New Market?

by robertmcnicol

Local politicians are great. Sorry, I meant to say wonderfully dull. None of them, as far as I’m aware, are able to claim for their husband’s pornography habit as part of their expenses. And some of them sensibly blog about a variety of local issues including planning applications for interesting buildings. So, oodles of free porn to Cllr Elgood for alerting me to the proposed redevelopment* of the Old Market in the Brunswick micro-region in Hove.

This is very interesting. The Old Market is vying to become a high-status performance space but (a) has a large capital debt and (b) is annoyingly (but atmospherically) tucked away and hidden from any major thoroughfares. In the words of Ira Gershwin, what to do, what to do, what to do?

Well, they want to teeter a glass and steel box atop the grade II-listed building and build two high-class flats within thus raising capital funds and the building’s stature and visibility – quite literally. If you want to look at the planning application you can do so on the worthy-of-free-porn local council’s website (search for reference BH2009/00414).

I like the Old Market building and I especially like the way it interacts with its surroundings. Basically it was built (as the name would suggest) as a fairly modest indoor market in the backstreets behind the Brunswick Square estate. Various vernacular cottages and artisan’s buildings make the area very pretty as well as a smattering of idiosyncratic small businesses. It’s really very pretty, and subsequent developments have been in keeping, or at least painted the right shade of cream.

A big glass box on top would probably be fairly obtrusive. Certainly the pictures in the architect’s pretty brochure are a little misleading; they have the glass as being practically invisible, putatively due to how it’ll just reflect the sky, which is probably nonsense – glass buildings rarely reflect what the architects envision and at most times they’re just a big grey block.

Still, I’m not dead set against the mixing of old and new, and this could be a very exciting building if it’s done well. Anyways, I’ll take some pics of the Old Market when I get a chance and give you a little more history if I can find it.

*SPLIT PEDANTRY ALERT: I do mean “redeveloped”. Most of the time when you see this written it should just be “developed”. But the Old Market has only recently completed the previous development. So there.