Thursday, 24 December 2009

Joyeux Noel

Have a good one all, don't drink too much. Or at least not unless I'm there.

And well done Andy Marshall,  Twitter @fotofacade,

just got SPAB News (Cornerstone) with your magical photos on the cover and inside, and I agree that Holy Trinity Church in York is a gem:

also for the pics and article re Hopwood Hall, listed at II* and  on the SAVE Buildings at Risk Register

Hopwood Hall is a largely 17th and 18th century building with parts of an early 16th century timber framed structure incorporated. Built of brick with a stone slate roof, on a quadrangular plan, the hall has a symmetrical gate-house with access to the courtyard. On the rest of the two storey building, there are interesting details such as transom and oriel windows, the latter with a castellated parapet above, decorated with two coats of arms. Many of the interior features originated in Victorian remodelling. To the west there are additions including one of the 20th century. The condition of the Hall is poor, mainly due to lack of maintenance, and there is some dry rot.

The most recent use of Hopwood Hall has been for educational purposes, as part of the neighbouring college. However, in the more distant past, it is believed that Hopwood housed Byron whilst he worked on "Childe Harold". Now, however, it has been vacant for five years, while plans for new uses have been explored but never implemented. Currently, the council and the Cygnet Trust are working together to ensure that the building is weather-tight, safe and secure. It is also hoped that a new use will be found soon; the greatest possibility so far is of a conversion with enabling development, but other ideas would be welcome!

There is very little to report from the Hall on a year by year basis - but there is no doubt that deterioration of this fine building which has some outstanding interiors, is steady. The threat of further vandalism is a constant and the council who own the building are not doing sufficient to protect the hall. Although not being marketed, we would still encourage any party interested in the reuse and restoration of the building, to contact Rochdale Council, as an offer just might be accepted.
Hopwood Hall is located between Rochdale and Middleton.

(Further details from SAVE)

And very good stuff also from Gareth Hughes, his review of Pevsner Wales: Gwynedd, and a useful and informative article by Clem Cecil and Yelena Minchyonok  about what is currently happening in St Petersburg, especially the protests against the RMJM Gazprom Tower, of which I have written a great deal in this blog (further updates to come).  All publicity regarding that fiasco is good.

Excellent news that Edinburgh World Heritage has won the Sustainable Social Housing Refurbishment Project Award 2009 for Gilmour's Close:

Historic buildings can be adapted for the 21st century, and surely that's good for the planet?

Here's the entry and a picture in the wider context of the World Heritage Site from Britain's Best Buildings:

And also splendid that AJ had nice things to say about the Malcolm Fraser Architects Scottish Ballet building in Glasgow. It's not all bad, isn't this modern stuff... I like the industrial aesthetic.

And I note that Malcolm Fraser is now officially HOT (at no 42):

42 Malcolm Fraser

Accoladed architect

This year Fraser’s practice completed a versatile new base for Scottish Ballet at the Tramway in Glasgow, as well as working on commissions from a field station in Glen Nevis to a sensitive yet forward-thinking plan for the redevelopment of Stromness Pierhead. As the newly appointed Edinburgh University Geddes Professorial Fellow he is leading public and academic debates about how to integrate modern architecture and city planning with heritage concerns. (LE)

N x

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