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I think the fire has changed so many peoples opinions on architecture.
This is definitely true. At least in the 60s when they were tearing down the old buildings, it was expected that the replacements would be impressive, of good quality. Now that we know that turned out not to be the case, what remaining stock we have becomes much more precious. And the fire has rammed that home. For whatever reasons, architects today cannot or are completely incapable of producing a quality design. Perhaps it is because it is to easy to open a computer package, insert a box and a pile of identical square windows. Perhaps its because most of the time, they don't live in the city they are designing for, and have no consideration or care of the long lasting impact of the design.
 

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This is definitely true. At least in the 60s when they were tearing down the old buildings, it was expected that the replacements would be impressive, of good quality.
I'm not sure this is true. I think after WWII thinking in the UK was that "old=bad". USA was rich, modern & successful; so we should mimic them in terms of buildings, roads & town planning etc.

The proposals for Glasgow for example were terrifying!
 

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I bet these buildings looked pure class in the 1970s renders....



Spot a trend anyone....



anyone?.... anyone?

Developers learnt nothing. Architects and planners being told what to do *make it last 40 years, then we'll tear it down*
 

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^^ To be fair the designs for the Sixth are much more considered and high quality (at least on paper) than any of the post-war crap marked for demo on Royal Av. Slightly related, I've actually noticed a general trend both locally and across Europe over the last decade where architects are reverting back to stone and brick finishes and interesting detailing, as opposed to the walls of glass and steel and plastic cladding of the 90's and noughties.
 

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That news of them losing that rather defining corner detailing entirely is crazy,
What detailing? The orange plastic sign?

The balustrade is being retained, it's just not clear in that image plank posted and is obscured behind the tree.

 

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^^ To be fair the designs for the Sixth are much more considered and high quality (at least on paper) than any of the post-war crap marked for demo on Royal Av. Slightly related, I've actually noticed a general trend both locally and across Europe over the last decade where architects are reverting back to stone and brick finishes and interesting detailing, as opposed to the walls of glass and steel and plastic cladding of the 90's and noughties.
The Sixth is a bit generic but the detailing and quality they've opting for is far superior to some of the recent stuff in Belfast. Proof is in the pudding so to speak but they have placed a strong emphasis on quality and the architect has a record of very high quality modern buildings.

People also slating the Building Blocks proposal on North Street, yeah it also follows the brick trend but it's actually rather nice in terms of detailing and if you look at the angeled brickwork it's a nice nod to the Art Deco styling of the BoI Building. I initially didn't like it as I thought it was another copy and paste but looking at it in more detail it's rather nice.
 

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I think it's down to general profiles, lack of ambition and variance - we celebrate old buildings, but Primark is very different to the other remaining bastions of ye olde Belfast. It wasn't the same box shape "but with simply excellent detailing!". It had a clock face on it. It mixed styles. It tried something that probably caused tutting in those halcyon days.

It also is the clear commercial switcheroo of buying land, putting in glorious render, get planning permission, selling on for profit with planning permission, new cut down render and boom, another office with To Let signs for 2 years - that whole process is starting to grate when we get generic buildings, and clearly the City council, planners, and business people are profiting off a finite resource that isn't being driven by public need but by greed and starry eyed powerpoint proposals.

I'm against the Sixth for the enormous loss of the impromptu venue space, as well as sensible potential for it to have been a new student union. But taking that away, and we're in a world where they never turned it into a music venue, on the design alone I don't like that basic basic design. It's like the North St one too, which I don't like for the same reason. It's so desperately uninspiring (a phrase Kevin McCloud would be proud of).

Thanks for pointing out the signage Bug - and yes if that's where it is retained, as a nice nod to its 'heritage' (yes an orange sign with 60's font can be 'heritage' - eye of the beholder and all that) then cool - a painless little touch that would raise a smile.

PS the one bit I like* about the Sixth, which is actually an element that is achieved with much better results and impact on the Merchant Square proposal, are those set back windows under the vaulting flying buttress-esque pillars in the top left. Reminds me of Moorish/Middle Eastern architecture for some reason a little. I mean, it's still a box, but there's something interesting about playing with the space like that. It's that difficult-to-put-your-finger-on element I also liked on the front of the current Queens student union and those circular holes in the awning.

*to be fair, it's the only 'flair' in an otherwise box that could be a student accommodation honestly, you wouldn't be able to tell.
 

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:(

I mean, I was very happy to hear the residential plans from yourself the other day, but I'm not totally naive to think it'll be smooth sailing turning around the super-tanker that is Belfast development. But this adds to apprehension and frustration that while the end goal of student accom and offices seems to make developers plough on like ravenous robots, there's a laissez-faire attitude to everything else.

Meanwhile anyone noticed that this presents a likely endpoint for Primark in the next 4 months? Shored up with scaffolding and people able to walk nearby.

oh and ultimate irony of that pic is the now prescient 'TBC' banner :lol:
 

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Seeing "partial demolition" I'm sure will be cause for some clenching in the Ulster Heritage offices. :lol:

So... what was this about? It was listed, and they were getting permissions for changing things? Like mostly inside? If they're restoring the chimneys you'd imagine they wouldn't need permission to do that. Goes against the ethos of the whole thing surely if they can change things - "Listed means Listed" :lol:
 

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So... what was this about? It was listed, and they were getting permissions for changing things? Like mostly inside? If they're restoring the chimneys you'd imagine they wouldn't need permission to do that. Goes against the ethos of the whole thing surely if they can change things - "Listed means Listed" :lol:
Listed building consent is required in addition to the wider planning application. You can't do anything, internally or externally, to a listed building without LBC. That includes restoring original features, still requires consent as the requirements are stricter and more specialised.


hypnotoad24 said:
Looks like work had stalled on Garfield buildings as listed building consent was required- it is now approved. Hopefully work starts up again.

I do recall LBC being awarded to the previous developer so it may have lapsed unknown to the new owner, thus necessitating the new LBC application.

This is very good news indeed! Great to hear they can now progress with the restoration and extension of Garfield Buildings. Also good to hear the delays are the result of something like this rather than something more dire as theorised previously.
 

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"I love the smell of red tape in the morning"
How very... British to need permission to restore features that are protected due to listing!

Yes, a little info and minds are put at ease. It's not possible to discern between false negatives like this and the [true?!] negatives otherwise. You've got PR campaigns for projects that are never destined to come to fruition, and meanwhile others are progressing quietly on.
 
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