Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Use Them or Lose Them: Old buildings with new purposes
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Use Them or Lose Them: Old buildings with new purposes

1,171
views

Published on

Annotated summary of the keynote lecture at the Resilient Heritage Conference, Peterborough 15 July 2011. Thinking out loud about how buildings must stay useful, and how we might achieve that most …

Annotated summary of the keynote lecture at the Resilient Heritage Conference, Peterborough 15 July 2011. Thinking out loud about how buildings must stay useful, and how we might achieve that most appropriately. Let the debate continue. More talks at www.built.org.uk

Published in: Education

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,171
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
27
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. USE ThemOR LOSE themOld buildings with new purposes Jonathan Foyle CEO World Monuments Fund Britain
  • 2. NOTE A longer version of this presentation was given as the keynote lecture for the ‘Resilient Heritage’ conference in Peterborough, 15 July 2011, organised by Alice Kershaw of Opportunity Peterborough. Now, it must be admitted that the author has a tendency to extemporise when speaking: the annotations here helpfully get to the main points, and are intended for you to answer to your satisfaction. We begin with this quote…
  • 3. “No building is ever perfect. Each building, when it is first built, is an attempt to make a self-maintaining whole configuration. But the predictions are invariably wrong. People use buildings differently from the way they thought they would.” Christopher Alexander This reasonable statement implies that adaptive reuse is the natural course for buildings if they are to remain of use to society.
  • 4. 1954. A modern masterpiece: The Manufacturers Trust Co, 510 Fifth Ave, New York. (Gordon Bunshaft for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.) Banking de-fortified, made translucent and platonically simple
  • 5. 2011. 510 Fifth Avenue is gutted to become a clothing outlet, under Vornado Realty Trust. The entrance is to be resituated; the escalator reversed, the vault moved. On the basis theenvelope remains intact, the Landmarks Preservation Committee gave approval for work inApril 2011. On 14 July 2011 a judge halted work after a legal challenge was made by theCitizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation [sic] which argues its Landmark statusmust extend to the interior features, because of its transparency. It is now gutted and static.
  • 6. QUESTIONS: •  If its transparent, seminal design is its defining characteristic and significance, is 510 Fifth Ave inherently incapable of adaptive reuse? •  Whose responsibility is it to maintain commercial buildings in a preserved original form that may, because of Landmark or Listed status preventing any significant changes, now be unsuited to commercial market forces? •  If no financially viable alternative proposal is presented for re-use or funded preservation, what is the likely future for the building? •  If it cannot be changed and remains unused as a direct result, is the cause its specific original design or is the current preservation ethos over-zealous ? •  Is the total preservation of buildings a denial of the natural order of change? •  If so, where do we stop? Should the Taj Mahal become a shopping centre because of the demand for souvenirs it generates? Or is the inherent commercial character of 510 5th Avenue and its situation more clearly paradoxical in this case?
  • 7. Let’s look at broader circumstances.  What are we dealing with? BUILDINGS ARE FOUND IN  6 ESSENTIAL STATES  
  • 8. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES 1: MUSEIFIED  
  • 9. Sir John Soane’s Museum, London. Bequeathed to the nation as a museum in 1837, but it has changed.
  • 10. The rarest of buildings: Maison Mantin, Moulins, France. Locked up in 1905 for 100 years. Re-opened 2010
  • 11. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES:2: STILL PERFORMING THE ORIGINAL FUNCTION  
  • 12. Bradford, St George’s Hall. Built as an entertainment venue for the working population of the town, 1849-53
  • 13. Still an entertainment venue, though has had an organ fitted, new stage, cinema, lighting etc...
  • 14. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES:3: SURVIVES WELL BUT REDUNDANT  
  • 15. Temple Works, Holbeck, Leeds 1836-40
  • 16. Grade 1 Listed flax mill. Planning permission for partial demolition, flats, retail refused 2005. Now essentially redundant, with recent partial collapses, though used for arts performances.
  • 17. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES:4: DISAPPEARED OR RUINOUS  
  • 18. Liverpool, waterfront in 2010. Note the church tower.
  • 19. Liverpool, waterfront in c.1860. Only the church remains identifiable. But without significant loss, we wouldn’t have the famous waterfront we know today.
  • 20. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES:5: RESTORED  
  • 21. “… Restoration of ancient buildings [is] a strange and most fatal idea, which by its very name implies that it is possible to strip from a building this, that, and the other part of its history - of its life that is - and then to stay the hand at some arbitrary point, and leave it still historical, living, and even as it once was.” William Morris, SPAB Manifesto 1877
  • 22. Morris’ position should be seen in the context of Victorian ‘improvements’ : aesthetic design adjustments to ancient buildings, removing archaeologically sensitive material like plaster or inserting church tracery in imitation of a favourite epoch where no such examples formerly existed. These attempts to revise buildings into a notional perfection often effectively destroyed or falsified their true evolving history or ‘life’, which was gained by the inevitable yet unforeseeable changes and/or reuses Christopher Alexander referred to. But the thing is, there are different kinds of restoration…
  • 23. Lord Grimthorpe’s inventions at St Albans Cathedral were infamous in Morris’ day.
  • 24. But far more acceptable is the restoration of essentially surviving but damagedor depleted architecture which is backed by good evidence. (Marble Saloon, Stowe House, a World Monuments Fund project)
  • 25. Restoration which is essentially speculative but which is reversible (Stirling Castle, James V’s Palace)
  • 26. Lincoln Cathedral Restoration of glass, smashed by iconoclasts but set in a new permutation
  • 27. Restoration can also be achievedgraphically, leaving the buildinguntouched. (Hampton Court, c.1525) J Foyle www.built.org.uk
  • 28. 6 ESSENTIAL STATES:6: REMODELLED FOR ALTERNATIVE USE  
  • 29.  “There are large palaces, building complexes, or agglomerations that constitute whole pieces of the city, and whose function now is no longer the original one. When one visits a monument of this type […] one is struck by the multiplicity of different functions that a building of this type can contain over time, and how these functions are completely independent of form.” Aldo Rossi
  • 30. What is common to all these buildings? (OK, except the very unusual Maison Mantin…)
  • 31. NO BUILDING WILL SURVIVE INTACT
  • 32. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
  • 33. CONSERVATION IS MANAGING CHANGE
  • 34. How and why do buildings change?
  • 35. •  Limited usage          
  • 36. •  Limited usage Demand for use
  • 37. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources        
  • 38. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity
  • 39. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden    
  • 40. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment
  • 41. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income      
  • 42. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan
  • 43. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’          
  • 44. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability
  • 45. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability •  Restrictive legislation
  • 46. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability •  Restrictive legislation Legal permission
  • 47. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability •  Restrictive legislation Legal permission •  Bad politics                
  • 48. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability •  Restrictive legislation Legal permission •  Bad politics Working relationships
  • 49. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitability •  Restrictive legislation Legal permission •  Bad politics Working relationships =Liability, loss =Asset, use
  • 50. •  Limited usage Demand for use •  Poor resources Skills and capacity •  Maintenance burden Capital investment •  Inadequate income Sound business plan •  ‘Replaceability’ Suitabililty •  Restrictive legislation Legal permission •  Bad politics Working relationships =Liability, loss =Asset, use Q: Are these temporary circumstances or a major socio-economictrend? In the mid seventeenth century, Canterbury Cathedral wasconsidered derelict and most useful for its salvaged materials. Should its fate have followed the demands of the time? Ask: is a long-term view being taken over short-term expediency?
  • 51. HOW DO WE DEFINE APPROPRIATECHANGE?
  • 52. ‘PRESERVE AT ALL COSTS’ IS UNFEASIBLE
  • 53. REASONABLENESS MUST APPLY
  • 54. TAKE THE LONG-TERM VIEW
  • 55. MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
  • 56.   A WORD OR TWO: WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE LANGUAGE WE USE? ‘Conservation’ and ‘preservation’ sound like the aim of preventing change. ‘Let’s make… nothing happen!’ Alright, sometimes that is the case, when buildings face threat or destruction. Except… the best preservation encourages imagination: effecting a transformation into new uses, to be enjoyed by more people, bringing sustained care and support for a sound future. It’s entrepreneurial, involved, dynamic and brings new life. Our terminology should reflect that. It may sound close to the too-cynically used term ‘regeneration’ which has justified 1001 bad developments, but I think good reuse of historic buildings is ‘revitalization’. Revitalization isn’t static. It’s smart, relevant and engaging. After all…
  • 57. CONSERVATION IS MANAGING CHANGE
  • 58. HOW COULD WE DO IT BETTER?
  • 59. PROMOTE A CULTURE OF RESPONSIBLE RE-USE
  • 60. 5-POINT PLAN: ‘Protect and Revitalize’ •  FACILITATE: HLF should move beyond individual projects and purchase and co- operate quarries & timber forests to ease and subsidise the supply of now costly traditional materials for repair and new build nationwide. EH protection would be assisted; the preserved and new built environment made more harmonious. •  TRAIN: Skills training and its value depends on supply and demand for available materials. Living traditions should inform contemporary design. But 50% of architects’ work is to historic buildings: RIBA should stipulate historic design and materials as part of the RIBA Pt I and Pt II syllabus to improve skills toward extension and re-use. •  INCENTIVISE: The VAT rate for approved alterations, repairs should be at least made equivalent to new-build; challenge funds for custodians of old buildings? •  INFORM AND ENGAGE: Public trends and perceptions are rarely changed without benefits. The value of responsible reuse should be better publicised in clear language and in terms that meet a broad public and commercial audience. •  BE PREPARED TO MOTHBALL for the long term if no suitable use is identified
  • 61. So the title should perhaps have been…
  • 62. USE Them MOTHBALL THEM OR LOSE them Old buildings with new purposes gained through loosening up a bit and embracing change… or at least keeping good examples inarrested decay awaiting the right new use whilst we teach people how to appreciate and look after them, dangling a financial carrot  to make it all just a bit easier, whilst rebranding  conservation/preservation.  (But that wouldn’t have worked. ) Jonathan Foyle World Monuments Fund Britain