SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are a few nice 60s/70s buildings but, most have been refurbed to make them nice. Why was design during that period so terrible, when it was alright in the 20s and 30s and 40s. Some 90s buildings were horrible, and i think we are just about recovering afte 40-50 years of rubbish architecture. There have been minimal projects throught those years that actually look nice.

What do you think?
 

·
Proud European
.
Joined
·
6,473 Posts
I think advances in construction methods, led architects to explore new ideas - curtain walling, prefabrication etc.

I also think there was a post war back-lash against all things old - some utopian ideal of the future as painted by 1950's Hollywood.

Unfortunately, where the Victorians excelled in the quality of detail, the "presence of a building" and the need to respect the people using it, 1960's and '70's architects were so pumped up with their own self importance that they saw fit to build poor quality, ill-thought out rubbish, and then blame the people who found them unfit for purpose.

Driven by developers demanding cheap and instant solutions, weak and piss poor planning and the race to be the next big name architect, they were allowed to sweep away the hard fought establishment of great cities, in return for fast buck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,704 Posts
I'd be inclined to say that as a general trend most buildings thrown up 80s and 90s of of poorer design and standard. Take these office buildings as typical examples

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en...WXYJoAXOq9NmvXkHlRTV4g&cbp=12,312.03,,0,-2.73

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en...WXYJoAXOq9NmvXkHlRTV4g&cbp=12,312.03,,0,-2.73




Also 60's and 70's housing is often flooded with daylight light as they has large windows and as a trend they also have more larger gardens, more parking, solid internal walls, etc



Whereas 80s and 90s housing stock tends to have smaller windows, smaller gardens, insufficient parking, internal stud walls, etc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,269 Posts
There's a large element of fashion to it.

They didn't knock down all those Victorian buildings in the 1960s because they thought they looked nice, after all. What's that architectural saying about hating what your father built and liking what your grandfather built?
 

·
ENTJ 8w9
Joined
·
11,993 Posts
Whereas 80s and 90s housing stock tends to have smaller windows, smaller gardens, insufficient parking, internal stud walls, etc
'00's houses are even worse!

A "single bedroom" in a lot of new builds allows you to put a singe bed in, but they are so small you can't open the doors all the way. "Double bedrooms" allow you to put a double bed in, but no wardrobes etc. :bash:

Studded walls, wow they are making houses on the cheap. Visited someone's new build apartment, they have studded walls between apartments. They wanted to hang their 50 inch plasma, it was impossible because the walls are so thin and not strong enough.

Some old council houses from the 60's-70's are solid and well built.

As for 60-70's design. I wouldn't say they were horrible. Look at some photos of when they were new, for example some shopping precincts, council estates. They actually looked quite nice. However, some haven't been kept well, and some materials (like wood, asbestos(!)) are poor and do not look good after a long period of time.

I'd much rather look for a 70's house instead of a new build. They were engineered, had architects design each house, rooms are good sizes, you can park 3-4 cars and have a front and back garden. These days, developers just put planning in for "50 homes" with no designs submitted etc. Planning process I think lets us down — We need to bring back laws that state how big a double bedroom should be, allow for car parking, a 1 "double room" and a 1 "single room" house should not be sold as a "family house", and I hate seeing identical houses being built in Wales, West Midlands, Essex etc. 00's are not even fully functional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,704 Posts
Yes, too many developers have been too greedy and it's been seen as acceptable.

My brother bought a new build apartment in Kent that's now 3 years old. It's on a 'swanky' dickens heath style village called Kings Hill. He lives on his own, it cost £250k and has the cheapest kitchen & bathroom fittings I have seen and it's now falling to bits.

Reminds me of this article in the Post

http://www.birminghampost.net/news/...artments-not-fit-for-homeless-65233-24697289/
 

·
Concerto Grosso
Joined
·
7,871 Posts
A lot of the post-war redevelopment was done when Britain was still quite heavily socialist - the people behind much of the redevelopment believed they were doing things for the good of society and didn't care much for aesthetics or even the general opinion of people. Donald Gibson, the vandal who destroyed most of what survived in Coventry, had a vision of a utopian city in which citizens wanted museums and places of education and would follow his badly laid out plan and not walk across the grass. They were giving people what they thought the people wanted, and nothing dates worse than a theoretical vision of the future.

They didn't want museums and colleges - they wanted leisure, and they walked across the grass at broadgate much to his fury and the council put a fence around it. He didn't care much for architecture and look of buildings, not their layout.

If you read a book like "The Rape of Britain" it's clear that these people were all over the place, destroying those old cities and towns to fill them with their utopian vision of precincts, high rise blocks & flyovers and ring roads & windswept bus stations and car parks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A lot of the post-war redevelopment was done when Britain was still quite heavily socialist - the people behind much of the redevelopment believed they were doing things for the good of society and didn't care much for aesthetics or even the general opinion of people. Donald Gibson, the vandal who destroyed most of what survived in Coventry, had a vision of a utopian city in which citizens wanted museums and places of education and would follow his badly laid out plan and not walk across the grass. They were giving people what they thought the people wanted, and nothing dates worse than a theoretical vision of the future.

They didn't want museums and colleges - they wanted leisure, and they walked across the grass at broadgate much to his fury and the council put a fence around it. He didn't care much for architecture and look of buildings, not their layout.

If you read a book like "The Rape of Britain" it's clear that these people were all over the place, destroying those old cities and towns to fill them with their utopian vision of precincts, high rise blocks & flyovers and ring roads & windswept bus stations and car parks.
I think you have pretty much summed it up there my frend,

cheers
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
Well first I have to say that we are the first period in history where we have had the time and money to preserve buildings for buildings sake.

In the last century hundreds of wonderful buildings were knocked down without a moments thought.

After the first world war a lot of the people who used to work in large country estates as servants and gardeners did not want to do that any more (end of cheap labour), and often the owners did not have the money either (increased death duties etc).

Hundreds of country houses were knocked down, and for many of them there was probably no protest.

It was only the formation of organizations like the National Trust (and others) that made people think twice before knocking down an old building.

Remember also that buildings in cities were also FILTHY up till the 1950s (coal fires, factories etc) so many people did not always appreciate how nice some buildings were, they just saw them as black, dirty structures.

So they looked old, and represented "the past".

In the 1950s people had a "Dan Dare" view of the future, so it was a case of sweeping away of the old and bringing in the new.

As an example, go to this web page, and have a look at the NINTH picture down, of the old New Street station, with the new rotunda in the background. The title is "New St Station from Navigation Street - 31/10/64"

http://www.photobydjnorton.com/NewStreetStation.html

Look how old and dirty and dull the buildings look on the left, and there is the Rotunda standing there looking like something from outer space.

As someone said, people often dislike what is say 50 years old, and love what is 100 years old.

When Chamberlain cleared away many buidlings in Birmingham to build New Street etc he demolished many Tudor buildings. At the time that probably seemed OK, can you imagine if anyone tried to do that now.

If that had not been done parts of the centre of Birmingham could still look like Stratford upon Avon !
.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
One other thing. I forgot to add, that after the second world war Britain was broke.

So this had an impact on what we can AFFORD to do.

As an example, because the railways in France, Holland, Germany etc had been wrecked by bombing, they were rebuilt, and electrified at the same time.

These countires had trains running on overhead electric cables, but we could not afford to do ours.

So the decision in the UK was made to stay with dirty steam trains, and gradually bring in Diesel. But Diesel trains were not really ready and we had all sorts of problems, so we continued to use steam trains long after the rest of Europe had stopped using them.

Having many of our cities bombed to pieces also gave us a chance to "start again" with an almost clean slate.

But in the past most cities had "grown naturally" but here planners had the chance to model huge areas of a city, and in many cases (as we can now see) they got it wrong.

Of course they were also having to cope with the impact of the motor car, and nobody had ever had to design a city with the impact of the motor car in mind.

We will probably look back in 50 years and say, for example, that the building of so many motorways, and being a slave to the car, was a bad idea.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top