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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Death of a Building Part 11

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas AUGUST. 15, 2020

Part Eleven comprises of shots taken in September 2016. There are no major changes so these shots are mainly of the site and the demolition of the Adrian Boult Hall, part of the Conservatoire. The Conservatoire was still in use at this point.

Please see parts one and two for some background and photos of the building exterior and interior before demolition began.

Demolition started at the end of 2015, I started my project in January 2016 after the first chunk had been removed from the main structure.

I had three main vantage points early in the process. From the portico of the Art Gallery next door. This area was raised up so gave a view over the site above the screens around the site. From a terrace next to the Town Hall, and from the balcony of the Conservatoire, which was also later demolished, but in the early stages continued to be accessible.

As demolition moved to the Conservatoire later, a fourth main vantage point opened up on a walkway to the rear which remained open throughout.

These large concrete panels of The Adrian Boult Hall were removed by chain and crane after holes had been drilled in them. I'm not sure why this method was used as it was highly labour intensive and time consuming, although the fact I was able to get so close, as the adjoining Conservatoire balcony was still open may have had something to do with it.

The shell of the Adrian Boult Hall on the left and the last remaining "tower" of the old library in the middle with the Copthorne Hotel on the right.

These doors once opened on to a corridor linking the library and the Conservatoire.

The last part of the library building was being demolished.

Ground works for the new buildings start almost immediately that the first parts of the site are cleared. Only about fifty per cent of the total Paradise site is currently clear.

It is now both a demolition site and a construction site. Even the hotel behind this shot is still operational but due for demolition.

The distinctive red and black facade of the Copthorne hotel will be one of the last buildings to go.

The first foundation piles now going in. These are critically placed to avoid the main line West Coast rail tunnel underneath the site. This will be the future 1 Chamberlain Square.

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