Should extremely hideous architecture be preserved?


Architecture, General Culture

As much as I detest (yes, detest) some of the architecture that went up in the 1960s and 70s - I mentioned brutalism earlier - when it comes to tearing it down I actually am very much opposed to it. There lately has been a discussion in Britain about a place called Robin Hood Gardens, a thoroughly disgusting piece of architecture, which, it has been determined, is not worth protecting (as “English Heritage”).

The problem with this is that a culture that decides to erase those parts of its heritage that are deemed ugly is ultimately not doing itself a favour. After all, what is now deemed to be too ugly once was considered to be cutting edge, and who knows, in fifty years time, we could all be considering the Walt Disney Concert Hall (which hopefully is going to get a more dignified and worthy name at some stage - playing classical music in a place with that name is plainly revolting) an architectural abomination. On top of that, tearing things down and pretending they never existed is not a very healthy thing to do for a society, since culture - regardless of whether we like this or not - consists of those things that are beautiful and those that are not. So despite the fact that Robin Hood Gardens is an eyesore, it deserves to be preserved, for our own benefit and for the benefit of future generations that will now be robbed of an opportunity to connect with parts of their past.