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The palazzo warehouses were never 'modern' but instead a reinterpretation of ancient venetian gothic using modern building methods and materials. Who's to say we can't do the same today where the site is right... e.g. to complete a gap site in a largely historic area of the city center.

Why are most of the new styles we create just a bit shit future architect? The answer is modern architecture is simply too commercially driven to create consistent quality
Warehouses are not commercially driven? I'm confused!
 

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Modern architecture is a mix of architects trying to make a "statement" which leads to buildings which just aren't habitable because they belong in a gallery, not a city - and developers who cost-cut on materiels, leading to the building looking grubby and falling apart within a few years.

In my view, we should be going back to natural materiels: brick, stone, which weathers well with the UK's climate and creates a more solid and permanent looking structure.
 

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The palazzo warehouses were never 'modern' but instead a reinterpretation of ancient venetian gothic using modern building methods and materials. Who's to say we can't do the same today where the site is right... e.g. to complete a gap site in a largely historic area of the city center.

Why are most of the new styles we create just a bit shit future architect? The answer is modern architecture is simply too commercially driven to create consistent quality
A modern (i.e of the time they were built) re interpretation using modern materials. = Modern

Of course we could build a facsimile today but why would you want to? I strongly believe architecture should tell the story of the time and people who built it. An imitation venetian warehouse built in 2014 as a gap filler not only de values the genuine article, but it shows a total lack of ambition!

The Victorian merchants who built those warehouses where making a statement. They were saying "We are the new Venetians, look how sophisticated we are, look how much money we have!."

Whereas a 2014 rebuild would say to me "I am resting on past glories because my era has produced nothing of worth".

As for the problems with modern architecture. It is worth noting that, as Twizzer pointed out - warehouses are commercial architecture!

I personally think that modern architecture can be beautiful but I can see why people may not share this view. For a start, most of the modern architecture we see around us is crap. Mainly because even a cheap building costs millions of pounds and most developers are obsessed with making their buildings as bland and boring as possible to give them with widest appeal to potential tenants/ buyers.

However, the main issue is that people like the adornments and frilly bits of old buildings. They give a building character that many modern buildings lack.

I think that architects today can learn a lot from our predecessors. Some people think we should just pretend modernism never happened and return to historical styles. I would rather see a the law which says 'ornament is a crime' revoked and architects given the freedom to experiment with ornament and form.
 

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Modern architecture is a mix of architects trying to make a "statement" which leads to buildings which just aren't habitable because they belong in a gallery, not a city - and developers who cost-cut on materiels, leading to the building looking grubby and falling apart within a few years.

In my view, we should be going back to natural materiels: brick, stone, which weathers well with the UK's climate and creates a more solid and permanent looking structure.
Sorry, you are (partially) wrong.

Architecture has always been about making a statement. Tell me that Manchester Town Hall, St Pauls Cathedral or the Liver Building are not statement pieces? All three a dripping in sculpture worthy of being in a gallery and filed with mosaics, statues and murals!

Even the average Victorian semi is far from boring.

I will agree with you on materials however. I share your view that brick (which can't be more natural than concrete can it?), stone and terracotta look good and create a feeling of permanence. Something solid is bound to look and feel better than a clip on rainscreen which only exists to be cheap.

This is why I think the assembly building will be one of the best new builds in Manchester.
 

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Sorry, you are (partially) wrong.

Architecture has always been about making a statement. Tell me that Manchester Town Hall, St Pauls Cathedral or the Liver Building are not statement pieces? All three a dripping in sculpture worthy of being in a gallery and filed with mosaics, statues and murals!
It's a different kind of statement though. Those buildings you listed were 100% making a statement - they wanted all the statues and frilly bits and columns which made their building look grand, but they were also willing to cough up the cash to make it high quality. Nowadays, architects want to make a statement - as ever, nothing wrong with that as you say, but are then held back by developers who just want to make money. What you end up with is a really shit mix of statement and capitalism, which crumbles and falls apart within 20 years.


Even the average Victorian semi is far from boring.
True. Interesting that a lot of Barratt Home-style developments appear to (try to) copy the architecture of housing in a by-gone age. Example.


This is why I think the assembly building will be one of the best new builds in Manchester.
I agree here too, but the reason I think the Assembly Building will be one of the best new builds in Manchester is because it follows a turn-of-the-century method of designing buildings. The planning application explicitly says they based the building on palazzo warehouse designs in Chicago and Manchester. You have the big columns, there's an aspect of frilly design in the way the bricks are patterned and, crucially of course, it's made out of solid materials - stone at the base (just like a Victorian/Edwardian building) and then brick all the way up.
 

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Buildings such as the Liver Building or St Pauls Cathedral were built during eras when Britain was much richer than it is now.

It's unrealistic to expect statement buildings like this to be built in the UK (except for perhaps central London which hangs onto some of it's wealth).

The best present day comparison to those UK statement buildings of old would be Burj Khalifa or Shanghai Tower.
 

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A modern (i.e of the time they were built) re interpretation using modern materials. = Modern

Of course we could build a facsimile today but why would you want to? I strongly believe architecture should tell the story of the time and people who built it. An imitation venetian warehouse built in 2014 as a gap filler not only de values the genuine article, but it shows a total lack of ambition!

The Victorian merchants who built those warehouses where making a statement. They were saying "We are the new Venetians, look how sophisticated we are, look how much money we have!."

Whereas a 2014 rebuild would say to me "I am resting on past glories because my era has produced nothing of worth".

As for the problems with modern architecture. It is worth noting that, as Twizzer pointed out - warehouses are commercial architecture!

I personally think that modern architecture can be beautiful but I can see why people may not share this view. For a start, most of the modern architecture we see around us is crap. Mainly because even a cheap building costs millions of pounds and most developers are obsessed with making their buildings as bland and boring as possible to give them with widest appeal to potential tenants/ buyers.

However, the main issue is that people like the adornments and frilly bits of old buildings. They give a building character that many modern buildings lack.

I think that architects today can learn a lot from our predecessors. Some people think we should just pretend modernism never happened and return to historical styles. I would rather see a the law which says 'ornament is a crime' revoked and architects given the freedom to experiment with ornament and form.
But that is precisely why we are all agreed that the Assembly Building is best proposal Manchester has seen in years. Exactly because it takes the best of historic design and reinterprets it using modern methods (just like the warehouses did). The modern architecture you defend doesn't work because it doesn't take design influences from anywhere - it is 'nothing' architecture in this sense. Just functional plastic boxes with no roots or soul.

It is all about square footage, 'value engineering', rain screen, and avoiding disruptions during the planning application and profiteering at the expense of the fabric and appearance of the city - you say 'architecture should tell the story of the time and people who built it' but the story of today's architecture is a sad one indeed - so why tell it?

More Assembly buildings please!!

The warehouses were commercial buildings but they were built by their owners who WANTED a beautiful building to represent their success. The commercial developers of today want no such thing, their building dont represent them in the long-term, they just want to flog it off to a wide a range of clients as possible and move on to the next random clad plastic noddy box.

Modern architects will never be given the 'freedom' to pursue anything of quality or creativity since the industry to skewed to the advantage of the developers who hold all the purse strings. I am also in favor of progressive architecture, but not when its categorically worse than historically informed architecture.
 

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Buildings such as the Liver Building or St Pauls Cathedral were built during eras when Britain was much richer than it is now.

It's unrealistic to expect statement buildings like this to be built in the UK (except for perhaps central London which hangs onto some of it's wealth).

The best present day comparison to those UK statement buildings of old would be Burj Khalifa or Shanghai Tower.
Sorry, who exactly was richer in the 1600's than today? Certainly not the greater mass of the people. A country's wealth does not have as much as a baring on quality architecture as people like to think. Its about whether the people who live in a place CARE about the quality of the buildings which make up their world and prioritise accordingly. It appears brits care more about private developers having the freedom to pursue large profit margins than we do about the appearence of our cities - thats a choice.

Italy and Spain have consistenly been much 'poorer' than the UK for hundreds of years and yet their towns and cities are a thousand times more attractive and livable than your average brit town.

We dont need 'statement' buildings we need consistently quality buildings that substantively improve the areas they are built in instead of making those areas worse
 

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It appears brits care more about private developers having the freedom to pursue large profit margins than we do about the appearence of our cities - thats a choice.

Italy and Spain have consistenly been much 'poorer' than the UK for hundreds of years and yet their towns and cities are a thousand times more attractive and livable than your average brit town.

We dont need 'statement' buildings we need consistently quality buildings that substantively improve the areas they are built in instead of making those areas worse
By Brits do you mean the general public? I'm pretty sure that the general British public does NOT care about private developers having the freedom to pursue large profit margins. Brits, or the general public, have no say in the matter. This us down to the free market. Where is the choice? Have you chose shit buildings? Have I? No, no one has.

Italy and Spain are just like everywhere else. Plenty of nice old buildings and the odd modern gem. But by and large most modern buildings are designed and built to the same basic principles as they are throughout the modern capitalist world. That's just the way it is.
 

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By Brits do you mean the general public? I'm pretty sure that the general British public does NOT care about private developers having the freedom to pursue large profit margins. Brits, or the general public, have no say in the matter. This us down to the free market. Where is the choice? Have you chose shit buildings? Have I? No, no one has.

Italy and Spain are just like everywhere else. Plenty of nice old buildings and the odd modern gem. But by and large most modern buildings are designed and built to the same basic principles as they are throughout the modern capitalist world. That's just the way it is.
What a nilistic and defeatist view.. Its true the brit public dont care about the way architecture works in the country. Sadly this means they dont generally take an interest in the material appearance of their cities or the reasons why the current system consistently produces awful buildings. If the majority did take an interest and did care then the authorities would be forced to tighten the regulation to reign in the worst excesses of the free market.

...as is the case in.. oh you know.. Spain and Italy for example where they have much stronger zoning laws and minimal standards for new developments so any old crap doesnt get built in the name of economic 'growth' - this is the case throughout most of continental europe
 

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It's a different kind of statement though. Those buildings you listed were 100% making a statement - they wanted all the statues and frilly bits and columns which made their building look grand, but they were also willing to cough up the cash to make it high quality. Nowadays, architects want to make a statement - as ever, nothing wrong with that as you say, but are then held back by developers who just want to make money. What you end up with is a really shit mix of statement and capitalism, which crumbles and falls apart within 20 years.
this has always been the case... and always will be. manchester town hall had waterhouse deliberately limit the amount of stone carving and sculpture precisely because he'd otherwise exceed the budget. st paul's cathedral is a seriously compromised design, compared to what wren wanted to build. architects don't want to make a statement, they have businesses to run thus waterhouse would compromise his design just as much as an architect does today.
 

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this has always been the case... and always will be. manchester town hall had waterhouse deliberately limit the amount of stone carving and sculpture precisely because he'd otherwise exceed the budget. st paul's cathedral is a seriously compromised design, compared to what wren wanted to build. architects don't want to make a statement, they have businesses to run thus waterhouse would compromise his design just as much as an architect does today.
St Pauls was compromised not through any financial / capitalist concerns but because the clergy thought the original design was too 'orthodox greek'. Waterhouse was deliberately limited with the town hall!!? where's your evidence? the things dripping in statutary! (sp?) likewise I'm pretty sure waterhouse's other project like manchester uni main building and the natural history museum are some of the least compromised buildings in history.

The fact is today the market and capitalism dictates design far more than it ever did in the past
 

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You are all forgetting that the brick (which had became mass produced with the industrial revolution) was in fact the rainscreen panel of its day, quick, cheap and mass-produced ;)
to be strictly pedantic - bricks remained hand-produced (albeit in huge quantitities, until the mid 1860s. The Hoffmann kiln was only patented in 1858, and it was only then that mass-produced industrial brickmaking was possible. All of Early Victorian Manchester - including the entirety of the railway viaduct systems, and most of the station undercrofts, are in hand-pressed brick, fired on site.
 

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You are all forgetting that the brick (which had became mass produced with the industrial revolution) was in fact the rainscreen panel of its day, quick, cheap and mass-produced ;)
to be strictly pedantic - bricks remained hand-produced (albeit in huge quantitities), until the mid 1860s. The Hoffmann kiln was only patented in 1858, and it was only then that mass-produced industrial brickmaking became economic. All of Early Victorian Manchester - including the entirety of the railway viaduct systems, and most of the station undercrofts, are in hand-pressed brick, fired on site by itinerant brickies.
 
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