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Old September 15th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #1
rottersclub
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Medieval Far Gosford Street - Coventry - Proposed Masterplan

Here you go, Stig!

This thread was created for stig1982 who promises to put some stuff here soon...

Last edited by rottersclub; September 16th, 2008 at 01:17 AM.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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...
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Last edited by Dr Pepper; September 17th, 2008 at 12:40 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #3
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A Walk Down the Street

Thought I would post these photos for reference.

This a the view of the top of the street where it meets Sky Blue Way.




The street has now been made one way and the pavements have been replaced and widened.




Looking down the east side of the street.






This industrial estate is due for redevelopment. I believe a market is planned here. At one time there was a cinema on this site.




More shops.




Next to the car park, this old pub is now a restaurant.




Just a phone shop away is the closed Hand and Heart pub....




...next to which we have some timber framed buildings undergoing a rather slow renovation. Goes to show how old this street is.




A view over that fence. This land is due to be redeveloped.




Further along, more shops including the well used Costcutter.






This old school hall is now nightclub called Scholars. This single story building with the green door used to a tiny pub.




Over the road, next to the curry house we have a Rileys Pool club. This building used to another cinema.




At the bottom of the hill we have old Callcot car factory, now part of a halls of residence. Some of the land beyond will be developed by Coventry University.

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Old September 17th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #4
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Back up the Other Side

The north side. Starting with what sits opposite the pool hall.




Where the street becomes one way. Here are some of the better looked after timber framed buildings.




The Engine Engine Pub and some not so well looked after timber framed buildings.




Restoration best happen soon or there won't be much left to save.




This area used to be the approach to All Saints Church. It was closed in the 60's and demolished to make way for Sky Blue way.




It used to look like this.




Further up some post war additions.




Time may have run out for this pair.




Some recent additions. Both the 3 and 2 story buildings with the white woodwork are new.




Another pub. This one is actually used as such.




One of the gems of the street. Six of the citys few remaining top shops. Pity they are is such disrepair.




More top shops?




More shops including a rather private one...




At the top we have Lloyds Bank. This used to be the front building of the Humber Motor Works.




Behind all this we have Sky Blue Way leading down to the ring road.

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Last edited by Dr Pepper; September 17th, 2008 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Wrong photo uploaded.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #5
rottersclub
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Thanks for those Dr Pepper - I love the old building next to the hand & heart.

Far Gosford Street is one of the city's medieval suburbs, and was probably there before the city wall was built. It's typical of ribbon development that used to happen alongside medieval roads. There were other similar suburbs outside most of the city's major gates - not much remains apart from thoe fragments in Spon End.

There's definitely some potential here - medieval & 19th century topshops? The place is a real mess though. I used to live in Stoke, and I'm amazed at how bad the street has got.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 02:33 AM   #6
van heckler
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Lots of interesting buildings there. The Lloyds Bank is a fine looking building and it's a real shame they got rid of that church.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by van heckler View Post
Lots of interesting buildings there. The Lloyds Bank is a fine looking building and it's a real shame they got rid of that church.
Doh! I did the same last weekend when it was sunny, and took some photographs of the key buildings and development sites.

Will do some substantive posting soon (promise) once my camera-PC lead quits playing up!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #8
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The white 'corner' building occupied by Bytes PCs is the site where they propose to demolish the building and install a timber framed building, more in keeping with the buildings along that particular stretch.

Personally I think that's a great idea. The existing building has no architectural merit and IMHO a modern glass/steel building would just look wrong.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
Thanks for those Dr Pepper - I love the old building next to the hand & heart.

Far Gosford Street is one of the city's medieval suburbs, and was probably there before the city wall was built. It's typical of ribbon development that used to happen alongside medieval roads. There were other similar suburbs outside most of the city's major gates - not much remains apart from thoe fragments in Spon End.

There's definitely some potential here - medieval & 19th century topshops? The place is a real mess though. I used to live in Stoke, and I'm amazed at how bad the street has got.
The top shops are all to be restored and there will be grants and support made available to current occupiers to replace the modern shop fronts with more traditional ones in keeping with a Conservation Area. If they don't play ball, the plan is to force their hand with CPOs.

You will notice a gap between the Hand & Heart and the timber framed buildings next to them. As I understand it, the building that was demolished was not listed (hence why it was relatively easy to demolish) although the plan is to replace it with something in keeping with the street line and roof level. I believe the reason for its demolition was to enable the timber framed building to be exposed so the wooden beams can be restored. Also, probably to enable better access to the rear of the site, which is where they plan the residential development. I don't suppose that particular element will transpire for some time!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by van heckler View Post
Lots of interesting buildings there. The Lloyds Bank is a fine looking building and it's a real shame they got rid of that church.
It was only demolished in the 1970s! God know's why - the Sky Blue Way road development didn't take place until the late 80s/early 90s.

I assume it must have been lack of use. Nowadays, if it was still standing, it'd probably be converted into other uses. Derby has a scheme where an old church was converted into part retail and part restaurant use. Swindon has a church converted into a nightclub. In Coventry, I believe there was a plan to convert St Peter's Church in Hillfields into accommodation. Not sure if that has happened yet.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #11
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The plans for the residential development behind the Hand & Heart were submitted years ago. The Hand & Heart itself has been closed for about 6 years, I am sure the residential plans it were seeking permission to have it demolished.

While I think a lot of the stuff on Gosford St is rubbish, if the Council decide to serve CPOs on all those shops who don't comply, what will happen to the empty units? Will the Council pay to have the shop fronts replaced or wait for new tenants to do it?

I don't share your views on steel glass - there are great examples all over the country of steel and glass fitting with different period architecture.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #12
rottersclub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stig1982 View Post
The white 'corner' building occupied by Bytes PCs is the site where they propose to demolish the building and install a timber framed building, more in keeping with the buildings along that particular stretch.

Personally I think that's a great idea. The existing building has no architectural merit and IMHO a modern glass/steel building would just look wrong.
I can't think of anything lacking architectural merit more than a mock tudor timber frame building.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #13
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[quote=Fernando Partridge;25438470]The plans for the residential development behind the Hand & Heart were submitted years ago. The Hand & Heart itself has been closed for about 6 years, I am sure the residential plans it were seeking permission to have it demolished.
[quote]

The plans were on the planning portal, and involved squeezing houses in the land behind the H&H. The H&H was going to be converted into student flats, I believe - which is a shame, as the place used to be a decent music venue years back.

Quote:
While I think a lot of the stuff on Gosford St is rubbish, if the Council decide to serve CPOs on all those shops who don't comply, what will happen to the empty units? Will the Council pay to have the shop fronts replaced or wait for new tenants to do it?
I doubt there's much demand for retail in FGS, given the empty new unit and the other empty stores, some of which have been empty since the 1980s - I certainly think it's a waste of public money to install a lot of new frames and frontages for what amounts to cheap fast food joints, sex shops, and second hand stores. In the same way I thought it was a waste of money to lay new paving on Spon Street when the street doesn't really have the businesses that deserve it.

I think this is all a bit of a pipe dream, to be honest. Whilst I'd love it to become a "camden town" style cosmopolitan place, I doubt very much it's the right place for it. The Butts has more chance of being like that. Although personally I don't think Coventry is really the sort of town where that stuff will happen.

The best you'd get on FGS is a cheap supermarket, some social housing and offices for the Cyrenians and more branches of Subway.

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I don't share your views on steel glass - there are great examples all over the country of steel and glass fitting with different period architecture.
I agree. The problem is that people always use the crap done in the 1960s as an example - that stuff was done cheaply and often very quickly.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
I can't think of anything lacking architectural merit more than a mock tudor timber frame building.
You ought to try opening your mind a bit more then!

Good, solid buildings built from traditional materials like stone, brick and wood are generally popular.

Whilst there are some good examples of steel and glass structures, unless real thought is put into them (and time and cost aren't the primary concerns), then the results are generally disappointing. Evidence? IKEA. Even the Bullring, arguably.

I'm amazed that some of you seem to think Far Gosford Street is suitable for modern contemporary architecture. Aren't there enough modern developments going on elsewhere in the city? FGS is a Conservation Area - it should not be a playground for "modern" architects to **** up. Look at what SkyDome and IKEA have done to Spon Street. When IKEA was first proposed it was hailed as ultra modern and contemporary with lots of glass and steel - what an absolute joke. It looks like a pre-packed [excuse the pun] plastic box, with some glass thrown in as a gesture.

Coventry's had too much 'modern' architecture over the years. Personally I'm getting sick of the city being used as a guinea pig for overseas architects who don't seem to consider whether their designs fit in with the overall fabric of the city. I've always made it clear that I support quality new builds of contemporary design provided they impress. So far, they haven't done.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stig1982 View Post
You ought to try opening your mind a bit more then!
I think you're the one who needs to open your mind...

Quote:
Good, solid buildings built from traditional materials like stone, brick and wood are generally popular.
There's a huge difference between using "traditional" materials and building something to look like a style of architecture from 700 years ago - except it's not really the same, is it? Medieval timber frames houses had cowshit as walls. They were bricked up later on.

Most of the precinct is built in stone and brick, and Coventry Cathedral is actually a concrete building. It's just clad in sandstone. Medieval church builders would not have been able to build something like that using "traditional materials" and methods.

Make up your mind what you mean though - do you mean building made from brick, stone and wood or buildings built to look like they're "old"?

Quote:
Whilst there are some good examples of steel and glass structures, unless real thought is put into them (and time and cost aren't the primary concerns), then the results are generally disappointing. Evidence? IKEA. Even the Bullring, arguably.

I'm amazed that some of you seem to think Far Gosford Street is suitable for modern contemporary architecture. Aren't there enough modern developments going on elsewhere in the city? FGS is a Conservation Area - it should not be a playground for "modern" architects to **** up. Look at what SkyDome and IKEA have done to Spon Street. When IKEA was first proposed it was hailed as ultra modern and contemporary with lots of glass and steel - what an absolute joke. It looks like a pre-packed [excuse the pun] plastic box, with some glass thrown in as a gesture.
Cost is a major concern! If a client has got a budget then the design is going to be constained by that budget. The Wavy flats you always mention were cancelled because it would have cost too much to build! They were replaced with something a little less ostenatious and unremarkable - it's not the architect's fault if the budget is slashed. One of my best friends is an architect (He's currently in charge of a 42 storey skyscraper in London) and he's always having to compromise due to costs being reduced.

FGS consists of medieval buildings, Victorian Top Shops and Edwardian terraces and some modern infill. These are styles that are separated by decades and centuries - it's hardly a homogenous street, is it?

But you're trying to make straw men arguments - no one has suggested that FGS be filled with "modern" architecture, just merely stating that it is possible for modern and old stuff to work together. And in the case of FGS no one is going to spend a fortune on buildings down there if they're going to end up empty of inhabited by Caspian Pizza.

I don't recall anyone thinking IKEA was cutting edge or ultra modern. The original design was slated and they tweaked it to add a bit of glass and some slashes of yellow.

Quote:
Coventry's had too much 'modern' architecture over the years. Personally I'm getting sick of the city being used as a guinea pig for overseas architects who don't seem to consider whether their designs fit in with the overall fabric of the city. I've always made it clear that I support quality new builds of contemporary design provided they impress. So far, they haven't done.
Coventry's had very little "modern" (i.e. cutting edge) architecture - even in the 1960s when the Cathedral was going up it was considered old hat, and the precinct stuff was based on work from the early 20th century. Most of what was done was done on the cheap due to material costs (Britain was broke.)

What "overseas architects"? It was all rebuilt by Brits - Donald Gibson, Arthur Ling, Basil Spence, and others - and more recent developments have all been by British firms - Phoenix Initiative, Belgrade Plaza, Friargate are all British firms. In fact most of the rebuilding was by the city architect.

I'm afraid Coventry just isn't important or big enough to get the sort of schemes that are going to impress or make the front page of Architect's Weekly or whatever their magazine is called - this place won't have the amount of money poured into it that they get in London or other larger European cities.

Last edited by rottersclub; September 18th, 2008 at 01:37 AM.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 01:38 AM   #16
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Anyway, Stig, I thought you were gonna post some stuff from the planning portal?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #17
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i sometimes struggle to understand the mentality of some people.

we all agree that FGS is a mess. the idea that money should not be spent because the place is full of downmarket shops and fast food outlets doesn't make sense to me. the reason that it is full of these places is precisely because it is such a mess - and unless the improvements are made that will never change.

build it and they will come? maybe, but it has to be worth it surely? i don't recall ever hearing that large amounts of taxpayers money will be ploughed into this, and even if it was i wouldn't object in the slightest.

it seems to me that some regard FGS as a lost cause, and i find this deeply disheartening, especially in a forum such as this. we might as well just give up. from what i can tell, the proposals seem well thought out and realistic; and the people behind them have a pretty damn good track record in this city in my opinion.

to complain about coventry and what its lacking, but then to pour scorn on proposals to improve matters is pretty pointless.

FGS needs a coherent development plan - to not do that and to just allow random, piecemeal developments that do not follow a defined set of parameters would be silly and would not improve matters in the slightest.

i'm fully behind these proposals, everything i've been told of them seems to make sense. i very much hope they happen.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by skybluecity View Post
i sometimes struggle to understand the mentality of some people.

we all agree that FGS is a mess. the idea that money should not be spent because the place is full of downmarket shops and fast food outlets doesn't make sense to me. the reason that it is full of these places is precisely because it is such a mess - and unless the improvements are made that will never change.
No, the reason it's full of these places is because that's what the people who live in that area want.

Quote:
build it and they will come? maybe, but it has to be worth it surely? i don't recall ever hearing that large amounts of taxpayers money will be ploughed into this, and even if it was i wouldn't object in the slightest.
Stig has already said the council will have grants to redo all the frontages - that's taxpayer's money.

Quote:
it seems to me that some regard FGS as a lost cause, and i find this deeply disheartening, especially in a forum such as this. we might as well just give up. from what i can tell, the proposals seem well thought out and realistic; and the people behind them have a pretty damn good track record in this city in my opinion.
I don't think it's a "lost cause", but remember the street being done up on at least one occasion in the past. Throwing money at places just isn't the answer if it's going to slide back to where it was beforehand.

Quote:
to complain about coventry and what its lacking, but then to pour scorn on proposals to improve matters is pretty pointless.
I haven't poured scorn on the proposals, as I haven't seen them. I am just of the opinion that the area needs far more than a bit of tarting up in order for it to work.

Quote:
FGS needs a coherent development plan - to not do that and to just allow random, piecemeal developments that do not follow a defined set of parameters would be silly and would not improve matters in the slightest.
The area needs a change of population if they're going to turn it into a "Camden Town" type of place. It doesn't matter how much we want the area to become like this, or how much the council want it or how much this Ian Harrabin chap wants it - if there's no demand for it, it won't happen. We'll just end up with some junk food stores with nice frontages.

Quote:
i'm fully behind these proposals, everything i've been told of them seems to make sense. i very much hope they happen.
I've not seen them yet.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #19
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Which single storey building was a small pub? I don't remember one there... (I'm red/green colour blind as well!)

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Old September 18th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #20
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The way I read it was that it was the small bit between the main Scholars building and the shop. It must have been a very small pub, that bit currently makes up the toilet block and some storage I think.
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