This building isn't ugly, it's beautiful!

First published in Letters

BEAUTY, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

Most works of art – films, paintings, sculptures or whatever – are 'beheld' by those who've chosen to experience them.

Architecture is different: it is, in every possible sense, in your face whether you like it or not.

So it is that if I drive into town from the north I have to pass Malvern Link's tacky, cod-Victorian station and, at almost the same moment, a new fire station of such mind-numbing blandness that I'd give anything to see its elegant predecessor again.

When I reach Worcester Road, however, things look up. For on my left there has appeared a structure whose scale, form and materials cleverly echo those around it but which has quite clearly been designed, as well as built, in the 21st century.

It is crisp, witty and I imagine will be a joy to live in with views towards the Severn valley.

To my eye, at least, the new house is a little gem.

Like Keith Smith, I too hope it will be brought to the attention of the Civic Society for it deserves a place on the shortlist – and perhaps even the top prize – in its annual competition for Malvern's best new building.

If Keith wants to see a 'monstrosity' he need travel no further than the corner of Church Street and Albert Road North.

On the so-called Treasurer's Site is a building so monumentally ugly that I always expect to see Mussolini address the crowds from one of its faux-stone balconies.

David Robertson

West Malvern

Comments (3)

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8:57pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Geoffery1966 says...

Thankyou nikolaus Pevsner
obviously you are some sort of self appointed Architectural expert !
Thankyou nikolaus Pevsner obviously you are some sort of self appointed Architectural expert ! Geoffery1966
  • Score: 2

6:21pm Sun 8 Jun 14

localman69 says...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I like both Malvern Link's new station (far from being 'cod') and also the new fire station. I haven't a clue as to what 'special' house is in Worcester Road as I don't take part in guessing games.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I like both Malvern Link's new station (far from being 'cod') and also the new fire station. I haven't a clue as to what 'special' house is in Worcester Road as I don't take part in guessing games. localman69
  • Score: 2

9:47pm Thu 12 Jun 14

PFI Compliance says...

I don't echo what has been said about the Fire Station or Train Station . We live in a Victorian town that is fortunate to have retained much of its character.

To suggest the new Semi Detached property on Worcester Road is "Malvern's best new building" and within same breath mention faux stone balconies being "Monumentally Ugly" suggests that the author of the letter maybe did not pay attention to the manner of construction at the Worcester Road Semi.

It was made of cast concrete block which was screeded and small sections faux "clad" in a minute amount of Malvern stone. Full height (albeit obscured/smoked) glass is not ideal for a bathroom overlooking main road.

The building may have been built in the 21st Century but its Carbon Footprint with the volume of concrete and non renewable building fabric deployed shows little regard for the environment. I'm not sure I would pay the price tag for a concrete block semi.

Each to his own I suppose
I don't echo what has been said about the Fire Station or Train Station [They fit well in Malvern]. We live in a Victorian town that is fortunate to have retained much of its character. To suggest the new Semi Detached property on Worcester Road is "Malvern's best new building" and within same breath mention faux stone balconies being "Monumentally Ugly" suggests that the author of the letter maybe did not pay attention to the manner of construction at the Worcester Road Semi. It was made of cast concrete block which was screeded and small sections faux "clad" in a minute amount of Malvern stone. Full height (albeit obscured/smoked) glass is not ideal for a bathroom overlooking main road. The building may have been built in the 21st Century but its Carbon Footprint with the volume of concrete and non renewable building fabric deployed shows little regard for the environment. I'm not sure I would pay the price tag for a concrete block semi. Each to his own I suppose PFI Compliance
  • Score: 1

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