Describe a public building you enjoyed visiting.
You should say:
Where this building was
When you went there
What you did there
And explain why you liked going there
The library in New York City. This is the building I’d like to talk about. It’s a magnificent building not far from Times Square. It’s a majestic stone structure with an amazing entrance way with steps leading up to it and two large stone lion statues flanking the grand entrance as you go up. Huge columns support a massive triangular stone fa?ade at the top by the roof. As you go in through the huge wooden polished doors, you enter into a beautifully tiled entrance hall, and from there sweeping stone staircases lead into the different rooms. The main library room smells of wood and leather as you enter… And the wood is so wonderfully crafted and polished and the leather chairs and benches are kept in perfect condition. It really is like stepping into a wonderful old library that is maintained to preserve its former glory back in the days when it was new! I went there when I was sight-seeing in New York and I had spent a day on my own. In fact, I was visiting Times Square, but wasn’t that impressed with that, so I took a short walk around the neighbourhood, found a wonderful park to grab a cup of tea in, and then walked around and suddenly quite by accident, came across this huge building, and soon realized I was standing outside New York Library. I didn’t know that anyone could freely walk inside, so I was really pleased when I strolled in. Nobody stopped me or asked me to buy a ticket, and most of the rooms I could wander around freely. I sat in the main library at one of the desks reading my guidebook, quite peacefully, and watching the afternoon sunlight shine in through the tall, high windows, then I went back to my hotel room. It was a great discovery and I think I’ll go again when I want to be in a beautiful place that is also very quiet and calm and peaceful. It’s not only a fine example of city architecture, but it’s a nice escape from the bustle of the city.
1. Do you think the appearance of a building is important?
I think the appearance of a building is indeed very important. Buildings are not just functional but have a strong aesthetic impact on a neighbourhood or area of a city. Some modern architecture, for example, makes an area look beautiful, adds a certain flavor to an area, whereas other examples could be argued to be ugly, an eye-sore, and unfitting with the general architectural theme of the area. So, the appearance of a building is important, as it can have a big impact on the general look of an area of the city. Buildings, ideally, should be designed to be in harmony with the rest of the district, and not be jarring or too different – or at least not in a way that spoils the look of the neighbourhood.
2. What is the most important thing to consider in planning the construction of a public building? Design, location or facilities?
Well… all of these things really. But I’d say the first thing that should be considered would be the function of the building, the facilities it offers and whether they are essential or beneficial to the area and the people who will use it. That’s also a question of location as well – it has to fulfil a function which is going to be useful to as many people as possible in that area – and relevant. There’s no point in having a fancy office building in an area where most people are not likely to be able to get there easily to get to work. So, facilities and location are of primary importance. Then comes design and look – also important, of course, but of secondary importance, I’d say.
3. Who should be responsible for conserving old buildings?
The government should have the main responsibility for the conservation of old buildings. They should appoint a specific urban planning office or division dedicated to the preservation of the city or country’s old buildings, and there should be fairly strict rules, budgets and things like this, to make sure that buildings are maintained according to certain rules and regulations. At least I think this should be the case with most buildings of national historic interest, especially cultural symbols, tourist sights and buildings of great historic value to the nation. A government body should be in charge of this kind of conservation to make sure it’s all done properly and professionally.