Sunday, 19 April 2009

Ugly Carbuncles

I concur wholeheartedly with Prince Charles and his sensible views about modernist architecture (and, for that matter, modern art). The abundance of structures appearing today have utterly no aesthetic value whatsoever, to my eyes at least. They are, presumably, functional; that, at least, we can say.

There are, of course, worthy exceptions. Nevertheless, to view an admirable Georgian or Victorian edifice standing proudly beside a concrete block reminds me of chalk and cheese.

One example in Belfast is that hideous or, should I say, plain extension to the Grand Opera House. What aesthetic merit does a square block of coloured concrete and a few plates of glass have beside one of the best-loved buildings in the city?

My preference, where possible, has always been for restoration instead of demolition. This principle of mine applies just as much to a vernacular cottage in the countryside as it does to an old, decrepit building in a city which could easily be renovated or retained. I accept the tendency for developers to get round planning regulations by the retention of an old building's façade or shell whilst building behind it.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea that such an atrocity had happened to the Opera House.Ye Gods, what were the city fathers thinking?

Timothy Belmont said...

They'll need to spend another fortune putting it right by the addition of a decent, stone facing sympathetic to the architecture and colour of the opera house.