scrap the listed building system

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scrap the listed building system

Postby aland » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:13 pm

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/17604.shtml

Open it up to the floor and to An Taisce.

Comments?
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Postby FIN » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:16 pm

very good article alan. i am wondering is the whole site of a listed building listed over there as well?
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Postby aland » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:22 pm

every thing FIN.....inside and out. Listing A Band C

A national importance
B regional importance
C local importance
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Postby FIN » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:43 pm

it's a right pain in the arse to be honest. if u will forgive my french( it being france week and all)
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:51 pm

Alan - great article in the herald - i look forward to the comments next week. Did you read Conti's (glasgow's top catholic holy man) support for your argument in the letters column the other day - shame the land he has sold on behalf of the diocese is to be developed into a stunningly ugly multi-storey carpark, expecially as he found time to criticise Elder and Cannon's 'not bad' residential block.

Your point is exactly right: we should be endeavouring to ensure all new build is of a high quality and adds to the immediate and wider environment as well as providing function (and overtnd subliminal joy) its users. This, rather than 'a city preserved in amber' (v.nice by the way!) any day.
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Postby aland » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:12 pm

Read it ?.................... I've got it pinned up in my bedroom. Wonder if he'd be interested in visiting Celtic Park?

Interesting letters from the heritage police already..........they are so feckin patronising and rude I find, S.I. preparing myself for the deluge.
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Postby signum » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:21 pm

Interesting question, but I fear the problem ultimately lies elsewhere, namely the irrational fear the British public and media has of truly innovative buildings and structures. Then again Britain and it´s people are typified by this "grey not gay" (haha I quite like that) attitude in all walks of life. Rather than the most radical, or even the most banal (shall we say, a direct copy of something else) and instead ends up with far too many comprimises, both in terms of form/style and arguably, function, if I may such words ;) The typical new block of flats built in the "old tenenment style" and often next to an existing tenement is telling, same height, same basic style (except in wonderful one tone british brick) with bay windows et al but, one more storey, 25% smaller windows, and little or no attention to detail.

Do I have a solution? Not really I´m afraid, apart from maybe some kind of culture shock treatment for our citizens... Look at Holland (yes we´ve heard this before) - not only do they successfully keep the old building stock in good order and clearly take pride in the old buildings, they have very little fear of inserting brave new buildings, and with such confidence which I would say breeds sensible and somehow"timeless" solutions. Stunningly new beside sunningly old works a treat in my eyes, not nicely old and nicely new :rolleyes:
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Re: scrap the listed building system

Postby PVC King » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:28 pm

Originally posted by aland
http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/17604.shtml

Open it up to the floor and to An Taisce.

Comments?


I had a feeling you'd be behind this one.

Who knows they might even list a few of yours in the future....

I agree with listing but I am equally not in favour of a blanket ban on de-listing.
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Postby aland » Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:03 am

ah.........Diaspora ol buddy that's the rub. Once it starts it gains momentum, before you know it a student is sent to some regional town or other with 300 buildings and lists 200 for the protected buildings register and the whole fuckin economy grinds to a halt.

List one of mine?.................. aye that'll be right.
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Postby PVC King » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:28 pm

I can hear the Twighlight zone theme in the background,

listing when used right is a form of legal protection, I don't know much about the Scottish system but it can be over turned here.
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Postby PVC King » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:28 pm

I can hear the Twighlight zone theme in the background,

listing when used right is a form of legal protection, I don't know much about the Scottish system but it can be over turned here.
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Postby signum » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:53 am

That´s it, I´ve just realised exactly why I don´t feel at ease with scrapping the system, why? It´s because in Britain you can knock down something old and 85% of the time some truly awful shite goes up instead - is this somehow better? I don´t think so....

Look at Princess Street, that´s a good case study for tearing down the old to build the new :rolleyes: Once Britian gets some architectural imagination, then we can scrap the system. :cool:
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Postby FIN » Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:14 pm

Originally posted by signum

Look at Princess Street, that´s a good case study for tearing down the old to build the new Once Britian gets some architectural imagination, then we can scrap the system.

where's that?
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Postby signum » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:21 pm

Originally posted by FIN

where's that?


No one knows, along with your sense of humour :rolleyes:
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Postby aland » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:23 pm

FIN's got a point signum, don't you think. I take it you mean Princes Street in Edinburgh? If you're gonna nail you colours to the mast so unequivocally you should at least get the location right

Bit sweeping though............. any old building is better than every new one?
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Postby FIN » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:30 pm

exactly. i presumed u ment princes street too but there is the whole male/female difference there.
and that statement is one hell of a thing to say. if we left every old building up just cos it's old then what the hell would our cities look like...both in ireland and britain.
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Postby FIN » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:32 pm

ooops
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Postby signum » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:21 pm

You´re right actually, I just presumed people would know I meant the one in Edinburgh, sincerest apologies.

Sweeping comment yes, but then so is the idea of scrapping the listed system altogether.

I am railing against (or attempting at least) the reality that there exists either (1) a paranoid fear of removing an old building, no matter how unfunctional it may be, or how innapropraite it is to the urban context (or even once was) and (2) if it does get removed a whole host of comprimises have to be made before the authorities let anything go up. This is I believe down to both small mindedness of edinburgh council and the planners, as well as the infallible influence of the "Daily Mail" readership, who rise to any headline such as "scandalous shiny building to go up in the place of the battered old one that no developer wants" (naturally they´re better at making headlines than I am) ;)

I don´t see the problem being the listed system as such, (though it´s open to abuse as any other is) I see it rather being inherent in the general attitude of the public and the planning authorities - how to fix this? I have no idea...
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Postby space_invader » Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:01 pm

Signum - can see where you're coming from - but sharpen the tools: the lack of a built environment which is to your standards is not due to lack of imaginative architects - surely you realise the process of construction is more complex than letting loose a 'genius' to conjure bricks and mortar? If you accept this, then you'll realise its the system, the pipeline, the delivery infrastructure - whatever you want to call it - that is preventing quality from surfacing - (hey, this is no let off for shit designers - they do indeed plague the poorly paved streets of the UK).

So.....a bold idea, such as scrapping the listing system, is ultimately a positive step towards redefining inherent systems - otherwise no one will listen. It got you on board with yer (gratefully received) comments, efter aw.

The proposal anyway, does not suggest city's should be comprised of only new buildings, all of which are shit - the suggested changes to our built environment regulations would instead have a more rigourous civilian/professional advisory board which could determine urban needs in relation to a particular development – at the same time, generally rasing expectaions and quality in regard to construction and design as well.

My only problem really, with the overall suggestion, is that it views the city almost purely as a commercial entity, the basic premise being: only keep a old banger if it is commercially useful or culturally relevant (okay, this is not strictly cash orientated - the preservation and exploration of culture within an urban contect is of course immeasurably uselful to citizens, although culture now, in 21cst Cent. UK is as commercial an industry as coal once was).

My own view of cities actually sees as very important, the dead spaces, abandoned warehouses and back alleys, completely devoid of apparent commercial or cultural gain. The places where deviant behaviour, shadow economies and unplanned action takes place (here also, you will find the 'places' where the cats tend to their kittens, porn mags flower out of dustbins, and fake lacoste crocodiles are sewn onto cotton). It's the situationist view: take an aimless wander through the city and let the invisible signs drag you from here to there, and try not to spend: it's the supreme anti-capitalist statement: to walk in the city and simply, 'drift'.

There always has to be some give - oterwise the citizens will make those spaces themelves. Sometimes it's better to leave the entropic spaces to develop in their own time.

So, aye bin Greek T's shabby office by all means, but please don't turn the city into one big shining monument to commerce and state-chosen culture.
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Postby FIN » Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:55 pm

you big red :D

interesting. are u saying that u wish these spaces where deviants lurk, to remain so these undeseriables may contuinue along their unsocialable agenda?
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Postby space_invader » Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:07 pm

I'm all for containing dissent within the system; ultimately its safer.
Also, you've always got to bear in mind that morals shift depending on the ruling power structures - what is acceptable tomorrow, wasn't today and thrice versa etc. Deviancy depends on your point of view. So yes - lets recognise the haunted zones of the city as valid urban experiences in themselves - spatial encounters unmediated by hard cash, sublime trips into the great industrial shed of your subconscious.......

It's the reason Glasgow is more appealing than Edinburgh, why Antwerp and Rotterdam trash Utrecht and Bruge: the urban experience is about change, entropic cycles - stone to dust to stone again, re-using bits of the city in new ways and not succumbing to homogeniety.

Consider the re-blanding of NY's Time Square (once the perfect example of why 'sickness' is sometimes necessary for the good health of the entire body) - urban vitality replaced by corporate sponsorship: deviancy dissolved by the dollar.

New York had its balls cut off long before 9/11.

So yeah - lets allow some 'deadspaces' to flourish in our cities - it's what makes them so vital.
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Postby aland » Mon Jun 14, 2004 2:57 pm

Talking about deviancy and listed buildings S.I.

These days I never know what's gonna be in my post........ this morning I received a typewritten letter from a bloke who promised to fight me " so long as I am capable of breath rational thought comment in whatever form and putting one foot it front of the other" (sic) and ending " I shall continue"

Not all locked up yet, obviously.
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Postby space_invader » Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:54 pm

Alan - sure that one wasn't signed:

Malcolm Fraser

!!!

;)

Will these replies be in the Herald on Wednesday?
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Postby phil » Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:00 pm

I enjoyed your article Aland. I hate the way facades are just retained for the sake of it aswell. It seems so fake in some ways. I feel it gives an illusion of permanence to a place, and makes it feel like the past is a permanent presence with no real depth. I am not sure about the system in Scotland, but I think maybe the system needs changing so that only buildings of real quality are allowed onto the list. The danger, for me anyway, is that if there is no list and each individual building is judged at a time of possible redevelopment a 1% minority developer can come in over night and destroy something of real quality. That then brings out fear in people of the destruction of other buildings, which in turn leads to the situation where people want everything preserved. Difficult situation, and I am all for change in the city, but I can also see where the fear comes from.

Thanks

Phil
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Postby aland » Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:07 pm

I think they'll be in the Herald tomorrow , Tuesday S.I........... I was thinking maybe it was because Mario Conti the Archbishop of Glasgow wrote in support. You know what this place is like.

Thank you phil and I can understand what peoples concerns might be. In many ways architects are themselves to blame for a lack of trust.

However the most intransigent opinion always seems to come from the protectors of our nations heritage after all it's only an idea.
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