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Is facadism good or bad?

  • Good - It is an important method to evolve our Urban environment

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Bad - It is the developer getting away with destroying our heritage

    Votes: 9 39.1%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Facadism (just retaining the buildings facade) is it good or bad? This building is on Baker Street, did we save the building or is this just a token gesture to our built heritage:

 

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I think facadism is great, I don't care much about the inside of a building since I'm hardly ever going to go inside :tongue2:
 

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Against ID Cards
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NothingBetterToDo said:
I think its bad....i would much rather the interiors of older buildings to be restored along with the Facade.

However, if its a choice of Facadism or Demolition, Facadism is obviously the lesser of two evils.
I pretty much agree. Overall good but if the interior can be kept as well; even better.
 

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What did the entire building look like, was it bombed during the war/a post war rebuild of a shell anyway. Maybe the bit kept was the only original part left of a pre war building. What is planned to go in it's place.

It all depends on what is going in it's place and whether it is going to fit in.

Is/was this the Abbey National Building.
 

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Rock Lord
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NothingBetterToDo said:
I think its bad....i would much rather the interiors of older buildings to be restored along with the Facade.

However, if its a choice of Facadism or Demolition, Facadism is obviously the lesser of two evils.
I totally agree.

It's the lesser of two evils.

In a way though it can be a good idea if you want to convert a building Grand Design style.

I don't know if anyone watched a programme on BBC two on restoring old buildings there were two gay blokes who have brought Biddulph Old Hall in Biddulph (near Stoke) which was an old ruin and are doing a great job restoring it. Now they are specialist architects who restore old buildings but put new interiors in them. With that in mind, I would much rather see old things brought to a modern use then demolished or left to crumble.
 

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Looks like they are going to rebuild the rest of the facade around a new development behind. These old buildings do have a lot of character, but are terrible inside for modern use. I am all for this as long as a really ornate interior hasnt been destroyed in the process.

some info on this one
 

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With a lot of old buldings the interiors are unsuitable for todays needs- A lof of older buildings are a rabbit warren of tiny corridors & small rooms. Keep the grand facades, lobbys & stairs etc- which quite a few redevelopments actually do & build modern interiors. I would much rather have a modern building with a grand victorian facade rather than a demolishd victorian buildng & a bland modern replacement or very bad modern copy of a victorian building.
 

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I used to live right behind that building on Baker Street, in fact you can see my old apartment in the picture. Yes is was the old Abbey National building, built in the 1930s. This project was less about facadism though, the only part of the building they kept was the tower, the rest was faced in red brick but all that has gone now. It will be replaced by a pretty standard residential building, nothing special really.



With facadism I agree with most people, it's definately the lesser of two evils, Ive noticed it's been done quite a lot over the past few years; a couple of those grand building on Regents Street, Condor House (next to St. Pauls) and a Neo-Classical building in Finsbury Circus are just a few examples that come to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah a lesser of two evils but a slightly cheap way out for developers? I feel that there is something cynical about facadism, isnt a building more than its outer coat? Sure knock a few walls through to make larger rooms, make new doorways or arches to improve connectivity but the whole scale demolition like that one above with just the tower sat there is quite a sad sight!

Yeah regents street is having a lot of of this done to it as is the City. Most of the time the backs of these early 20th Century buildings are pretty grim so these developments do have a benefit if only a short-term aesthetic one but surely its worth saving a bit more then the front layer? i personally prefer the idea of dramatic extensions or rebuilding say just the back part
 

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Better To Do Nothing
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The problem i have with facadism is that you are destroying the history of the building....yes the outer shell remains, but buildings are more than just an outer shell. Would St Pauls benefit from some minimalist whitewash and abit of Feng Shui on the interior, whilst leaving the exterior untouched?????

Any city can construct buildings with an old fashioned outer facade and a modern interior........Look at Las Vegas with its various homages to cities around the world. What makes the UK different is that our buildings have the Exterior, Interior and History to go with them.

Facadism just turns our cities into fake, theme park cities.............they look the part...but scratch the surface and its just sawdust and plasterboard.........no substance :):););)
 

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I agree with Facade'ism, when it is worth keeping as shown below.

This was effectively a bombed out shell, so no interior left to restore, the upper two floor's and roof of this "French Chateau" style building were removed by Hitler and Sons. The inside is an exclusive shopping mall which is irregular compared to the floor height's, so the windows are tinted. The rear portion, (or front half depending on your view point), has been done in a modern style.

Craftmanship and materials as seen in the old Facade will never be replaced once lost, whereas the new section can be built relatively cheaply, with similar examples seen in many modern city centre building's

This building/site had remained derelict and soot coloured for many years

Pictures courtesy of Liverpool Forummers.

Blabbernsmoke


Doug Roberts

Doug Roberts


Liverpolitan
 

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as i rule of thumb, the main thing i like is the re-use of buildings in a city. there is nothing more frustrating for me than seeing some of these great older buildings standing dissused. it is often the reason they are empty is that the floor size/style/strength make them uneconomic to use again in their current state....and so as a result, i agree with the general concensus, it is the lesser of 2 evils....it would be a crime to totally demolish these buildings!

heres orion phase 4 in birmingham

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
perhaps there should be a minimum depth of facade that has to be kept? Say for example 10 metres so the building evolves into the new section rather than being completely cut off
 

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Paranoid
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If it's necessary to keep a building viable then surely it's better to keep a facade than just have a building than would be pretty to look at but of no use.
 

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I put bad because all though we look at individual buildings and go well at least they save the facarde.. it sets an underlying trend that means developers can get away will only saving the facade as normal practice.
 

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And of course you could say it's bad because it kow-towing to the past, saying that we'll never better the Victorians, Edwardians whatever and have to hide our modern better buildings behind theirs.

Like what they thought in the 50/60.

And in fact the Victorians thought it about the previous buildings too... There use to be a saying no matter how ugly a building give it 40 years and everyone will love it and want it saving, that came from the over egged Victorian fairy cake stuff, as everyone with taste prefered the simpler more eligant Georgian style.

Now 40 years from Moderism/Brutalism, it's not happening is it?
 

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Second Citizen
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I might incur the wrath of many here, but the Victorians, as wonderful as they were, built their buildings because a) they were show-offs "we've got loads of money so we'll make our buildings ornate" (fine by me - I lvoe them :) ) and b) thought they had reached the pinnacle of development so thought their buildings would not be improved upon.

Markets have since changed and modern buildings are made to have more flexibility (if you want to change your office around, simply rip out partitioning instead of knocking walls out) and they are more energy efficient.

And the big reassuring thing when you see a shit modern building next to a classy Victorian one? The modern one has a life expectancy of 50-70 years so will get knocked down (and hopefull replaced with a more thoughtful one) but the Victorian one is listed :)
 
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