Old and new should work to­gether in har­mony

Country Life Every Week - - Athena - Cul­tural Cru­sader

ONE of the more frus­trat­ing ar­chi­tec­tural dog­mas of the present time is that al­ter­ations to old build­ings, or in­ter­ven­tions in his­toric streetscapes, must al­ways be made bla­tantly ‘mod­ern’. This ap­proach, we are also told, is ‘hon­est’, as if to do oth­er­wise would be dis­hon­est and im­ply some kind of fak­ery.

Athena recog­nises that the con­trast between new and old can be vis­ually stim­u­lat­ing, es­pe­cially when han­dled with care and skill, but, more of­ten than not, clumsy, badly pro­por­tioned and over­sized ap­pendages cre­ated out of harsh and un­yield­ing ma­te­ri­als are jus­ti­fied on the ba­sis that they ‘of our times’.

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