Demolition

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Demolition

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:01 am

Architectural TV

Next year in Britain, BBC viewers will be asked to identify the country's worst building in a new four-part reality series that will culminate in a live broadcast of the eyesore's destruction. The program, Demolition, is being supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:18 am

One person's demolition candidate is another person's irreplaceable piece of heritage...

I can just imagine the leaden attempts at presentational humour by the twinkly presenter, probably a co-opted comedian. Who have we got? Please not Grief Rhys-Jones.

Jack Dee I would support, however. The subject lends itself to sarcasm.

And pray that they keep ***ing Prince Charles out of it.
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Postby space_invader » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:06 pm

I can't help feeling that despite the tacky nature of so much of television's design-orientated programming, it is helping to raise awareness in regard to the built enviroment.

really - not joking here.

i think it's great that people may end up discussing the merits of their town centre's built environment alongside musings at the watercooler regarding whether the hubby on wife swap was a dick or not.

but.....

the RIBA's well publicised support for this is just plain odd. if anything it perpetuates the image of the architect as a figure who is able to tell everyone what it thinks is no good but is unable to offer a better solution.

it's hardly a positive posture, is it?

and anyway, RIBA 'supported' all those crappy buildings that went up in the first place - they were designed by its members after all.

RIBA's boss, that red trousers guy, is daft.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:59 pm

It's the logical progression of architecture populism in the meedja. We'd had everything else. designer new build, restoration of interesting older buildings, anything with Dan Cruickshank....
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Postby Jas » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:05 pm

Is it a bad thing? Surely to enhance the public's faith in architect's judgement, architects need to admit that they do get it wrong sometimes. "Demolition" is a step in the direction of that admission while dressing it up as light entertainment so that the "message" gets obscured. A politican's admission so to speak.
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Postby space_invader » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:21 pm

no, as i said, i think long run its a good thing, cos as people grow up watching this stuff they will naturally have a slightly broader appreciation of architectural issues and maybe they'll choose to challenge ideas with a bit more integrity and depth rather than the usual:

but it doesn't fit in.
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Postby alan d » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:15 pm

Think myself the great red trousered one, the President of the RIBA is lining up to be the new Dan Cruickshank, after his performance at the announcement of the Striling Prize. TV career in the offing I think he'd do chust fine.

Would'nt be surprised if the idea came from Portland Place

Anyway, while I'm on about it, what is it with you Dubliners anyway. Talked the whole of the UK off the Spire. You need to lighten up....getting more and more like Glaswegians every day.

I love the project and make a point of visiting every time I'm in Dublin
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:22 pm

If the producers had visited this site for vox pops they would have got a different story. I reckon the producers kept it negative deliberately.
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Postby alan d » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:42 pm

the dirty gombeens..............been waiting for ages to be able to say that, thanks Paul.

Anyway who cares, doesn't diminish the worth of the project.
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Postby phil » Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:13 am

Originally posted by alan d

Anyway, while I'm on about it, what is it with you Dubliners anyway. Talked the whole of the UK off the Spire. You need to lighten up....getting more and more like Glaswegians every day.

I love the project and make a point of visiting every time I'm in Dublin


Well said Alan. I did not see the programme, but I get frustrated with all the rapid-fire criticism that is levelled at the Spire. It is fair enough when people actually dislike something for a reason, but it seems alot of people just dismiss it because they have not really thought about it in any depth.
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Postby alan d » Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:34 am

Maybe Hugh could tell us otherwise but it's a truly original project, Phil.

Can't think of anything like it anywhere......maybe and hopefully over time all Dubliners will come to realise it's worth.

Any thing new and challenging is pooh- poohed at first, it's the same here.
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Postby phil » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:22 am

that is vey true Alan.

Does anyone know what the story will be with this Demolition program... in that how will the buildings be selected? For example, will it just be a case that people vote in a building and then the BBC put pressure on the owners to knock it down (I would doubt this very much) or will there be a list of buildings that are probably to be destroyed anyway?

Thanks

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Postby alan d » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:46 am

.......The RIBA could be in danger of making a real arse of its self here, the President would be well advised to wear his brown knickers under his red trousers.

Everytime there's a poll of the best and worst, very often the same building can top both categories.
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Postby modular man » Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:04 pm

A quick note on the spire.

As a Dubliner living in France I am reminded that the French objected to the Eiffel tower when it was first erected but it has become very much loved as part of what makes paris great. An addition to a street-scape, and indeed a to a city, on such a scale as the spire of Dublin will indeed take time for it to be loved by everybody. bear in mind that ith has been there less then two years in a city where people still have fond memories of nelsons column.(Its predecessor, blown up by the IRA in the sixties)
I also believe that the spire is far more elegant then the eiffel tower and will stand the test of time. (perhaps I am being biased)
I would just say that I went to the Venice biennale and saw Ian Ritchie's stand in the Brittish Pavillion and felt like hanging around all day telling the rest of the punters "Thats where I'm from" as I genuinely feel proud of it.
Anyway , just thought I should let ye know that we aint all spire bashers in Dublins fair city.
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Postby phil » Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:31 pm

Originally posted by modular man
A quick note on the spire.


Anyway , just thought I should let ye know that we aint all spire bashers in Dublins fair city.


That is a good point. I was at a lecture recently where the lecturer gave it a bashing and the age group of the audience ( who all remembered Nelson's Pillar exept me) quite agreed. It will definitely take time for it to be admired by most in the city, and I think you are right about the collective memory of those who remember Nelson's Pillar having a strong influence on how people percieve the Spire. There is definitely alot of positive views on the Spire, but they just don't seem to get as much airing.
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Postby alan d » Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:35 pm

That's tha danger of some ill thought through programme like Demolition.....is it likely that a vox pop in Dublin's fair city would vote for the Spike to be demolished?
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Postby phil » Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:00 pm

Originally posted by alan d


Everytime there's a poll of the best and worst, very often the same building can top both categories.


Apparantly that happened in Dublin years ago apparantly. The publics favourite was architects and planners most detested. As you were saying something similar could happen with the Spire (except I doubt most planners or architects would like to see it go).
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:10 pm

held a poll here in 1998 and Busaras won both categories,,,,
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Postby Hugh » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:17 pm

Famous example was Richard Rogers' entry in the competition to extend the National Gallery in London way back.

They held a public poll on the entries, and Rogers' attracted the most votes both from those who thought it was the best, and from those who thought it was the worst.

So it was the best worst or the worst best entry on the shortlist.

Which shows just how relevant such polls are.
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Postby GrahamH » Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:51 pm

The Spire's quite democratic in a way though cause if you don't like it, well you don't notice it! It's bizarrely very easy to avoid, to forget it's even there. unlike other major controversial schemes that scream and shout at you.
I think that's the case with most people who like it too though, it's scarily easy to pass it by, or not look up - not least cause you don't want to look like a silly tourist :)
On the point of opinion polls, I think if one was held proposing the rebuilding the Pillar with someone else perched up there, it would get widespread public support.
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Postby phil » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:27 pm

Originally posted by Graham Hickey

On the point of opinion polls, I think if one was held proposing the rebuilding the Pillar with someone else perched up there, it would get widespread public support.



Are you actually serious?
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Postby PVC King » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:39 pm

I agree with Graham on this,

While I personally favour the spike over every other proposal I have seen for this location I think that the general populous wouldn't.

Most people are scared of what they don't understand, neo-classical is understood by everyone, who to put on top of it would be a much more contentious issue.
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Postby phil » Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:18 am

I am sorry, but I really think that is a ridiculus concept. Would you therefore advocate the recreation of some of the various equestrian monuments that once adorned the streets of Dublin? Who would we replace on top of the horse of William III on College Green?, George I in the Mansion House? Or George II in Stephens Green? Also, as you say Diaspora, there would be uproar over who should go on the top of it. Something would only get wide-spread public support if the public can actually agree about who they will be seeing every day when the look at a monument.
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Postby simple minds » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:53 pm

Look at Glesga, its got its won spire....well Tower actually...the Horden designed beast with a robin reliant at the top...at least the spire works! I am sure Alan appreciates that one, no wonder he wants to be in Dublin!
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Postby PVC King » Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:29 pm

Originally posted by phil
I am sorry, but I really think that is a ridiculus concept. Would you therefore advocate the recreation of some of the various equestrian monuments that once adorned the streets of Dublin?


You picked me up all wrong or I didn't express myself clearly enough, I personally favour the Spike as the best monument for the axis point on O'Connell St but I fear that if the public were given a choice between a simple 40m-60m tall Corinthian Column with a historical figure on top and the Spike they would choose the Column.

I say that from judging peoples reactions to good contemporary mews designs at the planning application stage. People prefer the safe option and the danger of a programme like demolition is that people living in mock Tudor or Georgian suburban houses could declare a good building worthy of demolition just becuase it is not a design that resembles current design trends. The R & H Hall silos in Cork are exactly what would win a demolition competition in this country, unfortunately.
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