Reply To: National Photographic Archive
I think this website gets hooked on the P word – pastiche.
Also, why do buildings have to be architecturally honest? I think its much more important they be a joy to look at and create an attractive streetscape.
As I mentioned on a previous discussion – I was in Warsaw last month. Not a single building in the ‘Old’ town is ‘architecturally honest’ it that’s a way of describing the fact that they are between 20 and 45 years old. (They only fiished rebuilding the ‘Old’ town in 1984).
These are replicas – what would be described here as pastiche. The Old Town is the busiest and most attractive part of Warsaw. I’ve been to many towns in Germany with similar architectural lies – including Hildesheim just south of Hannover which decided to tear down all of its post-war architectural to rebuild the pre-1945 city. They work well! If the residents of Hildesheim wanted to keep the building of the zeitgeist, the architectural styles of the 1950’s and 1960’s, they’d have a pretty abysmal city.
Bare in mind though – and this is KEY – these are excellent replicas. Not the crap that colours the word replica in Dubin terms. Builders here have proved incapable of building a good replica. If an Irish builder were to rebuild the Dublin Bread Company building, it would no doubt look crap – just the same as the majority of all other new buildings in the city look crap – sad but true.
Some styles are better than others – some don’t deserve to remain whilst others never deserved to disappear – what some cities have done is to recognise this and resurrect those designs that should continue to exist.
The building on the corner of Abbey St. and Capel St. is brand new – a brand new monstrosity. I’d immediately opt for demolition and rebuilding what was there before i.e. buildings that fitted in well with Capel St., setting these back from the road to accommodate the Luas. Of course though, by doing that you’d really appreciate how crap is the ability of builders here to produce a replica because you’d be able to compare and contract replica with original. It would be an interesting exercise. [Id opt for this experiment over looking at Archer’s Garage as I reckon it was easier to redo Archers and make it look as good or better than the original which was in some state).