Façadism

Another issue that I have not been paying attention to during the battle to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the Gentle Author’s simultaneous campaign against façadism, which has now resulted in a very handsome and beautifully produced short book which illustrates a set of case studies.

The classic example of the genre is Wellington House in Waterloo Road, where only the façade was retained in the late 1970s. What the Gentle Author effectively demonstrates is how much more common this is becoming: keeping a façade only, while the rest of the building behind is radically redeveloped – often an unsatisfactory compromise, keeping only the vestige of the original historic building as the lipstick on the pig.   It’s good that he has drawn this to everyone’s attention.  

I thought I saw a good example last weekend (it turns out it was just an extra-thin building backing onto the underground line):-

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