George Hotel, Huddersfield
Application to remove the rear wing of a Victorian hotel for modernisation:
The George Hotel holds pride of place on Huddersfield’s famous St George’s Square, which to my mind is one of the most impressive urban environments in the country. Arriving into Huddersfield is an uninterrupted 360 degree vista of imposing stone buildings. It makes a statement.
This element of the building dates from somewhere between 1870 and 1930. The loss of the chimney would be particularly sad, as it brings a lot to the square. The wing is appropriately austere for its location next to the hotel frontage. It provides an interface between the back end of the railway and the grandeur of the square, and displays a unique hinge that results in an intricate interface with its neighbour.
The proposed demolition of the rear of the hotel would see a modern building introduced into this setting, bereft of stone, adorned in cladding. The renders look highly attractive, but on a cold wet day in the North, stone buildings look resilient and dramatic. The above would resemble a business park off the M6. Architecture like this can really benefit regeneration, and can complement the urban environment very well. But not here. St George’s square is perfection, and any changes here should be considered with utmost caution.