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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #1761
El_Greco
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No amount of cleaning would turn Trellick Tower or RHG into attractive buildings, though. Beauty and aesthetics are dirty and offensive words to modernists, which is why their buildings are universally hated.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:46 PM   #1762
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Quote:
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Beauty and aesthetics are dirty and offensive words to modernists, which is why their buildings are universally hated.
This is such a ridiculous statement. Are you an architect? Do you work with them?
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #1763
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No its not, "form follows function" is what modernism is all about, while decoration is "superfluous". Indeed in the beautiful architecture of Stockholm Le Corbusier saw "frightening chaos and saddening monotony” and wanted to "purge" it. He had the same plans for Paris. While he did not succeed in this, his followers did - destroying cities up and down the World and erecting "a calm and powerful architecture".

Just to illustrate the point -

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=#post85756277

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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #1764
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Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
As this thread shows architects and planners done far, far more damage than the bombs. Sadly we learnt nothing and continue to let the same people ruin the cities still further...

A complete refusal to accept that its the architecture itself thats at fault and not upkeep or people using it.

Yeah, which is why there were numerous protests against destruction of city and town centres. And which is why heritage movement finally took-off.

I think most would rather have a beautiful city. Ugliness is nothing to be proud of.

Of course they didnt care! This is exemplified by Goldfingers comments regarding problems of the Trellick Tower - “I built skyscrapers for people to live in there and now they messed them up—disgusting”. Just like you hes not blaming architecture, building or whatever, hes blaming people that he put in the damn thing! Just like today those that dislike glass-boxes are simply pushed aside with comments "oh they dont know anything".
Agree will all of the above.

I'm reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand at the moment, and it provides a fascinating insight into some of the thinking of the time (it was published in 1943). Much of the critique of the state of the architectural style of when the book is set (mid 1920s) revolves around the idea of an architect making a statement with the buildings they design. So much so, that it even states that the architect shouldn't be concerned with what the client thinks of the building!

It also ridicules the idea that the architect is a servant to the clients wishes and the historical styles that have been refined over 100s of years. Those that design buildings which fit in with the surroundings are seen as cowardly!

Much of what it attacks and is critical of in the book would probably be supported in most circles today, which shows that there has been a turnaround in opinion on modernism. No longer seen as the magic bullet to many of man's ills, many of the ugly brutalist post-war buildings are being torn down and rightfully consigned to history!

I don't believe in giving most of modernism and the post-war styles 'their due' as I think that it was a poor era of architectural design. In the same way we don't celebrate all eras of history equally, we shouldn't do the same with the architecture!

Personally, if I was given the brief of planning Britain's cities I would start by de-listing most of the post-war buildings, and where possible rebuild some of the wonderful old buildings shown in this thread and others. I think that Euston station would be one of the first on my list! I despise that building! Much of today's architecture leaves a lot to be desired; it's dull, uninspiring and quite often completely out of step with its surroundings. I see no reason why new buildings cannot be constructed outside of historical city centers so that irreplaceable pre-20th century buildings are not demolished!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #1765
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Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
No amount of cleaning would turn Trellick Tower or RHG into attractive buildings, though. Beauty and aesthetics are dirty and offensive words to modernists, which is why their buildings are universally hated.
I love them

Beautiful to me, anyway... so your statement about them being 'universally hated' is already incorrect. You make it sound like Goldfinger decided to make the Trellick Tower as ugly as possible... how so is it iconic, a defining landmark of that area of London, and desirable building to live in?

Please for the love of god just concede you're entitled to your own perceptions of beauty and they might differ from those of others and leave it at that.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #1766
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Just to be clear, to a non-Londoner...we are talking about this thing aren't we?



Ummm....errr...

I sort of see the errm...attraction, there's err...well, it's got quite a nice...err...the shape really...I mean.....the way the light bounces off the dirty concrete and umm...I.......

but hey, we all have our own tastes I know; some people have a fetish for being pee'd on, I won't judge those people, no matter perverted I think their views are, so I will not condemn others for liking this...thing.


































But....seriously?
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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:48 PM   #1767
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Yes, I like RHG and think it should be protected

There's room for all styles of architecture in London, it's one of our strengths
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Old April 28th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #1768
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Beautiful to me, anyway... so your statement about them being 'universally hated' is already incorrect.
I think its quite obvious that my statement should not have been taken way too literally as there will always be those who like what most dislike.

Quote:
You make it sound like Goldfinger decided to make the Trellick Tower as ugly as possible... how so is it iconic, a defining landmark of that area of London, and desirable building to live in?
I sometimes think that he and many of his kind indeed set off to create as ugly buildings as possible, why else would they look the way they do? The very idea of Modernism was to break away with tradition and be deliberetly bold. Modernists did exactly that and in the process created some of the Worlds ugliest buildings.

As for it being desirable I think it has less to do with its design and more with the hype and the views. Even so no matter how many yuppies want to get a flat there it will never make it an attractive building. However, yes, I agree, it and RHG should be preserved, if only, because I know that if they were demolished their replacements would, most likely, be infinitely worse.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 09:09 AM   #1769
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Of course they were. Anyone with a bit of taste could see that stuff like Robin Hood Gardens or Trellick Tower were nightmares. Indeed it is for exactly this reason that modernists struggled to get commissions in the pre-war World.



As this thread shows architects and planners done far, far more damage than the bombs. Sadly we learnt nothing and continue to let the same people ruin the cities still further...



A complete refusal to accept that its the architecture itself thats at fault and not upkeep or people using it.



Yeah, which is why there were numerous protests against destruction of city and town centres. And which is why heritage movement finally took-off.



I think most would rather have a beautiful city. Ugliness is nothing to be proud of.



Of course they didnt care! This is exemplified by Goldfingers comments regarding problems of the Trellick Tower - “I built skyscrapers for people to live in there and now they messed them up—disgusting”. Just like you hes not blaming architecture, building or whatever, hes blaming people that he put in the damn thing! Just like today those that dislike glass-boxes are simply pushed aside with comments "oh they dont know anything".
not really what gets built by planners,architects and developers tends to reflect the taste,fashion and needs of the period its built in.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #1770
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Found this; a very straightforward list of the major problems that can affect Victorian and Edwardian era buildings

Helps to illustrate why it has been sadly uneconomical to restore many older structures. We are getting better at restoration but in the case of many of the less remarkable buildings in the city to restore them is enormously costly and complicated

It's also worth bearing in mind that huge swathes of Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian London were thrown up by developers as cheaply and as quickly as possible, intended to make quick money rather than to last

http://www.1stassociated.co.uk/build...-edwardian.pdf

(need to scroll down a bit)
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Old April 29th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #1771
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The Guardian has posted a remarkable series of silent film sequences, showing London and other cities in the immediate aftermath of WW2. Sadly there is no commentary, and I'd be surprised if any of the locations can be identified now, but seeing these scenes clearly illustrates why modernism has embraced so enthusiastically after the war: it was new, it was bright, it was modern, but most of all, it was the solution to a MASSIVE problem - hundreds of thousands of homes had been destroyed, and many more rendered uninhabitable. No one was talking about restoring Victorian terraces, it was out with the old, and in with the new.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/vide...sh-pathe-video
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Old April 29th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #1772
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Originally Posted by Light Parade View Post
The Guardian has posted a remarkable series of silent film sequences, showing London and other cities in the immediate aftermath of WW2. Sadly there is no commentary, and I'd be surprised if any of the locations can be identified now, but seeing these scenes clearly illustrates why modernism has embraced so enthusiastically after the war: it was new, it was bright, it was modern, but most of all, it was the solution to a MASSIVE problem - hundreds of thousands of homes had been destroyed, and many more rendered uninhabitable. No one was talking about restoring Victorian terraces, it was out with the old, and in with the new.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/vide...sh-pathe-video
Great find, thanks.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #1773
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not really what gets built by planners,architects and developers tends to reflect the taste,fashion and needs of the period its built in.
I dont think thats necessarily true, for instance I believe people would rather have something traditional looking instead of the small-windowed and plasticy houses that are springing up all over the country. But thats what gets built and theres such a shortage of housing that people are prepared to snap up anything regardless of its looks.

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it was new, it was bright, it was modern, but most of all, it was the solution to a MASSIVE problem
Dont forget it was cheap too. I agree that in many cases there was no time to wait and reconstruct lost treasures. After all in Germany reconstructions such as of Hildesheim or Dresden began relatively recently. I always seen post-war building programmes as a temporary solution. However sadly they became permanent and theres no denying that architects and planners ruined the cities and towns up and down the country with their weird ideas of massive motorways, concrete shopping centres and council estates.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #1774
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Yes, it was cheap, and it was unproven, and thanks to system building it could be rolled out at speed.

Oh, and don't forget the impact of the Festival of Britain on the public's thirst for the modern - remember the comparison between Gremlin Grange, which supported the then-current argument that Metroland houses were shoddily built tat:



- with the Festival's showcase, the Lansbury Estate. (Incidentally, in the video in my previous post, I wonder if the shopping precinct is the Lansbury?)



If the need for new housing hadn't been so urgent, then perhaps a higher quality of modernism might have prevailed.

This is not an argument for the more inhuman excesses (RHG) that followed, just a reminder that the past is another country!
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Old April 29th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #1775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Light Parade View Post
The Guardian has posted a remarkable series of silent film sequences, showing London and other cities in the immediate aftermath of WW2. Sadly there is no commentary, and I'd be surprised if any of the locations can be identified now, but seeing these scenes clearly illustrates why modernism has embraced so enthusiastically after the war: it was new, it was bright, it was modern, but most of all, it was the solution to a MASSIVE problem - hundreds of thousands of homes had been destroyed, and many more rendered uninhabitable. No one was talking about restoring Victorian terraces, it was out with the old, and in with the new.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/vide...sh-pathe-video
4'15" I'm pretty sure is Gloucester Avenue in Primrose Hill... There's shots looking across Camden Engine shed (now carriage sidings) with the Camden Roundhouse in the distance, I assume from Dumpton Place.

All the subsequent railway footage appears to be the GWR main line in the Westbourne Park area
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Old April 29th, 2012, 08:02 PM   #1776
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Robin Hood Gardens has better internal living space than any of the new builds proposed for the site ever will. It's not just about the external appearance of these structures but how people live in them that matters as well.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 11:48 PM   #1777
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Oh I totally agree, however the external aesthetics do not make for an attractive city. We need to consider the interior as well though, todays builds are far too small regardless of style.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #1778
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I'm certainly not arguing for today's new-build, most of which is poky, dark and inadequate. The internal spaces of system-built housing in the 60s were often better than today, though they were often appallingly designed/constructed/maintained, and built without any reference to their surroundings, and were therefore blind to the broader social needs of their occupants. RHG is in a dreadful, isolated, CO-choked location.

I'm not the springiest of spring chickens, but I expect to be around for long enough to see today's new-build being progressively demolished; meanwhile, Vic'n'Ed housing will continue to be renovated. We still haven't cracked the transference of those 100+ year-old qualities into modern mass housing, despite 60 years of trial and error.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #1779
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Yes, I like RHG and think it should be protected

There's room for all styles of architecture in London, it's one of our strengths
You must concede that it is an acquired or minority taste though? most people IMO wouldn't look at RHG and have a natural and genuine affinity to it.

The problem with architecture as opposed to art or music is that very specialist tastes cannot be enjoyed in private. By their very public nature, people who dislike certain buildings have no choice but be confonted by them.

I don't have a specific problem with RBH on it's own. I don't like it but so what? What I do have a problem with is that the city is covered with a disproportionately high amount of this type of thing given its general level of un-popularity and therfore it's demolition is merely redressing the balance a little.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:06 AM   #1780
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Talking of the Festival of Britain, there's a nice model of the Lansbury Shopping Precinct here: http://www.retronaut.co/2012/05/maps...-britain-1951/.

It all went wrong once a human scale was abandoned. That doesn't necessarily mean low-rise - it means relating to the neighbourhood and environment around a building, and ensuring that communities could flourish.
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