What is the urban fabric?
I frequent neighborhood and city blogs and I always, always read the comments in regards to new development and architecture. One of the main complains is the "boxiness" of new construction: "sterile" "boring" "blank" "uninspired" "generic" "shitty" are used, along with developer techie hate. The worship of old, weathered brick buildings is a reverie many of these residents share. What is it about these buildings that invoke this undying, relentless love?
A large part of this project- money, time, headaches- were spent on preserving and reusing a substantial part of the existing structure versus tearing it down. This was met with many happy residents- positive comments, amazed faces, an enthused dialogue.
I've noticed a few characteristics between these beloved but historically unimportant buildings that the populace - myself included - love so much.
- Brick, clay, weathered concrete, timber, and rusted steel. There's something strangely comforting in inhabiting relics and ruins. Kindles curiosity and the imagination.
- One story, two stories max. This does two things: the entire building is within human senses and limits and it doesn't block off sun and sky. Being able to see sky does a lot to the human psyche.
- Large windows, in a more square proportion, usually between chunky columns. These bays organize shops or restaurants visually. These windows are usually not floor to ceiling and are a variety of colors.
- Most of these buildings do not deploy anti-homeless, anti-loitering architectural features.
Hopefully I expand on these later.