Article on town centre development

RedSalmon

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Mar 25, 2011
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Read it, gives a pretty balanced view in fairness. Think the time has come to redevelop the Bull Yard and Hartford Street as they are both a real eyesore. The article seemed to suggest that with such areas the present buildings should be utilised into the redevelopment and not knocked down. Think it has gone too far for that and a lot of the buildings that were put up in the late '60's and early '70's should be taken down and the area redeveloped. Having said that there are buildings in Hartford Street that should be preserved, with the British Heart Foundation shop being top of the list.
Thought one or two of the comments to the article about Coventry were a bit shitty, although some good ones too.
 

dubed

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Aug 14, 2012
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The wave is just the latest of terrible architecture that has blighted Coventry, and I don't have any faith in it changing. Indeed, gave up hope for it a long time ago.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Aug 16, 2018
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Read it, gives a pretty balanced view in fairness. Think the time has come to redevelop the Bull Yard and Hartford Street as they are both a real eyesore. The article seemed to suggest that with such areas the present buildings should be utilised into the redevelopment and not knocked down. Think it has gone too far for that and a lot of the buildings that were put up in the late '60's and early '70's should be taken down and the area redeveloped. Having said that there are buildings in Hartford Street that should be preserved, with the British Heart Foundation shop being top of the list.
Thought one or two of the comments to the article about Coventry were a bit shitty, although some good ones too.
Yeah. Fail to see what those buildings around Bull yard offer in terms of architectural heritage or what the Bull Yard space adds. Those buildings are small and probably would cost almost as much as demo and rebuild in terms of sq m. What exactly are they fit to be transformed into? Always seems to be 'exhibition space' or some such nonsense which never, ever has any demand.

There are some who just don't want to see anything change and seem to believe we've reached the zenith of architectural design/layout, forgetting things had to be demolished to get these things they think are so important built in the first place.

They've reached the ned of their useful life and need drastic redevelopment to be viable.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Aug 16, 2018
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The wave is just the latest of terrible architecture that has blighted Coventry, and I don't have any faith in it changing. Indeed, gave up hope for it a long time ago.
i think it's alright, especially for what it is. My problem with it is where it is - too close to the spire IMO. But others will like the new/old contrast.
 

RedSalmon

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Mar 25, 2011
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i think it's alright, especially for what it is. My problem with it is where it is - too close to the spire IMO. But others will like the new/old contrast.
Agree, it does look awkward when you see it against the spire and think it could have been done more sympathetically. Two years ago was in Melbourne and did a walking tour around the city, the guide told us that over there the view now is that if you are putting a new building up, it should reflect the architectural style of the day, and not be an attempt to recreate previous styles. Have to say that she then went on to point out some really disjointed (recently built) buildings that really looked out of place. Maybe in fifty years time they will have blended in...........might take even longer than that!!
 

clint van damme

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May 3, 2015
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Read it, gives a pretty balanced view in fairness. Think the time has come to redevelop the Bull Yard and Hartford Street as they are both a real eyesore. The article seemed to suggest that with such areas the present buildings should be utilised into the redevelopment and not knocked down. Think it has gone too far for that and a lot of the buildings that were put up in the late '60's and early '70's should be taken down and the area redeveloped. Having said that there are buildings in Hartford Street that should be preserved, with the British Heart Foundation shop being top of the list.
Thought one or two of the comments to the article about Coventry were a bit shitty, although some good ones too.
Just read through the comments. Few high quality contributions from members of this portal
 
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SkyBlueCharlie9

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Feb 16, 2018
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Creating good architecture and places is getting more difficult. Money men, banks, number crunchers and viability experts dictate everything. Lack of goverment policy to kick out the crap stuuf and Council planners often lack skills to challenge or improve the quality. On top of that most UK Council Highway teams rarely accept any creative street designs resulting in bog standard, overengineered wide expanses of tarmac for cars not people. This country is not bold enough to have a national architectural vision. Councillors and public often resort to liking oldey worldy stuff which is a shame but understandable. This leads to awful pastiche crap as all parties are scared of the modern.
Context sensitive innovative contemporary architecture and placemaking is essential. I'll ping up some photos in a moment.
 

shmmeee

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Jul 11, 2011
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My missus was saying she can’t believe how lax our planning law is and how it leads to so many disjointed ugly buildings. You really notice the difference in Europe.

I think Cov has improved massively the last decade or so and is still on that upward curve. But in classic Cov style it’s getting it’s act together on the city centre just as city centres look like dying.

I hold no love for the vast majority of architecture in Cov, most of the post war stuff just makes it feel grey and oppressive.
 

clint van damme

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I hold no love for the vast majority of architecture in Cov, most of the post war stuff just makes it feel grey and oppressive.
And while I agree It actually appears to be a bit more popular than I imagined.

I can see the merit of trying to preserve some of post war stuff. It was quite an important experiment, even if for all the wrong reasons.
 
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Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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And while I agree It actually appears to be a bit more popular than I imagined.

I can see the merit of trying to preserve some of post war stuff. It was quite an important experiment, even if for all the wrong reasons.
I agree. It's a vital part of our history now and should be recorded as such.

But the vital part of your sentence is SOME. Those with the loudest voices want almost all of it saved. I'm not sure which of the post-war high rise I'd save as most of them are poorly placed blocking routes - Market Way is much better now and i hope the others around the precinct soon follow. Civic Centre 4 has already gone, as have most of them around the trainstation.

other important aspects like the ring road and shopping precinct have faults that need correcting and for me preserving the IDEA of them rather than the actual buildings is more important in similar but better developments.

The raised sections of RR need to be dispensed with so sightlines and pedestrian access in and out of the city centre improve and allow for a more organic spread outwards rather than being this massive barrier. Ideally into cuttings like J6 etc but at-level where not possible,

The multi level precinct should be redone so it has two levels - one at Broadgate level, the other at Corp St level, although ideally i'd use the old Smithford St and West orchard routes as the framework and have much of the area between as small bushes and greenery. So you'd have the post-war idea alongside the medieval street plan, mixed in with a nod to the future of environmentally friendly openness and greenery. It'd also give a chance to have one end of the precinct show off the cathedral and HT, the other St Johns. Focal points to draw you along.
 
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fernandopartridge

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My missus was saying she can’t believe how lax our planning law is and how it leads to so many disjointed ugly buildings. You really notice the difference in Europe.

I think Cov has improved massively the last decade or so and is still on that upward curve. But in classic Cov style it’s getting it’s act together on the city centre just as city centres look like dying.

I hold no love for the vast majority of architecture in Cov, most of the post war stuff just makes it feel grey and oppressive.
I think within planning law should be obligations on the party seeking permission to ensure that the building is maintained, so that, for example, concrete render is kept looking clean and freshly painted. Window frames are painted. All these small things make a big difference.
 

fernandopartridge

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The problem is with the Precinct is that it was overlayed on to an existing street pattern with which it has no relationship. Then to make it worse they blocked the entrances to the cruciform with buildings or other pointless crap.

The Ring Road is a bigger problem as I mention on one of the guardian articles. It has created numerous dead end streets and awkward pockets of land, again overlaying on to a street pattern rather than integrating with one.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Is anyone else slightly baffled at the relaxing of planning laws to allow more development but now they're planning to make planning laws more difficult to remove public statues? is there absolutely ANYTHING these inept fuckers have some sort of sense of reality?
 

RedSalmon

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Mar 25, 2011
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Have watched the architects presentation of what they propose to do. If I have got it right they are going to build a new pavilion roughly where the Bull Yard is that would incorporate the market (am assuming all the vendors in the market would re locate there) together with 'pop up' shops, but nowhere in the presentation did I hear of an alternative use given for what is at present the indoor market building. I know the indoor market is not everyone's cup of tea but am pretty sure it has a preservation order on it (I could be wrong), and I for one would be sad to see it abandoned and left to slowly deteriorate.
 

NorthernWisdom

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Have watched the architects presentation of what they propose to do. If I have got it right they are going to build a new pavilion roughly where the Bull Yard is that would incorporate the market (am assuming all the vendors in the market would re locate there) together with 'pop up' shops, but nowhere in the presentation did I hear of an alternative use given for what is at present the indoor market building. I know the indoor market is not everyone's cup of tea but am pretty sure it has a preservation order on it (I could be wrong), and I for one would be sad to see it abandoned and left to slowly deteriorate.
The market's one of the buildings I'd love to see stay. As an aside, it's circular to ensure nobody had an advantage in terms of position within. Very public spirited!
 

fernandopartridge

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Dec 9, 2011
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Have watched the architects presentation of what they propose to do. If I have got it right they are going to build a new pavilion roughly where the Bull Yard is that would incorporate the market (am assuming all the vendors in the market would re locate there) together with 'pop up' shops, but nowhere in the presentation did I hear of an alternative use given for what is at present the indoor market building. I know the indoor market is not everyone's cup of tea but am pretty sure it has a preservation order on it (I could be wrong), and I for one would be sad to see it abandoned and left to slowly deteriorate.
The circular market is Grade II listed. The intention for the pavillion i think is for things like 'street food'. The existing market will i presume remain as is.
 

shmmeee

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Jul 11, 2011
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I think the Market is wasted in that building TBH, it’s dark and grotty and hidden away so you have to go there intentionally.

Maybe if they could open up the sides and access to it it would improve but I’d be happy to see it moved out into the open a bit more so people actually use it.
 
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Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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The market is listed but I think has had its day. It's more the interior that is listed than the structure so if you could incorporate that into something new for me that be a fine compromise. It's not even circular - it's got a huge quadrant cut out. Small building in a large footprint is inefficient. Make a taller, circular building there by all means but saving that building as is is a wasted opportunity.

As for the new pavilion, don't mind it but want them to push it further north so you've got a straight line between New union St and Croft Rd, which would also allow a view of Christchurch which you could use as a focal point to draw people down the route.
 

chiefdave

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Sep 27, 2008
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For me the problem is so much was built at the same time, for obvious reasons, which results in a lot of buildings of the same age and style. Add in poor upkeep and its a recipe for disaster.

That doesn't mean you need to knock everything down and start again, that's just repeating the same mistake.

Pick out the best of that style of architecture and bring it back up to standard, then add new buildings into the mix.

I reckon if you said you were knocking down Union Street car park, blocks of old flats in the Butts, Britannia hotel or sorting out ring road underpasses you'd get a very different response to if you wanted to knock down the elephant or three tuns. They've even got the new cathedral in that article, can't imagine much support if anyone suggested knocking that down!
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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For me the problem is so much was built at the same time, for obvious reasons, which results in a lot of buildings of the same age and style. Add in poor upkeep and its a recipe for disaster.

That doesn't mean you need to knock everything down and start again, that's just repeating the same mistake.

Pick out the best of that style of architecture and bring it back up to standard, then add new buildings into the mix.

I reckon if you said you were knocking down Union Street car park, blocks of old flats in the Butts, Britannia hotel or sorting out ring road underpasses you'd get a very different response to if you wanted to knock down the elephant or three tuns. They've even got the new cathedral in that article, can't imagine much support if anyone suggested knocking that down!
Agree entirely. We can't afford to replace the lot anyway and even if we could I think some of it should be preserved as part of our cultural heritage where possible, just as the medieval stuff now is. As you say the cathedral is one and the Festival of Britain sides of Primark and the Swimming Baths should be incorporated too. I'd be fine with the Belgrade and Market (as part of a bigger redevelopment) staying too. The rest can go at some point. I feel like maybe one of the towers should stay but all of them are poorly positioned. Market Way is so much better with Coventry Point gone and I'd hope that will lead to plan to remove the other two eventually.

Trouble is you get people who just bang on about preserving EVERYTHING. There's been calls about listing the ring road despite it causing more problems that it solves and the structure itself needs rethinking, esp the flyovers. Same with the precinct which is nothing like what was envisaged and never properly worked as intended (even before shopping went online), but I'd be fine with a plan that kept the ethos of the precinct, but based more around the old street pattern which was much more legible and as part of a more mixed use scheme including residential.
 

Sbarcher

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Mar 23, 2011
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If I wanted cold and grey I would spend more time with my wife.
Getting hot and a touch up should sort it..........
 

fernandopartridge

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Dec 9, 2011
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That guardian picture gallery is irritating, I mean one of the pictures incudes Coventry Point which has been demolished.

It annoys me that they keep saying "brutalist". Cov does not have any real brutalist buildings, its main Precinct is brick and stone faced in the Festival of Britain style. It's a lazy trope.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Aug 16, 2018
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I agree it's not really brutalist, more modernist. Very 'blocky' and rectangular but the materials are very different.

The RR could be considered brutalist.
 

NorthernWisdom

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Apr 23, 2013
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It's funny, I find the buildings fascinating but then I wouldn't want to live there. It's a bit like the way English Heritage etc view Cov.
Actually went to see the Gateshead car park before it was demolished when I was up there(!) and as it was I decided it was best to drive swiftly by rather than risk entering it! Buildings like that, though, it's often as much that they're run-down than an issue with what they're supposed to be do. A slum is a slum, even if it's a tudor framed cottage. That said, those Sheffield flats seem particularly oppressive, even since they've been jazzed up.

Said before, I actually like some of the Cov styling. Some of it falls into the run-down category rather than dirge. High-rise just doesn't work well full-stop really.