Tuesday, 8 April 2014

How did this happen in Chichester?

One of the extensions to Pallant House Gallery, Chichester which faces....
...these historic houses in the Pallants, Chichester
The extension to the left of Pallant House Gallery which faces....
...this building in The Pallants, Chichester
The original Pallant House gallery building which was extended
Chichester has some glorious architecture. Walking through The Pallants yesterday I saw as if for the first time the extensions to Pallant House gallery and wondered how on earth these utilitarian buildings plonked down so incongruously amongst Georgian houses got through the planning committee? I'm not pretending to be an expert but yesterday my heart went out to the people who live here and have to see these boxy buildings on a regular basis.

Perhaps some people prefer boxy buildings and can see some artistic statement in them that others can't see? Perhaps if I knew more and had listened to the architect's justification for designing buildings like these I would appreciate them? Can we be told what we should like or should we feel free to make up our own minds about what pleases us as individuals? 

Years ago there was a pile of potatoes in one of the rooms of Pallant House Gallery. I asked one of the curators why they were there? Did you go to the talk by the artist? I was asked. If you had heard her explanation you would see the potatoes differently. Really?


Anonymous said...

Well, it did win the Gubenkian Prize for architecture in 2007.

The competition jury was 'won over by the flair and sensitivity with which the new [Pallant House] building has been integrated with the original Queen Anne House'. mmmm.....possibly it's better on the inside?


Anonymous said...

Once again Jenny I agree with you wholeheartedly!

jenny said...

Thanks for that additional info Christine. And thank you both for commenting.x

lindsey said...

Make's me wonder what CDC planning department would make of a similar application by one of the neighbouring houses!!!!

Chrissy said...

As an individual, the Pallant House extension pleases me - it is a modern building in modern times...what I would object to is an extension that tried to look like the original building but using modern materials, methods and regulations that would just end up with a very poor attempt that would always look terrible against the original.
I agree with preserving what is exceptional from the past and I also agree with building in our time not trying to mimic the past.