I AM inclined to agree in part with Albrecht Herholdt’s letter, "Conserve city’s heritage buildings” (July 24). The examples he gives of Paris and Berlin are good ones of modern architecture in juxtaposition with heritage buildings – however these examples have integrity.
I would like to give an example of buildings closer to home. In Grahamstown the old St Aidan’s school buildings were an architectural pleasure. Then in the late ‘60s they added a new wing, a square box with blue windows. This new building had no integrity.
It was terrible architecture and jarred every time one looked at it.
Against this I would draw an example of The Perm building in High Street, Grahamstown designed by John Rushmere. Here we have a building with complete integrity – although it is a modern building it complements the much older buildings on either side.
My point about the "grand old lady” of Whites Road is that yes, modern architecture should be applied and not a rehash of what is already there, but it should be done with integrity.
The impression of the new building is poor at best. Cladding is a ’60s design and not in keeping with the 21st century. Quite frankly it is awful.
Look at London for one moment, where you have buildings of 1000 years old overlooked but not overshadowed by the Gherkin – what a gorgeous building. Then we have the new London Shard, the tallest building in Europe – it makes a statement to the sky.
Back to the "grand old lady”. The problem here is that it was originally built as a theatre, but now it is used for all performing arts.
However the stage is much too small. You need to push it out over Chapel Street and attach it to the building on the other side of the road.
Then you need to design a building next to it that has elegance and inspiration. What we have at present appears to be a hash by a first-year student.
Run a competition and see what comes out of it. We can do much better.
Ann Knight, St Francis Bay