Another year has passed and the scaffolding has finally come down on the Royal Alex development, to reveal its blocky bulk in all its beige glory (or is it vanilla?)
In my opinion, a modernist brick style with modern reconstituted stone details would have been more interesting, softer in texture and made a reference to the materials used in the original building.
These changes wouldn’t have cost much more, and maybe by reducing the council’s affordable housing requirement, it might have allowed the developer’s budget to stretch a little further to more interesting materials.
Continue reading Blanditecture Part II →
Do you like modern ‘architecture’? The kind of thing that looks like a white square box with grey windows and a splash of cedar cladding to give it some ‘character’? I’m getting a little bored of it, to be honest.
Modern style buildings don’t have to look like this. There are many other interesting materials out there to build with and many creative ways in which they can be used, along with light and form to create imaginative, functional spaces. In the same way, loving, understanding and respecting our conservation area does not always mean disregarding innovative design in favour of historic details.
In reference to a current development on Dyke Road…merely cladding large boxes with white render does not make it sensitive to a conservation area. Better to either accurately emulate a historic style relevant to the area, or create something modern but with a sufficient level of surface detail and relief, along with a more considered form, in order to enhance the future character of the conservation area. The truth is that all conservation areas will go through change at some point. Playing it apparently safe by relying on white render on square boxes is not the answer.
Paul Reed Architect 07807459350 firstname.lastname@example.org