Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Renfrewshire Council HQ

I am a little out of focus. I've been looking at modernism in Scotland, however this feels too vague, and I'm going through the motions of deciding what matters to me. In such situations I tend to take a step back, and work from what I know: drawing. I enjoy the juxtaposition between some modernist buildings and the natural landscape they inhabit. A nice example can be found in my hometown of Paisley, nestled between the White Cart River and the historic Paisley Abbey, this concrete bruit pierces horizontally through the landscape.

Renfrewshire Council Headquarters

Curiously, the Council have opted to refurbish this concrete monster in a slightly less offensive "plastic" looking cladding. Perhaps the concrete was too expensive to maintain, but this solution wants to please the harsh realities of the original structure in a much more understated way. I think it looks awful. That said, at least the building has been preserved in some form.

The above photograph was taken in 2006, and my abhorrence to this building is apparent from my comments: "Horrible grey box rising from the greenery. Quite a nice contrast. Not the most interesting subject matter, but I like the strong horizontal lines." Fascination is a concept I looked at in a short Contextual Review task for the Research Skills and Methods module, examining Toby Paterson's "fascination" with post-war modernist architecture (link). This ambiguous quote by Gartside (2003) sums the term up nicely: "fascination is a sense of being draw into something that cannot be fully explained or analysed."

So, still not fully understanding my fascination with modernism, I've been drawing, and think this building could be the subject of a painting. I will update with some scans from my sketch book later on this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment