Quote of the Day: Edward Hollis On Buildings "Built to Change"
Lloyd AlterEdward Hollis is the author of The Secret Lives of Buildings; He writes in the Guardian about saving and fixing buildings in the context of our environmental crises:
We face very serious decisions about our environment, and it's tempting to propose the sweeping away of the architecture of the present in favour of some future Accordia or Arcadia; but buildings form a significant part of our carbon footprint. To demolish them all, just to build them all over again, could only pollute the planet and deplete its resources further.
This is not to argue that the built environment is fine just the way it is. The world has changed, and buildings will have to change too - perhaps in ways that would horrify the people who built them. The history of architecture - or at least the history of buildings, which spend centuries leading eventful, extraordinary and above all unpredictable lives - can teach us that buildings passed like folk tales from generation to generation, and grow richer and richer with each retelling. Holyrood was a palace once, built among the ruins of an abbey named for the holy cross that appeared between the antlers of miraculous stag.
Bertolt Brecht put it best: "anyone can be creative," he wrote. "It's rewriting other people that's a challenge." It is not building new ones, but rebuilding other people's buildings that is, perhaps the most urgent and difficult challenge that faces the architects of the future.