Around 80% of the buildings we will occupy by 2050 have already been built. Some are historic properties, with about 20% of them built before 1919, but with many more built in the last 100 years and at least 25% since 1980. Refurbishing and retrofitting existing buildings instead of demolishing them is now the acceptable face of architecture as society realises that our future depends on the industry achieving zero carbon.
But what do we do about big ugly buildings that are a blight on their neighbourhoods or existing buildings that, even with redevelopment, cannot deliver the extra homes and smart accommodation required by today’s market? Should we be looking after all of today’s building stock to try and make it fit for tomorrow, or are we simplifying the complex decision about whether to demolish or retain to make it easy for ourselves? Are we heading for the Great Demolition of 2049 as the old buildings become outmoded, or can we turn the carbon emissions tide by knocking nothing down and being custodians now of the buildings of tomorrow?
For LFA, Barr Gazetas is hosting a panel of experts who will discuss the big questions about Britain’s massive stock of ageing buildings and whether and how to futureproof them.
Jon Eaglesham, Managing Director at Barr Gazetas
Anna Bond, Executive Director - Development at Grosvenor
Kelly Harrison, Director at Whitby Wood
Chaired by Isabel Allen, editor of Architecture Today
Image: Philip Vile
35 Heddon Street, London
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