Saturday, 6 December 2008

Newsflash - Government to Save Canongate Buildings?

A bit of a catch up here in the many things to do...what with baking, chutney making, funfairs, santa and reindeers, woolies closing tears..its all go

So we could hardly believe our eyes when we read Linda Fabiani MSP, minister for Europe, external affairs and culture saying this in yesterday`s Scotsman in an opinion piece entitled Saving Our Heritage gosh maybe they have been listening to us mere mortals. see Caltongate Greenwash

We are also coming to realise just how important our traditional buildings are in reducing Scotland's carbon footprint. Keeping older buildings in use is very resource efficient.

The energy used by the people living or working in a building throughout its lifetime is a fraction of the energy used in its construction.

Many leading Scottish architects have drawn inspiration from past heritage. Castlemilk Stables Restoration in Glasgow, which was a joint winner of this year's RIAS Doolan Award, is, for instance, an excellent example of a contemporary design approach to adapting historic buildings for present-day community use.

In the Guardian earlier this week One of Prince Charles's allies in his battle against modern architecture has attacked the "disappointing to dismal" design of British postwar towns.

Sparking anger among architects, Andres Duany flew in from America and yesterday unveiled a 64-point litany of mistakes made by British architects and planners over the last 50 years.

He accused architects of being "infantile" in pursuing ego-driven visions and said they were "heedless of technical and social dysfunction and widespread lack of popularity" caused by their designs.

He called on architects and planners to step aside and allow a new generation of amateurs to lead development in the 21st century.

"Only architecture, confusing itself with fashion as a platform for cultural expression, continues to be avant garde, heedless of its cost overruns, social and technical dysfunction and widespread lack of popularity."

Some of Duany`s What not to do list

• Avoid fashionable architecture - buildings that are obsessively of our time will be out of date too soon

• Civic buildings should be grand and private buildings should recede into the background

Avoid many buildings by one designer - diversity is the hallmark of a great place