Okay, just to start off, I'm currently reading 'the fountainhead' by Ayn Rand, and on my Walk from my Flat to the internet Cafe on Chapel Street, I sort of formed a little opinion in my head, which i'm going to jot down. I was thinking about the central character, Howard Rourke, and his attitude to architecture (if you've not read the book i won't spoil it by bastardizing the plot and themes here) and it got me thinking about globalisation and its effects. you could argue globalisation has stripped a lot of the individuality and nuance from most places on earth, clearing away features of a localized typology to make way for the 'new'. i mean all that's very well, but i was just comparing Rourke's unflinching simplistic modernism to my affection for the old, and I think, there is a middle ground thats consistently missed. I don't think one can justify tearing down older buildings to make way for the new if those old structures still have a robust integrity, in light of the emerging green culture and emphasis on reducing carbon footprint. I think there must happen a paradigm shift in the way architecture is viewed as beautiful, as there was in the time in which 'The Fountainhead' is set. I for one see the future of architectural beauty as the holisitcism (sp?) of the re-conduction of a shabby old frame to a new and energetic, and form-follows-functional, segment of the city, rather than tear-down build-new approach. this is easier said than done of course where the existing building on a site is completely unsuited to its intended use, but there i see a more intergrated and finely orchestrated planning process in which each existing building is analysed and rated for its suitability for a variety of future uses then limited in its permitted development to be one of those appropriate potential uses. this would obviously have to go hand in hand with a wider policy on integrated provision of infrastructure in each 'area' of the city, but still, I think a progression to this approach would yeild a much more (carbon)efficient city.
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