Re: Re: “Iconic” building proposal by VHI, Abbey Street
Fully agreed – I was bordering on cynicism too until I saw the fly-through and all was revealed. It’s a thoroughly half-baked gimmicky proposal. The glitzy glazing and funky forms are a mere distraction device in the concealment of the reality of this proposal: namely to squeeze three floors of offices out of the airspace over an existng building. It doesn’t wash.
Whereas I don’t blanket apply the “it’s a protected structure – it’s guidelines or nothing” ideology across the board – every case is different (and the Millenium Wing mews an example of how adaptive proposals can work) – but this proposal effectively seeks to demolish a building, removing it from the streetscape and setting it was designed to complement. This is the worst case senario for any well designed building, let alone an historic protected one – and that’s even disregarding the internal mauling of the roof form.
But if anything it’s the new building itself that is of most concern in terms of impact on the streetscape – I don’t think it works in the slightest. The vertical form, the flush slotting into the streetline, the pushy arrogance of its sheer glazing sweeping down to the ground (in a distinctly uninspired tribute to the Gherkin) – it all clashes head-on with neighbouring forms. Of course we could do with some arrogance once in a while, and the contrast with the main body of the church is particularly striking – but this is arrogance at its most cumbersome.