Saturday, 7 December 2013

Goodbye Belvidere Hospital - and good riddance

The disgusting ruin of Belvidere Hospital
You know, I spent a lot of time yesterday on the Urban Realm website. I've sung its praises many times before. It's the go-to place for gossip and tittle-tattle about all things related to the marvellous Scottish property development industry and John Glenday, the Editor is one of the most incisive architectural critics around. Did you know that he once invited me to write for his august journal? Perhaps it was July - but anyway, I can't remember now. Sadly nothing came of it.

But to return to last night, my attention was drawn to a real story of our times - a short news summary about the demolition of a B Listed Ruin called Belvidere Hospital. It's pictured above. It's a slum building in a slum location - the East End of Glasgow where people's lives are so short they can't even finish paying the mortgage never mind worrying about rat infested old buildings on their doorstep. Just look at what they have to put up with! Developers Kier Homes were quite right to put a fence and barriers up round this sandstone wreck as it obviously is something that no one wants to visit or see - that was their first good move.

Their second good move was to employ RIAS Conservation Accredited Architects Hypostyle to demolish the building. As their website says, Hypostyle have no hangups about style, ideology or preconceived ideas. That is exactly what The Enterprise wants to hear from their servant architects. In the current economic climate, I would be surprised if they were not buried in work by developers the length and breadth of the country who want things sorted - from fighting gangs of sandal-wearing middle class busy-bodies to humiliating troublesome local authorities who are living in a past world. My little black book has a long list of architects who are prepared to bend right over to service their client's needs and I have added Hypostyle to this list. I also think that getting a Conservation Accredited Architect invoved in the demolition of a Listed Building is a very clever move. How can anyone object to that? Well plenty of people so it seems.

The comments section below this excellent article is full of ridiculous opinions from mealy-mouthed do-gooders who disagree with something that is actually nothing whatsoever to do with them. How dare they venture an opinion on this! This country is doomed if people like wonky, pablo and sven ever get their way. In my view Urban Realm should publish photographs of these anonymous commentators so that they can be exposed to proper scrutiny as Enemies of Enterprise.

My hearty congratulations go to Kier Homes and the excellent Hypostyle Architects for this important East End Initiative which in time will probably be seen as more significant than GEAR or a garage full of other delivery vehicles for regeneration.

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