This weekend has been “Open House” weekend in London, so it’s time for a post about architecture. How does London keep so many old buildings? By letting them transform themselves inside a shell.
I took that first photo on Deanery Street, Mayfair, where the south-facing facade is being retained while a new building goes up behind it.
Why go to such lengths to keep the facade of an old building? Sometimes the facade is a thing of beauty; sometimes it fits in well with the rest of the street; and sometimes the planning authorities insist on it.
You don’t want anything collapsing while you re-build behind it, so you need some super-sturdy support, as shown below in a close-up from New Cavendish Street, Marylebone.
A similar structure supports the facade at another “re-construction” site in Craven Hill Gardens, Bayswater.
Click here for a link to a website about the history of Craven Hill Gardens. Even after the 2014 construction work, the street won’t look much different from the picture shown there of a postcard from 1908.
Finally, here is a photo of another site in Marylebone. I will offer free tea and cake at a Marylebone cafe to the first reader who can tell me the exact location!