Building identity through maintenance work

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New publication:

Der Beitrag der Hausmeister zur ldentität von Gebäuden – Block Checks in der Großwohnsiedlung Red Road in Glasgow. Identifikationsräume: Potenzial und Qualität großer Wohnsiedlungen. M. Harnack and J. Stollmann. Berlin, 2017, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin: 54-69.

Subway crisis in the making

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Increasing passenger volumes + reduced investment and maintenance = declining performance. This equation and what it means for riders on NY subway in a NYT article really worth reading.

 

How Buildings Learn “The Romance of Maintenance” 5/6

Voilà Episode 5 of ‘How Buildings Learn’! Two quotes from the film:

«No maintenance, no building» (5/6 @ 1:58).

It’s as simple as this. Thank you for this observation, Mr Brand!

«People involved in maintenance must always swim upstream, progressless against the current. The best satisfaction they can get from their work is to do it well. The measure of success of their labours is that the result is invisible, unnoticed. Thanks to them everything is the same as it ever was.» (5/6 @ 25:29)

A nice starting point, however, I do not fully agree with this, Mr Brand. Repair and Maintenance do more than replacing parts and restoring the original condition. To uncover the creative side of repair and maintenance is the aim of this project: Repair, Maintenance and Urban Assemblage.

Block check

check boxes to see video clips

thats us you never go from bottom to top one of the landings this is the back there's a plane frontpanorama tenant's names are numbers that's me back panorama meeting a tenant technology explained walking and talking three landings the lady that died fire riser someone's trying to break in different tiles on different floors door closer that's heroin tileing in the slab block different tiling one dealer walking no talking moving a paper no weight whistling smashed windows walking from 5th to 3rd various objects fire escape door fire escape door rubbish chute pointing footing rubbish chute

This is a video map of a concierge control tour, a so-called block check, which I have recorded together with concierges of the Red Road flats in Glasgow in 2006. During a block check, the concierge would systematically walk down and control the stairs from the top to the ground floor. The map is clickable and it was originally integrated in the Highrise Project website. In the ‘The living building‘ I write about block-checking as an urban practice and how it contributed to the viability of this tall building. And it did so, even when back then, it was officially known that the flats will be demolished in the near future and clearance had already started. The building, in which the block check was recorded, was demolished on 10th June 2012.