Wednesday 14 January 2009

As design standards go this is pretty good

I've sat through a presentation this morning of a proposed design for a new building in the local area - frankly it was flat, disappointing and timid.

It did nothing to reflect the diversity of the community, the rich heritage of the local area...

So I dipped into my photo file to see something by way of contrast - it wasn't difficult.

Here is the former Horse and Groom pub in Heath Street, Hampstead - tall, impressive, glamorous and bold and adding to the local architecture.

Sure I understand that such a build now might be condemned by local groups and organisations as being too excessive, but the reality is such design courage seems lacking. It's not a premise that designs that shock are wrong - it's a broader issue over design and quality. I'm not talking aesthetic quality but more generally around building materials, built to last and reflecting a community.

When this was built Hampstead was quite literally on the up - buildings were designed to be impressive, intimidiating and designed to show the brazen confidence of the business community.

Ah for such an approach now...

One website reports todays pub in the following way: Closed - converted into Chinese restaurant - then into Room 68 - an upmarket free house/bar restaurant. That didn't last, it's now a French restaurant called J'aime. [Last update: 17/02/2007]

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