Beware Beige


Ravenshaw Street, Newcastle is the site of a development that seems to be bigger than Ben Hur. It required the removal of at least three mature fig trees (see The Shame File)  that were – you guessed it – reaching the end of their useful life span and therefore considered expendable.

I’ve looked forward to seeing how creative and beautiful this new block of apartments and shopping centre will be. Not very, by the look of progress so far, but I try to fight my natural pessimism.

 The photo above was taken yesterday and shows the figs that council insisted the developers keep. Funnily enough, these trees didn’t have a short SULE (safe useful life expectancy). When you’re assessing tree health there’s nothing quite like the absence of development to ensure an increase in a tree’s prognosis.

You can see lots of remaining opportunity for this wall to be made stunning, can’t you? Not.

One response to objectors to this development was that this building replaced a gas storage facility which was unbelievably ugly- oh, and at least three fig trees – so it didn’t matter what sort of building went up because it would be an improvement on an industrial wasteland. (My interpretation.)

If you google ‘architecture + apartment building’ images you get a huge number of beautiful buildings, including the ones below. Now, I’m sure cost is a factor in why we get something which you could only call tedious, but it can’t be completely unaffordable to build something beautiful – or even colourful. This building should be there for centuries, shouldn’t it? And it’s so boring.

I’m hoping at least the colour may improve – Billy Connelly says ‘Beware beige’ and it may be a rule to live life by.

This is a Danish building designed by Lundgaard and Tranberg you can read and see more about here.

These are called the Tetris apartments and are designed by a Slovenian firm called Ofis.

And this is Austrian and designed by a firm called Innocad.

Jealous? Home

The view is no better from this side


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