chapter  4
26 Pages

Inner-city renewal

Modern materials strength to weight, together with engineering advances, means that there are almost no limits to the height and span of buildings. Each range round the courtyard has the character of a different period: one an eighteenth-century school, another the workers flats, the third is dominated by the arched entrance porch of St Bartholemew, and the fourth by an attractive new range of the contextual modern form. In the shadow of Hawksmoor's Christchurch, Spitalfields is a remarkable area of Huguenot merchants and weavers houses occupied over the centuries by waves of increasingly poor immigrants also in the rag trade. Leon Krier did this in his Spitalfields Market area redevelopment scheme and Simpson in his proposal for the replacement of Holford's Paternoster Square. Another of this generation, Robert Adam, even echoes Roman vernacular architecture, rather than the usual temple ethos, in his offices and shops project in Winchester High Street.