chris Dyson's Comments
One is left wondering... what if rather than a modern building hiding behind the emporium the gap was plugged... rather like a dental implant? A positive gesture and a contemporary take on the distinguished emporium elevation IE bronze / cast metal cast columns and frieze to match the existing? In this way the story would survive as one would wonder why it is so and learn by questioning ...the existing situation has been a blighted building for many years.
This is a beautiful and wonderful thing we must build such things and not carp at them they represent the very best of our times and highly sustainable.
IF i were a betting man then I would agree with the odds on favourite, but who knows the machinations of the jury...they are quite simply brilliant and talented architects at the peak of their powers displaying a warm intelligence, humour, bravery, artistic endeavour and humanity, all qualities identifiable in Jim Stirling. That adage quoted occasionally by the critic; Robert Maxwell really does apply to this duo ‘’ We see here an Architecture that values the past without erecting it into an ideology, that can work with the past while correcting its idiosyncrasies. It is Architecture at the same time modern and perennial: it combines ancient wisdom and modern know-how.’’
The estuary airport is indeed one of the most significant projects creating both growth along the Thames corridor, and also at Heathrow by converting this into a borough of its own. Visionary projects like this which have actually been well considered and crafted over many years should be respected and endure the neigh Sayers with their short term and often parochial visions. Chep Lak, Hong Kong airport has proven a great example of success, now one of the World’s largest and most successful airport hubs. The island has been inhabited on and off since the Middle Neolithic period 6,000 years ago. Species were transferred to other sections of the nearby islands with success, proving that nature can adapt to man’s vision, if man looks after nature at the same time. This is surely possible on the isle of grain? Great Britain needs to invest in infrastructure projects to maintain its communication and economic position both globally and nationally. This is a great opportunity for both employment and future growth of our country for our children, one that should not be missed.
Comment on: Obituary: Andy MacMillan (1928-2014)
Andy was a great Architect and an inspiring teacher, a wonderful example of a magnetic personality. I had the pleasure of his personal tutorship on my thesis designs for a world university in Istanbul, whilst at the Mac 1987-1989 . It was a privilege to know him and receive his wisdom, mostly extremely critical!, and this early experience has become a great preparation for life in practice. Our field trips took in many of his own buildings in particular the memory of visiting Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford and St Peters Cardross still lives with me today. I learnt my passion and commitment for Architecture through him and his leadership of some of the finest tutors in the land. He was extremely proud of his students and followed them on through their careers, often making trips to London and meeting in the French House Soho for a drink. Andy possessed a wicked and great humour; his charm was admired by all who came into contact with him. There is little doubt he will be sorely missed by the profession, institutions and all those who knew him. Chris Dyson Architect Principal Chris Dyson Architects
This is a wonderful exhibition. The power of this form of architecture has an enduring potency as can be seen in the recent completion of the Franklin D Roosevelt, Four Freedoms park in New York. His domestic work remains for me some his most ingenious and beguiling, my favourite the norman and Doris Fisher house, Pennsylvania 1960-67. Note that time frame, quite a long time to make a house, and presumably worth the wait! Kahn was a master whose reductive approach to design eschews fashionable gestures and aims for the heart and soul of a design idea crystallised in an elegant understanding for high quality materials and craftsmanship. Go see this while you can.
This is a real concern - too often as a practise workling in conservation areas in central London, we are faced with severe delays on projects, which creates incredible stress to the design process and delivery of a project. This would be unneccessary if there were many more well qualified architecurally trained staff within planning and conservation departments. This should be made a priority for councils all over the country, something needs to be doen to make these posts interesting and appealing to young architects as a serious career choice. Councils that urgently want to do something about this can turn to local professionals and create design advisory panels to advise on the qulaity of design and speed up the procress by doing so providing case officers with a more rounded and confident response to planning proposals.
O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Saw Swee Hock student centre is a great building and very worthy of the prize. Built in a challenging context using brick in an innovative way it is a real London project with a metropolitan twist. It is my favourite!
Comment on: Obituary: Richard MacCormac (1938-2014)
I had the pleasure of working with Richard very closely over the last two years on the detail design and construction of his dining room, at the rear Heneage Street, his home for many years. I will never forget the lasting impression he made on me, his tenacity and dogged pursuit of the detail. He had a great capacity to defuse difficult situations and meetings by injecting humour and telling anecdotes. He was a giant in terms of his Architecture, an inspirational figure in many respects, who always ploughed his own furrow, with great energy and enthusiasm, which he did until very recently, with the beautiful publication of a book ‘Two houses in Spitalfields’ a story of the entwined lives and homes of his late partner Jocasta Innes of 30 years. He will be sorely missed by the architectural profession and many in the community of Spitalfields and where he lived and was loved, by family and many friends alike.
The point about perimeter blocks and street scale is well made. I firmly believe we can achieve the similar high densities without towers and with amixture of tenure it only takes a will we all live 'cheek by jowl' in London, that is what makes London so great and dtynamic, ghettos of rich or poor folks should be avoided at all costs... What we need streets and squares not left over spaces after an efficient tower plan has been implimented....