Bad architecture and redesigns, unfortunate losses of historic buildings and all else related

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NahSon

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I'm a bit interested in architecture and city planning due to my Simcity 4 interest as some probably know; so I thought it would be nice to have this topic to add to the non **/DL related topics.

Basically the idea is to discuss what you think is how NOT to do it when it comes to architectural design, the redesign of buildings, or even large scale city planning in general.

One thing that springs to mind for me is Grensen 17 in Oslo, Norway.
This beautiful old building right in the heart of the city has gone from this
Norskefolk.jpg


...to this.
utrogrd.png


You could ask what the hell the architect thought when he redesigned it to this, or maybe he wasn't thinking at all?
 

bambinod

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It's not like it wasn't intentional... the architect was deliberately taking an old gothic design and modernizing it. Look at how much better it fits in with the new building on the right?

Here in my town we have a street referred to by the locals as "holy row". It's three blocks of churches on both sides of the street. They're all of course old style architecture, but they fit in and look right together because they're all that way. If you tried to put a modern building in there it would look completely out of place. I doubt zoning would even let you try.
 
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That's terrible. Are there no historic building preservation laws in Norway?
 

NahSon

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Oh believe me, now there is tons, but back in the 1950's to 70's when this most likely was redesigned they went insane with this sort of stuff, redesigning old buildings, stripping them of facade detail, and tearing them down just because they weren't streamlined and modern, etc. Though that wasn't only Norway, that was pretty much in most of the western world.

Now there are several stringent laws against changing anything on most old buildings that still have their original facade for instance. So getting permission for something like that now would be rather difficult.
 

CuddleWoozle

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Ugh. That looks terrible. :(

I've always had an affinity for old buildings. We had one in town that was torn down and I cried a bit to see it. The person who owned it didn't keep it in good repair and the rear wall collapsed to the point that it was dangerous and unrepairable. :(

My favorites though are the art deco and art nouveau styled buildings. They're just so much fun.
 

HoganBunny

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oh wow, that is unfortunate...

Oh believe me, now there is tons, but back in the 1950's to 70's when this most likely was redesigned they went insane with this sort of stuff, redesigning old buildings, stripping them of facade detail, and tearing them down just because they weren't streamlined and modern, etc. Though that wasn't only Norway, that was pretty much in most of the western world.

Now there are several stringent laws against changing anything on most old buildings that still have their original facade for instance. So getting permission for something like that now would be rather difficult.

ugh, I dislike the "modern" look that lacks an ornamentation or anything decorative. Plain box shaped buildings made of brick are so boring looking. :/
 

LstNwf

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Ill admit that I am a fan of modern design, to an extent, but I also like old Victorian homes. However where I live there's always grumbling over an old part of town and its 'heritage' and in reality it is holding back the expansion of the city through incoming business/partnership opportunities because its got to the point where no development is allowed unless it uses the old (And I mean old) buildings which just doesn't prove useful to a lot of the work that needs to be done.

Sadly modernizing buildings is happening a lot more, but in order to fit in with a cities expansion it needs to happen. While not completely true to the old image of the building, at least some of the original look was kept.
 
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ugh, I dislike the "modern" look that lacks an ornamentation or anything decorative. Plain box shaped buildings made of brick are so boring looking. :/

I read recently that the so called "modern" look has less to do with looking modern and more to do with labor costs. Apparently, back when all these beautiful old buildings were going up, labor costs accounted for something like 10% of overall costs, so architects could afford to put a lot of labor intensive details into buildings. Now, labor is up to like 70-80% of costs. I wish I could remember where I read that, so I could cite the source, as it goes a long way to explaining what went wrong with architecture. All of that is, of course, discounting the unfortunate brutalist phase from the 1960s. (i.e the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, DC, and Habitat 67 in Montreal).
 

Chrisb

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I don't know if you can get this in Norway Viking, but you might be interested in a TV series from good old Blighty called Grand Designs.
It's been running for over 10 years now I believe, and's really popular in the UK. It follows people who are build unique or interesting homes, and the variety of things they see is quite astounding! Everything from the rebuilding and restoration of ruined old buildings to the sharpest of shiny, new modernist houses.
And the presenter, Kevin McCloud, gives an excellent insight into the various architectural challenges the home-builders are facing as they go, both from the practical (how do you install a one ton window unit in a centuries old Alpine chalet without using only man power?) to the aesthetic (how do you do justice to an ancient barn when you're gutting it to install an brand new interior?) points of view.

Hope you enjoy this, if you can get it! :)
 
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