Monday, October 02, 2017

Grand designs

Abandoned buildings feature regularly on this site - but it's not often that I post about such places that are set to be brought back into use.

As this BBC article explains, the train station at Canfranc, in the Pyrenees on the French-Spanish border, is a huge and extraordinarily grand construction that has seemed like a mad folly ever since it opened in 1928. Having fallen into disuse in 1970 and subsequently into disrepair, the building may now be restored, with plans afoot to reopen the lines on both the French and Spanish sides. If it's to be given a new lease of life, though, it won't be resurrected as a station but reincarnated as a hotel, with a new station built adjacent to it.

Much the same has happened in Cardiff, with the historic and impressive Coal Exchange building, which had been disused since 2013, recently reborn as a glitzy hotel - though, in truth, there's no real need for a building that fulfils its original function these days.

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