Abe Hayeem's Comments
The clear answer should be -no this folly, and yes to the bridges at Nine Elms and Rotherhith..
Excellent statement, highlighting what a city really needs for regeneration, when neighbourhoods are threatened, and a decadent scheme that is an extravagant folly to pander to celebrity and trendy designer egos. Just to increase London's tourist potential is a lousy argument -for London has in fact more than it can cope with. It is indeed a treasure house for those who live here and visit here. What is at question here is not the doggy tendering and selection process, and the probability of the project vastly exceeding its projected costs which will be yet another burden on TfL and the taxpayer. No, the question, already answered by the majority of feeling, is that whether we need this bridge at this location at all. The answer is that bridges are needed at more critical points eats and west of Waterloo Bridge. This one must not be allowed to go ahead.
This farce beggars belief and is surreal, beyond irony! The President more or less apologising to the party carrying out projects that are considered as war crimes, to consolidate and perpetuate a brutal occupation and apartheid - all contrary to international law, the Geneva Conventions, the RIBA ethical codes, and UIA Resolutions and articles -and ignoring the oppressed Palestinians, and demonising those who courageously presented the 19 March Motion, which was fairly debated and convincingly carried. The honourable thing to do would have been for the RIBA delegation to pursue the Resolution at the UIA. Instead we have the obsequious appalling reversal -surely a candidate in the Guiness Book of Records for the most squalid reversal of a democratic vote to uphold justice and ethics by a professional institute in hoc to a vociferous and intimidating lobby and pressure from donors, and a facilitating executive, using untenable 'Charity' reasons -to place itself on the wrong side of history. This is at a time when Israel's criminal actions are escalating at fever pitch, especially around the illegal settlement expansion and dispossession of Palestinians on both sides of the green linen, the horrendous urbicide in Gaza, and house demolitions in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, backed by ongoing violence and IDF terror, killings, arrests and detentions. A sad and infamous end to the year for the RIBA, which it will find hard to live down -unless it reverses this pathetic decision, and shakes up its increasing stranglehold on its democratic and ethical functioning.
Comment on: Holl's Glasgow School of Art set to open
Yes it is sad that someone with Stephen Holl's talent has come up with this dubious companion to the iconic Mackintosh School of art, with its acres of glass -so completely anti-thetical to the Glasgow idiom and character. A similar situation exists with his winning competition for an extension to Bombay's V&A musem -a proposal that is bombastic and totally alien to the character and setting of the existing building, and no response at all to Bombay's climate -the heat, the humidity and the rain -just as with Gehry, massive sculptural forms to reflect a giant ego.
Comment on: Assael doubles profits after ‘best year ever'
Pity about the poor quality of the architecture -commercial, characterless and drab. Is this what London needs? Let's have some really good architecture for a change and less of these mass repeating solutions which still do not respond to London's real need -decent quality social housing at cheap rents for the average and poor service industry workers, public sector workers and young people starting out.
This whole project is questionable and would actually obscure the view of St. Paul's and damage important views of the City. It has been condemned as an expensive, unnecessary vanity folly, and should now be abandoned in favour of really vital infrastructure development, esp. social housing that is desperately needed for a fairer London. The whole concept of a bridge with trees and planting over a bridge on the river destroys London's urban quality, and its use and maintenance a huge problem. Get rid of it!
Comment on: RIBA overturns controversial Israel motion
All the pro-Israel lobby statements above- there are many voices upholding the ethical ideals of architecture. Not only are there many RIBA members and members of Council who supported the suspension motion, and indeed many of the great names in architecture, there are many Israelis who oppose the illegal practices of the architecture of violence, dispossession and apartheid discrimination endemic in Israeli architecture, and the whole basis of the state. In fact you should read the works of Eyal Weizman, and see his latest film -The Architecture of Violence -that was recently shown around the world. The group called Constructive Dialogue, led by Dan Leon (who threatened to resign from the RIBA but who now curiously has become a Council member) were able to email every Council member before the vote to try and turn them against the very valid and essential Motion, and were subsequently given exclusive access, together with Israeli architects, to meet with the RIBA executive. Subsequently, the RIBA and UIA were bombarded by a barrage of thousands of emails from all over world, including threats and intimidation to the proposers of the Motion, and the Jewish Chronicle accused the RIBA of being 'officially ant-Semitic', and encouraged its readers to boycott the RIBA by cancelling bar-mitvah bookings. The campaign to cancel the motion was relentless -and though it appears that the RIBA has succumbed to the lobbying, it has brought the profession into disrepute by refusing to uphold the ethical and professional standards and codes of the RIBA and UIA, in a most clear cut breach of international law and human rights by members of a country's professional institute (IAUA) which has done nothing to censure or stop its members' illegal practices. By the RIBA reversing the motion of such a clear cut and well documented case, it is condoning the ongoing violence of Israeli architecture in the OPTs and within Israel with the slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Negev and the Judaisation of the Galilee and Israel's cities.
Comment on: RIBA overturns controversial Israel motion
Dan Leon -the whole point is that the exclusion was for a reason -that the Israeli Association of United Architects was not upholding its responsibilities in censuring its members for its breaches of international law, and its participation in what are considered as war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. The UIA specifically demands this censure of member countries whose architects participate in grave misconduct -as this is, since it has been well documented as an architecture of violence, occupation, dispossession and legalised discrimination, based on racist and apartheid principles. Again, the UIA Articles require any country taking another country to task for grave misconduct, and has specific Resolutions condemning such projects. Oborn's report is manipulated to protect the IAUA, and as we have seen over several decades, 'constructive dialogue' in the case of Israel has led nowhere -except to more settlements, land grabs, creating high security prisons and bantustan enclaves for the Palestinians -which get worse every day. Today' s debacle at the RIBA Council does exactly that -it will not change the situation in Israel/Palestine one iota. It will only maintain the unacceptable status quo. Your measured tones deceive no-one. We must listen to the voice of Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian Architects' Association who have asked for sanctions to be taken, and in this case, the 19 March RIBA Resolution was the democratic decision by Council that has now been subverted by a strong and influential lobby, harming the RIBA's professional reputation and responsibility.The best contribution to altering the dire situation would have been to carry through that Resolution to the UIA.
Comment on: RIBA overturns controversial Israel motion
This must be the lowest depths that the RIBA has sunk - an obsequious capitulation to the Israel lobby both outside and within the RIBA, and to donor pressure -even after being intimidated, threatened and subjected to boycotts applied to its financial detriment. This was precisely a professional and ethical issue that could be undertaken by an institution, even within its charitable status, according to UIA Resolutions and Articles, and by a clear democratic Council decision. This has been subverted by the International Committee with its ludicrous visit and report, and then saying it was joining the UN Global Compact and the International Ethics Coalition.This must be the most farcical of ironies, as it has just rescinded precisely the Resolution that would have conformed to ethical practice -not given support to Israeli architects who are practicing the architecture of occupation, violence and dispossession. The concern seems to have been more for the feelings of the oppressors than the Palestinians -whose architects association had opposed the actions of the RIBA in supporting the Israeli standpoint. No, this is what the RIBA has got miserably wrong, and has brought the whole Institute into disrepute. They got it right in 1977, when they took the courageous action in breaking its links with the South African schools of architecture as part of the anti-apartheid boycott call.
Lior Broch -the bullying /hate campaign is the one carried out by the pro-Israel lobby in trying to divert the RIBA from carrying out its professional and ethical decisions of Council and trying to subvert its democratic will. The UKTI mission involves a disgraceful attempt to promote work for British architects on new cities in Israel' s Galilee and the occupied West Bank that involve Judaisation of Palestinan areas in the Galilee and Negev and mass displacement or obstruction of Palestinians from their villages. Contrary to your warped version of the Gaza onslaught by Israel, it was Israel that broke the ceasefire, killed many Palestinians, arresting hundreds in the West Bank that led to the justified resistance by Hamas acting in self defence against a crippling seven year illegal blockade imposed by the Israelis. The UN has called Israel's deliberate attack on civilians in the GazaStrip 'gross violations of international law'. Israel has since imposed an even tighter siege on Gaza and a horrendous man-made humanitarian emergency -making it impossible for any reconstruction to happen. It is these sorts of crimes that should make the UKTI and the RIBA shun these sorts of missions, and press for the Council's resolution to suspend the Israeli architects' association, which has never censured their members' participation in illegal criminal projects, or expressed any condemnation of the Gaza urbicide or ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to build Israeli projects on their stolen land.