Traditional architecture never fails to take my breath away, which I have grown to appreciate even more when travelling the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern design. It can be as beautiful as it is interesting, but there is something truly wonderful about old designs. It’s like you’re stepping back in time and taking in a bit of history. That’s why original architecture should be treasured.
Take the Egyptian pyramids as an example. It is without doubt one of the greatest architectural monuments in the world. Why? Not only did many serve as a tomb for the country’s Pharaohs, but they are an architectural marvel. In fact, the architectural design was so complex that it baffled many physicists for centuries. Whilst physicists believe wet sand was the answer, you cannot deny that they are a wonder to be seen, and would be incredibly hard to replicate even in today’s modern world.
Albion House is another example. This building in Liverpool was designed by the renowned architect Norman Shaw, and served at the headquarters of the White Star Line, the shipping company behind RMS Titanic and many other vessels. However, when the building was taken over in the 1980s and used as an office, its architecture was covered up with temporary walls, hiding all the stunning features that makes this building an architect’s dream. A crime, in my opinion.
That’s why I was so happy to learn that a new Titanic themed hotel, 30 James Street, has acquired the building, after being left empty for many years. The hotel has since uncovered the building’s original architecture, showcasing its stunning Grand Hall, whilst honouring the history of the building by paying tribute to the ill-fated RMS Titanic and its passengers.
There is something magical about stepping into a building with its traditional architectural features. When architects such as Norman Shaw create buildings of such beauty, it is with the aim of the designs being passed down from generation to generation. Architects dream of being architects because they want something to leave behind once they are gone – to offer something wonderful to the world that wouldn’t exist if they were not born. It’s more than just a building; it’s someone’s talent, dreams and history.
Any great architect cannot help but draw from inspiration from our predecessors. Just like writers are inspired by the likes of Stephen King, J.K Rowling and Maya Angelou, architects are inspired by visionaries like Michaelangelo, Antoni Gaudi and Frank Gehry. It is these aspirations and our love of design that wants us to not only honour their styles in our own work, but to pay tribute to the wonderful architecture that came before us.