02 February 2016

"Ghastly facadism" decried

Excerpts and a couple photos from an interesting post in Spitalfields Life:
"As if I were being poked repeatedly in the eye with a blunt stick, I cannot avoid becoming increasingly aware of a painfully cynical trend in London architecture which threatens to turn the city into the backlot of an abandoned movie studio..."

I don't know the backstory, but the implication is that local building codes require developers of new properties to retain or install a facade comparable to that of the historic building being replaced.  I'll let the blogger offer the final statement:
A kind of authenticity’ is British Land’s oxymoronical attempt to sell this approach in their Norton Folgate publicity, as if there were fifty-seven varieties of authenticity, when ‘authentic’ is not a relative term – something is either authentic or it is phoney.
Perhaps some reader of TYWKIWDBI can fill us in with some background.


  1. Now that you mention it, I saw this in Berlin last year. The old building's remaining facade was further covered in glass seemingly to protect it.

  2. parts of washington dc, near the mall, are like that - old fronts with skyscrapers blossoming behind them.


  3. The buildings, in this case perhaps the facades, are 'listed', meaning that you cannot demolish them (nor, in serious cases, alter them). Developers buy the land, but they don't want to renovate the buildings because it's far cheaper to build new with internet, intranet, telecoms, modern heating, than it is to instal those things in a nineteenth century building to make it attractive to businesses.

    Blame the planning officials who allowed the developers to get away with this nasty-ass shit.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...