Hi Chaps, I wrote this a while ago on my blog, and after re-reading it I thought I'd post in on here as I'd like to hear what you think. I know it's a bit vague, but i'm not re-editing it, so voila.
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.