Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, January 31, 2009
the built environment
Above two - Midsomer Norton South signalbox 2008
Pontins' terraced chalet - 1950s
Multi storey car park - who cares?
Take a look at the signalbox at Midsomer Norton. Every aspect of it is human scale, attractive but functional. Inside it is cosy but also efficient, the large windows connect immediately with the outside world. The whole scene is one of pleasantness.
Contrast it with pics 3 and 4. The Pontins shot shows that it's not age that gives the built environment its attractiveness. And as for the multistorey - what were we thinking of?
The entire rail infrastructure in its classic form was a magnificent synthesis of humanity and engineering. What more attractive scene could there be than the wayside country station with a steam train at its platform?
Much of the nastiness of 'modern' life's infrastructure is the fact its been built around the car, it's been created with built-in obscelescence and with no care. Money is always involved, everything has to be done as cheaply as possible.
The future, the one the New S&D will be such a part of, will be totally different. With no cars or roads towns and villages will reorientate towards its railway stations. With labour freely and cheaply available, and the artisanal skills which originally created the built environment of the past back in favour big time, once again we'll be able to create buildings that people can relate to, that people want to work in and be near. The New S&D will be architecturally magnificent, from the humblest platelayers' hut to the mightiest viaduct.
Peak Oil isn't all bad by any means!