Facadism

There’s a 29 storey residential tower going up on the St Kilda Road and Albert Road intersection.

They are keeping this Victorian facade. It will be carefully scrubbed clean. A folly.

| 42-50 Albert Road, South Melbourne |

The ever provocative architects Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu have been thinking about preservation and its purpose. What gets preserved and what doesn’t. All arbitrary. Also our obsession with permanence.

This is their idea. Take a city like Beijing. Regardless of its architectural merit or history allocate one section for preservation. Don’t touch it. This leaves the rest of the city to change in an experimental way. Nifty idea.

They also reckon 12% of the world is now preserved. That’s big.

Seems strange to me to keep this Victorian facade. Even stranger to think that it will be the front of a convenience store and cafe.

Dinky or what.

Julia Ritson

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