition is the culmination of an ongoing investigation into building deconstruction for materials salvage, historic preservation and an exploration of the relationship between material and assembly. A building is more than the sum of its parts. The show explores the questions what residuum of the whole can be discerned in the fragments? (Does a house have a soul?) What becomes of the parts when the building is no more? Do they retain something of the whole?

Deconstruction and material reuse is gaining momentum in the international building industry, as explained in the Design for Reuse Primer by Public Architecture, the Lifecycle Building Challenge and the Deconstruction Institute. Estimates indicate that approximately 80-90 percent of waste generated from building demolition could be recyclable or reusable, but is not (Public Architecture).

For more information about the exhibition contact Hilary Noll or call 505-720-0030.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu