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Listing the future

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August 19 2009

Listing the future
Oft pigeon holed by the public as an era of cheap, mass produced brutalism the post war era does in fact stretch to the present day and encompasses a broad range of styles from engineering delights, post modernism to high tech and today’s eclecticism.

Historic Scotland have brought a selection of these together in a single collection, Scotland: Building for the Future, with a view to explaining the listing process and criteria to a wider public beyond the usual architectural cliques. It also serves to illustrate how a whole generation of architects sought to change people’s lives not on the periphery of Europe but by playing a leading role on the international scene.

There are currently 180 post war buildings listed, a number that is set to explode as the “thirty year rule” on new listings encompasses a greater proportion of the periods architecture.

On hand to promote the launch was Culture Minister Michael Russell who drew upon his own experiences in the Western Isles. Drawing on his own experience of Our Lady of Sorrows, a 1965 church from Richard McCarron, Russell revealed: “I used to drive past thinking ‘my god, why did they do that?’ It presents a harsh angular façade externally locals have come to see this as being part of the landscape. Inside it’s a warm and welcoming space and, although Reverend McAulay hates it!

“All art divides opinion but that argument is not for the artist, they do fail.“

Historic Scotland are hosting a conference will be held in the Bonar Hall, Dundee on November 24 to discuss architecture of the period.

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