Facadism is a new-to-me word which I learnt recently. It describes when the outside skin of an old building is left in-situ with a new building developed behind it. It’s a bit controversial in the heritage/architecture world. Some see it as too much of a compromise when development of an area takes place. As an ordinary punter I prefer it to the all of the old being ripped down.
It’s not a new concept – apparently the Georgians were at it in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is how I came to learn my new word as I showed an example on Twitter of a Georgian building in Spitalfields (how ironic) which had been given the treatment more recently.
In the case of the pictured Ally Pally, there wasn’t much choice as much of the building was burned down in the 1980s. I didn’t know until I arrived there that 40% of the place is derelict. Plans are afoot to develop it…
This picture may look a bit of a jumble but it fascinates me. I’m standing in London’s East End – Petticoat Lane, site of the famous market to be exact – looking towards The City. To the right are Georgian buildings from the late 1700s/early 1800s. Ahead is the brutalist architecture of 1950s/60s-something social housing with something of a similar nature to the left. And behind that we have the late 20th century sparkle of The City and its promise of riches.
But for me something’s changed somehow. Having discovered the rich (and disappearing) heritage of the area around Spitalfields last week, that 20th century sparkle now seems more menacing than the nearby streets where Jack the Ripper once roamed.
I wonder how long it’ll be before The City leaps across the few streets which separates it from where I’m standing?
I loved how this illumination picked out the detail of the stonework behind the bench. Illuminating Lacock is celebrating 175 years since Fox Talbot announced his photographic negative process which he developed (‘scuse pun) at Lacock Abbey. There’s more on this over at Veg Plotting today.
The illuminations are 4-7pm from now until 9th February 2014.
Except last Saturday, when all kinds of fabulous Open House activities were on offer all over London, Science appeared to be out for the day 😦
Note the electric car top up stations – an apt location don’t you think?