Re: Re: Destruction of Hailing Station

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I sometimes wonder about the worthiness of some retentions in dockland and industrial area redevelopments. Of course this type of intensive regeneration has been going on for three decades or so at this point in cities around the world, and we’re all well versed in the typical ‘sensitive’, ‘innovative’, ‘well-meaning’ approaches taken.

Sometimes though I feel it can sometimes be too tokenistic, too themepark-like. All these once-industrial, grimy, dirty, smelly buildings, machinery and infrastructure are usually sanitised within an inch of their lives, stripped down to the core fabric and refitted in chic style, or simply cleaned up as token relics to sit at the side of the road for suits to admire from a smug and assured rose-tinted viewpoint. Maybe it’s just a personal thing, but I often feel more heartened in seeing contemporary references or interpretations of a former use, such as that evocative sculpture of the quay worker hauling the rope up the quay wall at City/SJR Quay.

It depends on mood and level of irritability really I suppose lol. Buildings can always be pragmatically recycled, but other retentions – like machinery – can grate a bit. Especially if not re-erected in the same place!

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