Take a look at www.HaltTheHolburne.com
The developers are moving in on Bath (England), and using completely
inappropriate architecture. There are wars on several fronts. They need to
be stopped, before the destroy the city.
One such front is The Holburne Museum, a classical building, in a classical
landscape, and they're going to bolt a glass and ceramic cube on the back of
it. The Holburne was the original hotel building for Sydney Gardens, the
ONLY 18th Century pleasure garden still in use as a public park. Dropping
the uncompromisingly modern cube between it and the gardens destroys that
It is landscape vandalism.
Help fight this destruction of Bath.
Basically, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood (near George Washington
University and a Metro stop ), an entire block of townhouses was
demolished except, to satisfy some preservationists, their facades
alone, which became a part of a mid rise strip concrete and strip glass
boring office building. The result was interesting, garnered a positive
review in the Washington Post by Benjamin Forgey, if I remember
correctly, but is unsettling and irritating ,an example of a curse
instead of a neighborhood context because it became the excuse for all
manner of architectural salvage as building material, without it being
even amusing like the sort of shop with the Cadillac through the glass
storefront or some other visual joke.. Today, we have a variation on
the preservation of single facades with "wedgie" architecture that
imposed a glass atrium entrance in part or the whole of a recovered,
sometimes boring re adapted facade that is a part of some new pedestrian
office building once a pedestrian office building of the past. .
Here's a writeup on the project:
You see, the original facade just didn't provide enough A office lease
space Hmm, can't believe it but someone has put it into Wikipedia.:
It occurs to me that one of the elements that simply does not work is
that all the windows end up looking like paper cutouts instead of
operable windows of the period.
It doesn't help that the office buidling itself looks hideous (from what I
can see of that tiny picture). There is absolutely no communication between
the two, and just using the facades just makes it worse IMO. Looks like a
Universal Studios backlot.
Yes, it is absolutely awful, the back building, and the front facades
were rendered into something flat and lifeless from something formerly
rhythmic and textural. THe building in back, like a lot of strip
architecture of that period, looks like someone filled in a parking
garage with glass
We get quite a bit of that here. I call it 'the facade of preservation'. The
argument is that a facade is better than nothing at all, and it's hard to
argue with that when the facades are really good, but it denies the
completeness of the architectural of the original buildings: their scale,
their typology, etc.
Ouch. I didn't know you got whales that far south. Those little ones in
front look to be preserved in 3d, not just the facades....
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