Sunday, 14 September 2014

Missing windows

202 Western Road
It is difficult to understand what is achieved by blanking out a window in this fashion that couldn't be equally well achieved with an internal blind or shutter. This would leave the window and frame exposed to view and so continue playing its part in the visual rhythm of the fenestration.

The Imperial Arcade building, designed in the 1920's by Brighton architects Clayton & Black, is an iconic and conspicuous example of the Art Deco in the very centre of the City. The only planning application submitted for this address in the last 15 years related to a new fascia and projecting sign. It seems strange that such transient alterations require planning approval yet the blanking out of windows, which affects the fundamental aesthetic integrity of the design, apparently does not.

The risk is that over the years the cumulative effect of small random changes to a building will so degrade the original design concept that it becomes easy to dismiss it as unworthy of preserving. 

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