24 March 2010

Corner View - Typical Architecture from your area

This week's Corner View is all about the typical architecture of your area........

I would be the first to admit that the place where I live is not the prettiest. Yes it has an amazing location at the mouth of a large river, with the mountains and the beach close by, but the city itself is a post-industrial city with all that this brings.....old factories no longer in use, low cost housing etc. However, that past has also left it with some huge mansion houses (there used to be more millionaires per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, courtesy of our jute industry), beautiful libraries funded by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and some large scale civic architecture.



In fact, the building voted the city's favourite has just reopened following a 4 year programme of refurbishment and modernisation. I walk past it each morning on my way to work. The McManus, is the city's gallery and museum housed in a "splendid gothic revival style building."


In many Scottish towns and cities Victorian tenement buildings are commonplace.....stone, purpose built flats, typically 6 or 8 to a block, with an indoor stairwell known as a close. Indeed, a tenement flat in Glasgow is owned by the National Trust and preserved by it's previous owner, Miss Toward who lived there with her mother from 1911 for over 50 years, keeping much of the Victorian furniture that belonged to her grandparents and not changing much in the flat that whole period. It is an amazing piece of social history.


We also have our fair share of 1960s architecture (and plans to demolish quite a lot of it too!)


We also have the first UK building designed by Frank Gehry, famous for the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Our's is small in comparison, but pretty perfect. It is part of a chain of Maggies Centres which provide support to cancer sufferers. "Maggie" was Maggie Keswick Jencks, the wife of landscape architect Charles Jencks, mother and landscape designer, who died of cancer, but before she died, she set up her charity to provide support for the many non-medical issues cancer brings. Maggies Centres exist in 6 UK locations, Dundee was the third and all are designed by world class architects including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid. There are 4 interim centres operating with plans for another 4. The interim centres are currently fundraising to build their permanent structures - designed (for free) by architects such as Kisho Kurokawa, Wilkinson Eyre, whilst Frank Gehry is designing the centre for Hong Kong.




We are also in the midst of an international architecture competition to design the proposed new V&A Museum for the city. So whilst we have to contend with an industrial past, we are moving forwards!

Go check out the other Corner View's to see some more typical and atypical architecture from around the world!

13 comments:

Cate said...

looooove the tenement. so beautiful and detailed. but, that last one is my favorite. what a cool thing to do, design for such a good cause. and the clouds above are making me swoon, too.

Thimbleanna said...

Boy, some really beautiful buildings in your area Di! I love the much older buildings and I do wonder a bit if we won't someday view the "modern" stuff the way we view the 60's buildings?

Theresa said...

That last one is so cool

Kimmie said...

I love the story of the flat that was so well preserved .... we have a program we enjoy watching here called "The National Trust," and are fascinated with the history preserved in old buildings that have been lived in by the same family for centuries ....

Demara said...

Wow the architecture looks very Gothic and yes industrially dark and cold there.

MODsquad said...

Oh, Frank Gehry is a genius! Love how his mind works!

Bonnie said...

fascinating !

Francesca said...

Wow, this is a real post about architecture! I don't know much about it, but I was under the impression that the post industrial spaces were much sought, and renovated old factories were kind of hip ... wrong?

jane said...

this was so interesting. i learned a lot. thanks for this! happy weekend!

jojo-caramel said...

Thank you foe sharing these photos! The McManus Museum is a beutiful building! I would love to visit it!

jojo-caramel said...

Oups... for sharing... :-)

HELLA-STELLA said...

Ah,good to see places l know- very nice surprise- have been in Dundee many times, only some times ago - so really lovely to see places l know
Thank you

Bethany Hissong said...

I love looking at the architecture of your area and was surprised by some of the facts you shared! It is funny to think that Carnegie who is from the state I live in now, funded libraries there! I have a love of the old but that last photo is so cool!