Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Planned Obsolescence
I came across this concept in the 1960s reading Vance Packard's The Wast Makers and Hidden Persuaders although it had probably been around for about 30 years.

Here in Aylesbury the Civic Centre which must have been built in the 1960s is being demolished now that the shiny new Waterside Theatre is open. Many of the building of that era seem to be suffering this entirely justified fate.

There is unlikely to be any need to demolish the Waterside Theatre as it has already started to self-destruct.

Even if this were not the case, the use of timber in external decoration is never going to last more than 18 months before it looks derelict. Why architects and planners persist in pandering to their egos rather than giving due consideration to the function or maitneance of their constructions beats me.

Aylesbury Vale District Council are keen to point out the building's green credentials which it does by using rainwater to flush the toilets It is strangely quiet about the rain which cascades off the roof to soak pedestrians on the pavement below.

And now the coping stones in front of the theatre are falling apart.

As for the "dry stone wall" - it is not dry, is the wrong stone and about ten yards of it have already been replaced. Did it crumble in the cold weather?

Apparently it is meant to represent the rolling Chiltern Hills.
Shame it is neither a local building material nor technique.
It reminds me of wartime sandbags.

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