seem to have measured out my life with coffee spoons recently but I like
the new café at the at the Yorkshire Mill Village
(Village? - it's a converted mill in Batley), which creates an
island of continental sophistication amongst the racks of clothing, shoes
and kitchen gadgets. My mum has brought us here for lunch as a thank you
for taking her for her appointment this morning.
In the mill's Book Depot I come across a colourful book
on the Austrian painter, architect and ecological thinker Hundertwasser
(1928-2000) who, I'm ashamed to say, I hadn't come across before.
It makes a change to find something unexpected amongst the usual tomes
on Impressionism that you find in bargain bookshops (not that I don't
like the Impressionists).
I can't help contrasting Hundertwasser's approach to architecture with
our big local project, the proposed Barbara Hepworth Gallery
on the south bank of the river in Wakefield
Restaurant, Bad Fischau
Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
© Kunst Haus Wein
© David Chipperfield Architects
|Does this building make me
||Does this building make me
smile: Hmm, no
|Keywords: wayward, individual, painterly,
||Keywords: monumental, corporate, international,
If you saw it as you drove by?: I'd pull in for
a coffee and a piece of apple strudel (there I go again!).
|If you saw it as you drove
by?: I might guess it was a building society's headquarters
and drive on by.
New build v. redesign:
In 1986 Hundertwasser was asked to redesign the restaurant, which
had been built in the seventies. The renovation was intended to
attract more visitors and thus increase turnover. Before approaching
him, the clients had negotiated with several other architects, whose
designs, however, had entailed that the restaurant be torn down
and a new one built. In contrast, Hundertwasser wanted to preserve
the existing building fabric.
Adapted from: www.kunsthauswien.com
New build v. redesign:
Wakefield Council were disappointed recently when an application
for a £7 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant
towards funding the gallery was turned down.
HLF director Carole Souter said they were 'concerned
about whether it would deliver sufficient heritage and public benefit
and value for money' and explained that 'the trustees’ heritage
concerns mainly surrounded the fact that the project involved a
significant amount of new build and this was a relatively low priority
for the organisation.'
Adapted from: www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk
new build always the way to happiness? I like this quote from Hundertwasser:
A community should not consider it an honour how much spontaneous vegetation
it destroys; it should rather be a point of honour for every community
to protect as much of its natural landscape as possible. The brook,
the river, the swamp, the riverside wetlands as they are, the way God
created them, must be sacred and inviolable to us.
There Are No Evils in Nature.
There Are Only Evils of Man, May 1990
We could learn a lot from Hundertwasser, when you think what's happened
to the stream, meadow and trees here and what's soon going to happen to
the marsh between the canal and river. Our council seems besotted with
new build and green field development at present.
David Chipperfield Architects
Richard Bell, email@example.com