Friday, 21 January 2011

Greenwich Market redevelopment

So it seems our beloved Greenwich Market has been given the green light to be knocked down and built back up again.

Due to my lack of knowledge on this development, I'm reserving judgement at the moment, but on the whole, I'm in favour of letting go of the past and moving forwards with architecture. Having said that, I do love Greenwich Market. I love it for its' faults too. It's ridiculously cramped in peak season but oddly it doesn't bother me. I guess it's like a cranky old car that you know will need care and attention, but you just can't imagine taking to the scrap yard.

The development includes a 104 room hotel, which does cause me some concern as that would be a substantial building, but what does it look like? Having said this, Hopkins Architects are handling this development and they seem to have a sturdy track record in heritage projects. Judging by the computer aided rendition of the future market (see below), there looks to be new timber à la rustique facades around the perimeter, which I really like, but UTTERLY HIDEOUS stretched canopies which look like off-cuts from the Millennium Dome, or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I don't mind the tensile structures in the Dome or the QEH, but it really cheapens our World Heritage Site and makes it look like Penge High Street. Hopkins, back to the drawing board on this carbuncular detail please.

In terms of protecting heritage sites, I just don't understand what it means to be a part of a Conservation Area. Also, I think the market has listed building status and more to the point, what it means to be a part of a World Heritage Site.

No comments: