Sunday, November 1, 2015

Des Res

The Observer's perspicacious (look it up yourself) architecture critic, Rowan Moore has cast his gaze over the newcomer development on the Lower Ouseburn. Link to the full article here.

My own thoughts, following a viewing when the project was still being built, was less adulatory. In fact I found quite a bit more to quibble over than Mr Moore ... Those windows.

Still, the thrust of his comments and criticism are useful considering how much more to come there may be.

Some highlights from the article.

Sweeping his gimlet eye around the local scene Moore regards the apartments built next to The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

"Papery and stumpy at once, their vertical accents and white-beige-russet palette pay vague tribute to the noble ex-flour mill that contains the Baltic, but succeed only in diminishing it and themselves at once. Perhaps mercifully, this development makes no attempt to mimic the shapes that the Sage cuts, but edges nervously alongside, like the nerd next to the big blonde on the dancefloor. "

When I saw a model of the proposal for the Baltic, the associated private dwellings were well below the Baltic's height. I suspect in the excitement greed over came them. Mr Moore is quite right. The result weakens the whole.

"Up on the hill is a space in the sky once occupied by Trinity Square car park, made famous in the 1971 Michael Caine classic Get Carter and demolished to the bleats and lamentations of critics, less so from the local population. This time the bleating critics were right, at least architecturally speaking: the brooding, magnificent car park has been replaced by a development of student accommodation above a Tesco: stacked-up boxes like shipping containers without the romance, over which curved roofs crawl like big grey slugs."

That about nails it for me.

Do read the rest of the article for yourself.

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