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Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Allies and Morrison Winchester scheme faces High Court challenge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-Nov-2014 5:50 pm

    Quite apart from the general issues being raised, if the proposed new revisions include scrapping the scheme's bus station, what's going on in Winchester? I can think of other southern English towns where bus stations have been scrapped, to the distinct disadvantage of the travelling public.

  • Comment on: Top UK talents to design Czech housing scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 14-Nov-2014 11:18 am

    'The Oaks' - really? - at Popovicky? Perhaps we can expect a bosky residential development in Surrey or Berkshire called 'Duby' or 'Doubrava' - or is an English name seen by the developers as a selling point?

  • Comment on: Lambeth approves Heatherwick's Garden Bridge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 12-Nov-2014 10:18 am

    Is central London at risk of becoming an overblown version of the Museum of Curiosities? Many will be saluting the vision and ingenuity of Lumley and Heatherwick, but many will also be wondering about the impact on the vision of this familiar and iconic (for want of a nicer word) stretch of the Thames - and they'll be wondering at what sort of society is indulging in such frippery (follies?) when we're being warned of further national belt-tightening and austerity in the coming years. Will it one day be seen as a reminder of the hugely profitable crookery in the City of London, a piece of monumental bling?

  • Comment on: Bond Bryan's school conversion of Alsop's The Public

    Robert Wakeham's comment 7-Nov-2014 9:16 am

    There's a credibility gap here - how can you spend £72 million (of public money) and not have as built drawings? If Sandwell Council can't explain, and Will Alsop wasn't there, perhaps Flannery & de la Pole can? Or was there someone else involved in producing the detail design documentation for the contractor?

  • Comment on: Chester-le-Street Civic Centre architect 'sad and disappointed' over demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Nov-2014 4:23 pm

    32 years old and said to be too costly to maintain; are major elements of the fabric life expired, is it just that the exterior envelope needs upgraded, or has it suffered from 'deferred maintenance' (otherwise known as gross neglect)?

  • Comment on: Tower plans spell end for Make's Chiswick Octopus

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Nov-2014 10:57 am

    The triumph of mediocrity?

  • Comment on: Kensington & Chelsea freezes 120 mega-basement plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 30-Oct-2014 9:20 am

    There's surely room for more case studies in how large basement developments in residential areas can (or can't) be undertaken with minimal disturbance to the neighbours - but also on just where the money's coming from for such obviously very costly works. It's easy to discuss objections in terms of 'jealousy', but how about motivation in terms of 'greed'? - and I'm not a left-wing nimby.

  • Comment on: AJ Kiosks named as one of 13 key future projects for London

    Robert Wakeham's comment 28-Oct-2014 4:15 pm

    Eric Parry's is the only design with even the remotest semblance to a kiosk - the rest appear to be water fountains, pure and simple (and none the worse for that, but they ain't kiosks).

  • Comment on: Architects welcome return of Stonehenge tunnel plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 24-Oct-2014 11:43 am

    The A303 is a bit like the A1 in that it's been subject to creeping 'motorwayisation' over the years, but with the dualling so fragmented that the bottlenecks just tend to move location, but if you're not stuck in a queue you're contributing to the traffic noise that's a part of the Stonehenge problem. And, if you live in London, you could take the M4 + M5 route to the Southwest (the way the long distance buses go). Roddy Langmuir makes a very good point about tunnel portal design, but I wonder if relocation of the road line could find suitable dips in the landscape that would ease this problem?

  • Comment on: Chinese President demands end to 'weird architecture'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 23-Oct-2014 2:27 pm

    A politician with a dawning realisation that one day people will look back and snigger? Are you awake, Boris?

  • Comment on: Kyson showcases Lambeth mixed-use development

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-Oct-2014 4:47 pm

    It would be interesting to see the character of the original buildings on this street corner - to see whether the new building is an improvement, or whether it coarsens the urban fabric.

  • Comment on: Public inquiry launches into Simpson's 'stunted black glass stub'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-Oct-2014 11:28 am

    Why, I wonder, wasn't the link planned as a bridge at upper floor levels, to preserve access through Library Walk?

  • Comment on: Gehry and Foster’s Battersea 'high street' approved

    Robert Wakeham's comment 17-Oct-2014 1:44 pm

    The wibbly wobbly fad appears to be alive and well - but for how much longer?

  • Comment on: Derwent London wins planning to replace early Seifert building

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Oct-2014 8:10 pm

    Quite apart from the merits - or otherwise - of Seifert's building, the new proposal is replacing both this and the adjoining building with one uniform design - thereby surely contributing to the 'dumbing down' of the street, regardless of the architectural quality of the new versus the old.

  • Comment on: BDP reveals third attempt at Queen Street makeover

    Robert Wakeham's comment 1-Oct-2014 3:44 pm

    'Attempt' is the polite word for BDP's latest version of their design proposal for the George Square facade of Glasgow's Queen Street station expansion. This tilted curtain wall with heavy roof overhang might have been appropriate for an airport terminal building, but is ugly and lumpen in the context of George Square. BDP's original, lower, elegant transparent glass screen wall was fine - and enabled the Victorian train shed gable to be seen from the square. The latest proposal is quite disastrously unsympathetic to the surrounding buildings - and if built it would be a monument to the insensitivity of the BDP architects, of the planning authority - and of Glasgow, the erstwhile 'City of Culture'.

  • Comment on: Yes vote 'would jeopardise' £7.8bn of Scottish schemes

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Sep-2014 9:30 am

    Gordon MacGregor might not be aware that there's already action by the renewable energy industry to put projects on hold pending clarification of government policy after this week's vote. Near where I live in Argyll a fairly large, but uncontroversial, wind farm project was about to start on site but has now been frozen - and the same company has frozen their other project in Scotland. Nothing 'vague' about it. As for Helen Lucas's comments about 'fantastic creative energy', it seems to me that there's plenty of that in Scotland anyway, and there does seem to be a notion fostered by the 'Yes' campaigners that Scotland is a poor, decrepit, hollowed out shell of a country. Really? This is not to say that there isn't the urgent need for radical reform of the governance of Britain - anyone living outside the London area (and not just in Scotland) must be aware of the extraordinarily unhealthy coincidence of concentrated wealth and political power in just one patch of the country. Without reform, there really is a risk of enormously damaging fault lines opening up within England, let alone between England and Scotland.

  • Comment on: Scottish architects favour independence in 60–40 split

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Sep-2014 8:30 am

    Walter Menteth's observation of the lost opportunity might yet prove to be premature, if Westminster gets a sufficiently hefty kicking but Scotland opts to remain within the fold - and the implications for the English regions could well be immense.

  • Comment on: Glasgow School of Art announces duo of symposia on restoring the Mac

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Sep-2014 3:54 pm

    I very much hope that these two symposia don't turn out to be forums for promoting the idea that to restore the School of Art 'as built' would be to condemn it to just a repro 'Mockintosh' sham. This view was being promoted last week by the former director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and chair of the Friends of the Glasgow School of Art, David Mullane - who seems to have got carried away by the concept of modern interventions in the fabric of historic ruins. The Glasgow School of Art is not a ruin.

  • Comment on: Frank Gehry dropped from World Trade Centre job

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Sep-2014 9:49 am

    I wonder, what are Maggie Boepple's credentials?

  • Comment on: Crossrail wins approval for Woolwich Arsenal schemes

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Sep-2014 11:37 am

    Interesting that the station incorporates escalators, unlike the proposals for Ealing Broadway - I wonder if the predicted passenger numbers at Woolwich Arsenal are greater than those for Ealing Broadway?

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