Friday 15 June 2018
East Greenwich Gas Holder -latest - and what happens elsewhere!
East Greenwich Gasholder
Please sign the petition
We hope to take the petition to the Council meeting on 27th June - thanks to Cllr Denise Scott-Macdonald. This will, as usual, just be Denise handing it (a memory stick actually!) over to the Mayor.
People may have noticed that the gasholder is on the agenda for the Planning Board on 20th June. This is basically an administrative item and not to to directly with the holder's demolition. It is to remove the Hazardous Substances Order which was in place while the holder was full of gas. There is a bit of a history to this but the order set up a blast zone around the holder which was stopping development of the new school and some other items. We have however written to the Council saying that we assume that the actual hazardous substances which are on the site and under the holder will be dealt with in a future management order.
However - Darryl in the 853 blog has also pointed out that this has an impact on the plans for the Silvertown Tunnel. https://853london.com/2018/06/13/greenwich-gasholder-order-set-to-bring-silvertown-tunnel-a-step-closer/
He says that, of course, the hazardous substances order needed to be dealt with before the tunnel could open and that this is one step towards that.
However it is very possible that the gasholder has a lot more to do with the Silvertown Tunnel than that - Darryl needs to look at a map!
We have quite a bit of news about other luckier gasholders
Old Kent Road - it appears that Southwark Council has done a deal to keep holders on the site at Old Kent Road Gas Works. The big Livesey holder - our East Greenwich holder's little brother - is listed and will be kept in their entirety. The two smaller Livesey holders are being partly demolished as features in future landscaping of the site.
Chelmsford - there is news that a very ordinary gas holder at Chelmsford is to kept having been bought by the local council on a site to be used for housing. They have also got Government money for decontamination and development. The holder itself has been listed Grade II.
Barcelona - apparently the gasholder frame there was kept as part of the works for the 1992 Olympics.
MEANWHILE IN EAST LONDON - the holders at Poplar, just the other side of the Blackwall Tunnel, appear to have been demolished - despite a massive petition. Pleas to list it were turned down. The Bethnal Green holder - the oldest of its type and in a wonderful setting - appears to be still there (last we saw) but has been turned down for listing.
MEANWHILE IN MUNICH
Barbara Berger has now got her PhD in gas holder construction. Here is a page of gasholder history from her ... more to come later
GASHOLDERS, FROM INDUSTRIAL RELIC TO MODERN ARCHITURE
Barbara Berger, Research Associate, Technical University of Munich
Before the rising structures of gasholders changed the cityscapes it was the gas light itself that was revolutionizing the daily life in cities in the beginning of the 19th century. In 1813 public illumination from gas was inaugurated for the very first time in the London district of Westminster. This new lighting technique revolutionized cities worldwide. Paris in 1819. Hannover in 1825 and Turin 13 years later
The gasholder was introduced as a technical building for the storage of locally produced coal gas. Its emerging iron structure presented a new kind of industrial architecture and became symbolic
of the gas industry.
The gasholder's structure was determined by its function. It had to fulfil two basic requirements: first a variable capacity. and secondly a gas-tight construction . A water-based system met both requirements. It was composed of a water tank and a lift for the gas.The latter was immersed into the tank and rose and fell according to the current content of the gas.. An external guide frame guaranteed the reliable movement of the lift. Because of the increasing demand for gas receptacles with more storage were needed. In the 19th and early 20th century there were generally two different kinds of water sealed gasholders, the Belltype gasholder (or single-lift gasholder). and the gasholder(or multi-lift gasholder).
Initially the lifts of both types were guided via an external linear guide frame. but at the end of the 19th century the new spiral guided technique allowed the building of gasholders even without
a guide frame. Another special form was the so-called gasholder house. that totally hid the filigree iron structure of the gasholder facades were often architecturally ornate.
Over the century development advanced from the water sealed to the waterless or dry-sealed system: the Piston-type gasholder was invented 1913 in Germany. The new sealing technique was adapted along the edge of the piston and guaranteed contact between the piston and the shell of the cylinder. This new sealing technique led to a new appearance and form of the gasholder.
The arrival of natural gas was the beginning of the decline of coal gas and historic gasholders because the increasing demand on gas required new storage systems - thus new types of gasholders.
Today historic gasholders are industrial relics although very many have already been demolished. The remaining examples are often abandoned and their architectural value is not realized A gasholder facilitates a column-free, tall, symmetrical space,that offers a wide range of reuse projects.
One of the very first examples of revitalization was second world war: a massive gasholder house in Berlin formed into a bunker known as the 'Fichtebunker ' . The inner lifts were demolished and the circular brick walls reinforced. After being modified into a storage depot and shelter for homeless men and women this space is used nowadays as a museum. However. the dome of the building was developed fferentkly. Under the filigree iron structure. exclusive, elaborate loft houses are located with a spectacular view over the city of Berlin.............................(to be continued)
Posted by M at 10:10