Guys Hospital reclad approved - Brockley views changed forever

Guys Hospital, one of South East London's most prominent buildings, is to receive a reclad according to SE1.

The brutalist concrete tower is a key feature of central London views from this area's various hill-top parks and sits in stark contrast to the rapidly growing form of its neighbour, the Shard.

The work, approved by Southwark Council last week, will involve cladding it with anodysed aluminium to improve the building's energy efficiency and prevent deterioration of the concrete.

Whether it will improve its aesthetics is hard to tell based on the accompanying render. Unlike some previous concepts, the cladding will do little to disguise its awkward form and the new lighting feature on top may make it look even more like it's been built by a toddler stacking bricks in the order they came out of the box. Still, it can't get any worse, so bring it on.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are there wards on the upper floors, which can now be seen into from the Shard?

Anyone noticed how windy Platform 6 at London Bridge since the Shard being built?

Matt-Z said...

If you visit the tower there's a joining corridor near the lifts between the two parts of the building. At the higher levels from this vantage point you can get a clear view of the state of the concrete, and it isn't pretty - assorted cracks, holes and patched up sections, - so it's clear something needs to be done.

Brutalist architecture is a funny old thing, with few supporters these days. Famous examples such as the Tricorn Centre are long gone, Robin Hood Gardens is on borrowed time and in cladding Guy's Tower another bit will disappear. There's a slow but sure removal of such buildings. Parts of the South Bank Centre are still brutalist and proud, but for how long? I appreciate they aren't widely popular or indeed fit for purpose, but we should preserve some examples, if only as an example of how not to do it.

Stacey Goodlay said...

Is there an architectural category called 'Absolute Sh*hole'?

'Brutalist' seems too benign.

Anonymous said...

the construction of an 'Absolute Sh*hole is underway in Lewisham . . .

Anonymous said...

Matt-Z - Park Hill in Sheffield is now Grade II listed.

Matt-Z said...

Yes but you have to go to Sheffield to see it.

Stacey Goodlay said...

I am feeling really horny.

Lou Baker said...

There is no point in saving things that aren't worth saving.

Guys is an eyesore. The best thing to do would be to knock it down and start again.

The arrival of the Shard - a truly world class building - further emphasises the absolute awfulness of Guys.

More evidence, if ever it be needed, that nothing good came out of the 1970s.

Anonymous said...

This re-clad is a terrible cop-out; it doesn't re-imagine the building, or embrace the existing architecture. Rather it's a strikingly bland mish mash (that's a technical architectural term).

In the past guys have commissioned heatherwick studio to clad their prominent plant room with a wavy woven mesh facade, shame they weren't as bold this time.

Sure Brutalism isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you've got it, flaunt it. Shoving some metal panels on the outside is not going to help. The saving grace of this scheme is the increased energy efficiency, but that couldn't have been too difficult to achieve in a building of this age.

Anonymous said...

The Shard is an eyesore, a monstrous concrete and glass middle finger up to all of London. There is no escape from it. The Shard is evil, pure evil.

Mb said...

Nothing like a measured, sober criticism. Devoid of hyperbole and hysteria. Pure evil?

May as well say that the maritime museum is a sinister, squat, stain of brick and iron spreading over Greenwich park. But that would be ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

To Mb

but the whole of London isn't forced to see the Maritime Museum ( one of London's treasures for sure). London is turning into Kuala Lumpur. Try taking a boat down the Thames and you'll be horrified at the scale of the Shard which cuts through the vista like a massive knife in the sky.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon

"Try taking a boat down the Thames and you'll be horrified at the scale of the Shard which cuts through the vista like a massive knife in the sky."

I have. I love it. Beautiful soaring building that adds drama and variety to London's skyline.

Ed CPZ said...

A friend has dubbed The Shard Mordor which amused me but I'd agree with Nic. You're of course welcome to dislike brutalist architecture but that doesn't mean you know what you are talking about. 'Absolute Sh*hole' - please explain what good architecture means to you.

Now and Then said...

Ed You're chatting up 'Stacey Goodlay' about architecture. Last time out you adressed a meerkat. You do want us to take your parking views seriously now don't you?

Sergel said...

Lolz

Anonymous said...

Brutalist architecture will remain on view in London for quite some time in the form of the Barbican

Anonymous said...

The reflections off the shard windows make it look classes. Imagine having that prime office space only to look out of your window at some old bloke having his boils lanced or piles drained.

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