Friday, October 19, 2018

the one building Papa liked

Papa would get along well with my buddy Mike because, like Mike, he has a deep sense of history. As we were walking along the streets of Niort, Papa pointed out how the shops and restaurants sported renovated fronts, at the ground level, that didn't at all match the upper floors of the old buildings in which the establishments were housed. He found the modernized fronts to be tacky and tasteless; the whole aesthetic was an enormous disappointment to him. When I said, "Maybe that's the price of modernity," Papa replied that that didn't excuse the architects and designers from trying harder to match the modern storefronts with the style of the old buildings.

Around that time, we stumbled upon a modern bakery whose storefront Papa found pleasing. The front had been made to blend with the rest of the building such that there was no anachronistic clash of designs:






3 comments:

John John McCrarey said...

Of course, in the USA and Korea, they'd just take the whole building down. History be damned!

The Maximum Leader said...

I like this one too. I saw the previous photo with the new ground level attached to the old building. It is visually jarring. Some care should be taken when working with an old building to try and keep the visual integrity of the whole in place. There is a whole school of thought that believes that modern changes should be in harmony with the rest of the building, but visually different so as to give the eye of the viewer a cue that something has changed...

BTW, do you know why the house gets progressively wider as the height increases? (2 primary correct answers in my mind...)

Kevin Kim said...

I have this vague memory that, in old Europe, real-estate prices were based on the footprint of a building's ground floor, so certain builders took advantage of this fact by widening upper floors, thus allowing themselves a bit of extra breathing room for which they didn't have to pay.