Amazing photographs. Architecture and photography were of course linked, but Especially so in edinburgh where Peddie, hippolite Blanc and David Rhind were all in the EPS the Edinburgh Photographic Society. But these photographs seem to have been made simply for sale and not for any official record. Nevertheless a fascination with photographically recording both demolition and construction had clearly begun.
Victoria Street and Cockburn Street interventions created the confidence that the cities could be opened up so it’s a Robert Adam idea but this time romantic and contextual, responding to the place. Glasgow’s response was at first more Hausmann-inspired, literally by a Council trip to Paris in 1865. But in the vicinity of the what was let of Old Glasgow a Baronial style was introduced by the City improvement Trust.
In the style of made down historic houses
Modernism philosophical and only afterwards technical. There’s also the setting issue which I want to mention briefly. It took a great deal of effort to persuade people that Modernism should and could be preserved. Start with an image of Modernism in the City. Glasgow but it could be anywhere in terms of a typical Modernist intervention. Of course it is a feature of Modernism that it aspired to be international. This is Glasgow’s cultural quarter: ambitious plan to create a kind of Lincoln Center at the top of Buchanan Street on the site of the bus garage. Buchanan Galleries and the Concert Hall is a memory of this scheme, which was stopped in its tracks by concerned Glasgow architects, including Jack Coia. This was when the old mechanistic modernism met participation and contextualism and cities began to be appreciated as set pieces, when the Glasgow grid began to be appreciated. So a big moment for Modernism. From then 1968 things changed. 1974 saw the disruption on the Inner ring Road for a mere school, albeit one designed by Mackintosh the Martys’ School. Between 1972 and 1972 we really had twenty years of vilification of Modernism as crude, space-hungry, alienating etc. Just as Victorian architecture had been dismissed as gigantic lapse of taste, now it was the turn of Modernism
It was all about big ideas, big interventions. We are now going to deal with this intervention by placing a contextual design opposite Mackintosh’s building.
We support good contemporary design. We have some fantastic examples in Scotland
I think we all accept by now that good design in historic settings is important. Heritage revival, Emaciated versions of buildings next door. Historic settings seem to up the design ante. We chose this building at Shettleston because of the impact of this building on the area. Paradoxically perhaps the area suddenly feels more or a historic place because of the new building.
New designs 2
Protecting and Realising the Potential of Scotland’s Historic Environment Ranald MacInnes Historic Scotland