Tudor Manor, VancouverThe original Tudor Manor in the forefront was built along Vancouver's Beach Ave. in the late 1920s in the Tudor revival style that emerged in Britain in the late nineteenth century and then became popular across its settler colonies in the beginning of the twentieth. In 1987 the facades were kept intact while a 23-story residential tower was built on top of the houses. The addition was done by Paul Merrick Architects, who seem to have omitted the project from their website. Hm, I wonder why...?
Mass Eye & EarIt's difficult to find information on the history of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (known locally as "Mass. Eye and Ear"), perhaps because this reverse-facadism abortion was too painful for anyone to spend too much time thinking about. The massive blank walls, the random openings to the old structure—where do I even begin? Mercifully, many of the patients are coming with eye problems, so as long as they don't look back when they're leaving the building, they should be spared the sight of this monstrosity.
Packard Building, Capitol Hill, SeattleThe Packard Building, built atop the old Foley Sign building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, is not the worst example of facadism, but it's a serious let-down from the rendering. Rather than a sleek gray exterior with neatly cropped casement windows, we get tan stone, cheap-looking windows and frames, and inexplicably darkened interior window panes on the top floor. And hey—where's our green roof??
No. 3 Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand ranked No. 3 in Mercer's survey.
Unknown building, YekaterinburgFor a post-communist building, this one in the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk) isn't half bad, but the sad little facade in the front is a bit confusing. Why is it asymmetrical? Where did the other half of it go? Why is the door non-functional? What is the building even called? So many questions, so few answers...
St. Ann's, New York CityYou can count on Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Historical Preservation Society to oppose pretty much all new development in lower Manhattan, but he had a point when he called this not-even-facadist renovation (the church is physically detached from the dormitory building in the background) "something out of a Japanese horror movie—it’s about as bad and ugly as you could imagine." Even NYU seems to have recognized the error of its ways, with the Village Voice writing: "NYU's spokeswoman Alicia Hurley admitted that the university's 26 story 12th Street dorm, which was hastily built behind the façade of St. Ann's Church several years ago, was a bad idea and poorly planned."
Facadism, as I explained last week, is an ecclectic modern building style where facades of old buildings are retained while the rest of the structure is demolished and redeveloped, generally in a very modern style contrasting with the older facade. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it just doesn't. Here are six of the ugliest facadist renovations from around the world.