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Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Paolozzi murals at Tottenham Court Road tube face demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 20-Jan-2015 2:50 pm

    Michael Edwards is absolutely right - and if London can't 'go the extra mile' to provide a home for all these mosaics. one way or another, then perhaps the initiative might come from Scotland, from Edinburgh - Paolozzi's home town.

  • Comment on: Paolozzi murals at Tottenham Court Road tube face demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 20-Jan-2015 10:20 am

    It's inconceivable that these elements can't be 'saved' - maybe not in their original context, or even in the station - but the one thing that is sure is that Paolozzi's talent is head and shoulders above that of people that think that claiming to save 95% of the mosaics is 'job done'.

  • Comment on: RSHP reveals £4.3m demountable Lewisham home scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19-Jan-2015 9:57 am

    All the residential units might exceed current space standards by 10%, but why position the hall / lounge door so that it precludes the possibility of the occupants putting a useful length of storage cupboard, shelving or whatever in the hall?

  • Comment on: Profession shocked as Architecture for Humanity shuts

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19-Jan-2015 9:37 am

    Unfortunately, architecture for inhumanity is alive and well - but we must be very careful what we say about it.

  • Comment on: RIBA to open new India chapter

    Robert Wakeham's comment 7-Jan-2015 10:55 pm

    I think that it's still Delhi, not 'Deli', as surely the local language version used in the city is 'Dilli'.

  • Comment on: Second panel falls from Zaha’s Vienna library

    Robert Wakeham's comment 7-Jan-2015 6:06 pm

    Not sure about 'iconic' - but there seems to be a very thin line between innovative/spectacular and in-your-face/thuggish.

  • Comment on: RIBA overturns controversial Israel motion

    Robert Wakeham's comment 5-Dec-2014 2:25 pm

    The last time I commented on this issue I was accused of anti-semitism and both my and the related comments were deleted, so I'll try not to cause offence this time. Looking at the readers' comments above there might just be only one person who's likely subject to the Israeli law of return but who isn't enthusiastically crowing over the RIBA's climb down. In British politics there's there's the well established (if somewhat fragile) principle of everyone declaring their interest in a subject of debate, and that's where comment on this issue runs the risk of being fraught with serious accusations of racism. My concern is that some people have a very direct interest in the unchallenged progress of a campaign of dispossession, landscape destruction and wholesale urbanisation that's ably assisted by the input of a considerable number of architects. Ethnic cleansing might even be a reasonable description as one factor in this colossal mess. For anyone to be criticising the right of the RIBA to be concerned about this is, on the face of it, astonishing, but - although I presume that the majority of the commentators are architects, their integrity is open to question - and at least one of them has fallen into the trap, in his practice information, of describing himself as a member of the ARB. Granted that he's far from alone in exaggerating his status in this way (it would be an awfully long board), but to me it symbolises people whose self interest gets in the way of fact - and sometimes morality, as well as integrity I've got an old postcard, a photo of the hills of Gilead west of Ajlun - and maybe to an urbanite it just looks like a picturesque but empty landscape. In fact it isn't empty at all, and though these hills are in 'unoccupied' Jordan, I think that much of the land being buried under the massive urbanisation in question was once just as fine. The destruction is to the eternal shame - and disgrace - of all the architects involved. . must in a all the caused upset, was

  • Comment on: Betty Boothroyd attacks 'building frenzy' on South Bank

    Robert Wakeham's comment 2-Dec-2014 2:22 pm

    Eric Pickles' behaviour is surely surprising, so soon after he'd shown his independence of mind by putting a stop to the Smithfield Market over-development. Thank goodness for the greed-free common sense of Betty Boothroyd, in the face of a populist mayor who appears increasingly to have his eye only on the main chance.

  • Comment on: Westminster still concerned over Garden Bridge’s impact on views

    Robert Wakeham's comment 1-Dec-2014 1:39 pm

    It's surely not just the Westminster planners that are concerned at the impact of this 'intervention' - I've never lived in London but the vistas over and along this stretch of the Thames are of national value, and not something to be messed up by a clever idea for the benefit of a rich, powerful interest group, assisted by substantial public money from a Lord mayor who surely needs a reality check.

  • Comment on: First images revealed of Cardross revamp proposals

    Robert Wakeham's comment 26-Nov-2014 7:53 pm

    The very best of news for this 'lost' elegy to Brutalism, lurking in the abandoned demesne of Kilmahew. And it should be a fine tribute to the memory of Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan.

  • 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?

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