Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category
The virtual Sistine Chapel does what it says on the tin – you can move and zoom around the entire space, including the floor and the ceiling, and the graphics are amazing (at least 100 times better than the ropey photo from Wikipedia below). You may feel a little dizzy, and the choral soundtrack may not to be your taste, but I’d advise at least having a quick play with it.
To get this party started…
A friend read an article by Owen Hatherley in the latest issue of the Loops journal, about Manchester buildings and music. Hatherley also made a video for the Guardian on the same theme.
My friend couldn’t grasp the points Hatherley was trying to make in either, he found it unclear and it didn’t really grab him. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the video (not obtained Loops yet) and ended up writing my own explanation, referencing the city we both live in (Leeds) and how I understood the ideas raised would apply here.
My rambly email essay:
Manchester used to have buildings of character and likewise music. The music faded from prominence and interest in the early 1990s, shortly afterwards all the buildings that the many of the people who wrote those songs and wrote about them lived in (Hulme Crescent) and played in and started labels from (Hacienda, Manchester Music Collective etc) were knocked down and replaced with identikit modern flats and the music likewise. Attempts to rebuild the city creatively (Urbis, FAC251) have failed and all that attracts people to Manchester is retro tourism of the Madchester days (FAC251 was remodelled as a retro indie club for ageing lads), the homogenous shops of the Trafford Centre and football (Old Trafford, the new Urbis).
The same scene has been played out in other towns, just not on the same scale. Imagine a similar film if Hyde Park, including the Brudenell, was bulldozed in its entirety (instead of the odd building…such as the formerly squatted Royal Park School…it’s starting…) and replaced with those flats that have sprung up elsewhere in the city. No more back to backs, cheap beer or basement rehearsals. The Packhorse is bought out and becomes a new bar to service the professionals who now live on the edge of the city. The musicians and artists would move out – no services to interest them, and they’ve been priced out. They might stay in Leeds, or move somewhere else with more going on in the underground and cheaper housing like Sheffield or Glasgow, even Bradford, and start something new. Leeds as a hotbed of DIY culture dies. Long term the professionals get bored of their tiny, generic flats and move on, so nothing new has sprung up from the death as it might if the regeneration had been done sensitively as is starting to happen in Liverpool.
The music connections are to get a casual audience to pay attention. Basically culture and interesting and inexpensive to use buildings flourish together, replace them with identikit and overpriced buildings and you get identikit culture as well as poor architecture.
It’s not my best work, and the original writer may entirely disagree with my garbled analysis, but it does encompass some of the things I’d like to start writing about here at Bronchia.