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Heritage is an important part of a cities character, it helps define the sense of place. In UK, older houses in London are demolished and transform into modernistic wonder homes. Koolhass (2013) explains that generic modern design can upset the existing residents, but also makes the building out of place with other homes. Ling looks at the renovation of the ‘Old park lodge’ in Jesmond, Newcastle and how the developer turned the building in contemporary building, which does not distort its previous character.

With this example the developer has chosen to blend the character in with local materials. Such as brick and a slate roof to complement the old building. This combined with modern large doubled glazed windows allows more natural light in. The scheme also achieves Passive Haus design, making the building energy efficient. The final design looks great, as it fits in with the existing urban fabric and will not have residents complaining.

The finished design of the Old park lodge – (1)

As an example, the Old Park Lodges demonstrates a good character design that does not look out of place. Plus, considering the building was due for demolition, the renovation will help inspire other developers to take the same approach.


Koolhass, R. (2013) The generic city, and Whatever happened to urbanism?, in Laric, M., & Macdonald, E., ed., The urban design reader (2nd ed)., Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, pp.358-372.


School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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