Task 2: Some people think that newly built houses should follow the style of the old houses in the local areas, while others think that people should have freedom to build houses of their own styles. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Essay Plan :
Introduction : refer to both views. Agree with the fust view.
Paragraph 2 : modem view: (1) individuals should choose their modem house style if they wish (2) costs of traditional construction make old style housing too expensive.
Paragraph 3 : traditional view: (1) preserve cultural heritage (2) mixing modem architectural styles is an eyesore.
Conclusion : modem housing developments must respect the existing architecture of an area.
While some people believe that new houses should be constructed in the same style as the more traditional houses in the locality, others contend that everyone should be free to choose their own style of house. I agree with the view that new housing should follow the traditional architecture of the area.
On the one hand, there are some who argue that it is essential to welcome change and allow individuals to have the right to live in a modem style of house, if they so wish, irrespective of the locality. They also tend to dismiss traditional ideas on terms of building costs. Traditional construction materials, like natural stone from local quarries, are difficult to obtain and very expensive even if they are available, whereas new houses are built using more affordable materials. The maintenance costs of houses constructed in the old way also tend to be higher compared with their modern counterparts. Wood, for example, is nowadays commonly replaced by aluminium or plastic materials in house construction.
On the other hand, there are strong arguments that new houses should adopt the existing architectural style of a local area. In terms of the tangible cultural heritage of a small town or village, traditional houses possess character and they give a strong sense of identity to the locality. Buildings which have historical significance provide a link to our roots, while a modem estate designed by property developers is certain to be incompatible with historical connections. From an architectural perspective, modem houses alongside traditional dwellings are an eyesore. They fail to blend in with the housing which has grown organically, perhaps during centuries.
In conclusion, though it may be more costly, the traditional architecture of localities should be respected by modem housing developments.
Traditional versus Modern :
• to welcome change
Meaning: to accept change with enthusiasm
Example: While it is important to welcome change, the public must try to preserve all that is worthwhile from the past.
• to dismiss traditional ideas
Meaning: to decide that traditional ideas are not important and not worth considering any more.
Example: Although the views of older people may sometimes seem unhelpful in today’s world, we should not dismiss all traditional ideas as irrelevant.
• to possess character
Meaning: to have an interesting or unusual quality.
Example: Whereas most modem buildings look similar, the architecture that has survived from the past possesses character.
• a strong sense of identity
Meaning: the feelings or customs of people which distinguish them from others. Example: Small village communities often have a strong sense of identity, due to their shared customs and beliefs.
• to provide a link to our roots
Meaning: to connect with previous generations or traditions.
Example: Traditional skills provide a link to our roots, and they are part of our shared heritage.
• to be incompatible with
Meaning: not able to exist/be next to another thing or person because of basic differences.
Example: The way of life of indigenous people is incompatible with modern cultures.
Housing and Architecture :
• traditional construction materials
Meaning: materials like stone or wood that have been used for building purposes for hundreds of years.
Example: The new theatre was built using traditional construction materials in order to blend in with the architecture of the old part of the city.
• maintenance costs
Meaning: the costs associated with keeping a building in good condition by regularly repairing it.
Example: The maintenance costs of old houses are comparatively very high.
• modern counterparts
Meaning: modem buildings which have the same function as the older ones that they replace.
Example: Old buildings are gradually being replaced by their modern counterparts in the centre of London.
• tangible cultural heritage
Meaning: refers to physical objects produced and maintained for generations within a society.
Example: Tangible cultural heritage includes buildings and historic places, monuments, craft objects etc which are worth preserving for the future.
• to have historical significance
Meaning: to be important in terms of history.
Example: Although new buildings may not have historical significance, they are important to meet housing or business needs.
• property developers
Meaning: people who buy land or buildings, and then make improvements in order to sell them for more money.
Example: City planning cannot be left in the hands of property developers, who are only interested in making money.
• to be an eyesore
Meaning: to be ugly to look at.
Example: The new multi-storey car park in the city centre is a real eyesore.
• to blend in with
Meaning: to be similar to or to match the things around.
Example: The traditional architecture of the art gallery in the park blends in with the peaceful greenery which surrounds it.
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