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Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Historic England changes tack on King's College Strand plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-May-2015 12:24 pm

    So... 'King's College said it was 'sensitive' to the 'architecturally significant environment' in which it operated'. They could've fooled me.

  • Comment on: One St Peter’s Square by Glenn Howells

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-May-2015 6:37 am

    It looks as if the designer has symbolised the developer's push for maximum floor space by exploiting the apparent weakness of the planning authority and extruding three more floors out of the top of this building, literally 'lifting the lid' on it. These architects are capable of much better than this.

  • Comment on: Coalition of critics slams the Garden Bridge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-May-2015 6:28 am

    Is Paul Finch wearing blinkers?

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge Trust reveals planting vision

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19-May-2015 1:46 am

    To answer Jacky Stevens, according to the blurb on the garden bridge website (questions & answers - fact vs fiction), cyclists are welcome as long as they push their bikes. So that's OK, then.

  • Comment on: Grimshaw’s Ship saved from demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19-May-2015 1:29 am

    Very good news; whether or not this building is listed the fabric will surely be far easier to maintain 'as existing' than that of a much older building - and surely whatever alterations are required for its new function will be carried out sensitively, given the comments from the new owner.

  • Comment on: DCLG places Strand plans on hold

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-May-2015 11:40 pm

    Good news, surely, for anyone hoping that enlightenment - and common sense - will prevail.

  • Comment on: Stop moaning, the Garden Bridge is fabulous

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-May-2015 11:19 pm

    'Imagination' is one thing, and Lumley & Heatherwick seem to have plenty, but there's too much of the 'Emperor's New Clothes' about the pushing through of this project, with its rather selective attitude to who can actually use it as a route (and when) - as well as who's competent to design it. I don't think that a new private bridge in the centre of the capital city of a possibly truncated Britain, procured by sleight of hand, aping the physical form of neighbouring bridges but apparently intended as a novelty item to promote the inventive genius of the nation. The 'Highline' it's not, and I think that it's more gimmick than long term asset - though I'd be keen enough on it if I was an urban fox, with either four legs or two.

  • Comment on: What might the Tories have in store for architecture?

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-May-2015 7:50 pm

    To Marc Massin: I think that the 'green bridge' is ridiculous because it's intended to be more a private space than a public route, with restrictions on use that prevent cycling, prevent access 24/7, and reserve the right to close it for private functions. Despite this, Boris is helping finance it with public money via TfL (and to hell with the need for safe cycle routes). To add insult to injury, it's going to block vistas of this stretch of the Thames - and, I suspect, become used as eloquent testimony to the unacceptable face of Conservative government.

  • Comment on: What might the Tories have in store for architecture?

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-May-2015 10:37 am

    With Boris pushing hard to build the ridiculous 'green bridge', regardless of the implications, I wonder if we can expect more such cosy 'arrangements' to part-fund the construction of elitists follies at a time of increasing austerity (for some)?

  • Comment on: Bennetts reveals Edinburgh Uni scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 6-May-2015 10:37 am

    So, clad in 'natural stone and marble-aggregate polished concrete to reflect the character of its Georgian surroundings' - really? These Georgian surroundings don't figure in the published images, and are presumably facing this development on the opposite side of the street. Actually, no - just a range of nondescript modern five storey blocks of flats over retail, save for one older section of what might loosely be termed 'Georgian' but doesn't really look it. The only consistent feature that's remotely Georgian is the eaves height.

  • Comment on: Developer could have to rebuild London pub brick by brick

    Robert Wakeham's comment 30-Apr-2015 9:48 am

    I hope the architects for the proposed replacement building have the sense to wash their hands of this project - if cowboy clients have difficulty in finding architects who are willing to jump into bed with them it would be good for both the profession and the country. I also hope that the nationwide company whose name was emblazoned on the demolition plant has to account for just what they thought they were doing - otherwise it's difficult to see them retaining some of their largest clients. Lastly, I hope that the resolve of the authorities involved doesn't waver, isn't undermined by 'behind the scenes' influence being brought to bear, and that this building really does rise from the dead.

  • Comment on: SAVE launches petition against Hall McKnight's Strand plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 30-Apr-2015 9:32 am

    SAVE is surely absolutely correct in its assessment - the pressure to enable a large and influential institution to consume its surroundings like some sort of malignant growth has to be resisted - the damage done by the University of Edinburgh in past years is surely the classic ample of what not to do. And the sheer drabness of Hall McKnight's proposal adds insult to injury.

  • Comment on: Row ignites after British Land compared with Nazi Germany

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-Apr-2015 10:40 am

    British Land refers to a 'heritage-led scheme' - is this developer-speak for large scale demolition of an area? It's surely rather gracious of Mr Cruickshank to suggest that British Land's behaviour has been quite good.

  • Comment on: Piers Taylor wins planning for Croydon Passivhaus

    Robert Wakeham's comment 28-Apr-2015 10:10 am

    An ingenious design for an 'interesting' site - but why, oh why, such a dark brick skin - 'dark' seems to have become the signature feature of so much contemporary work.

  • Comment on: Architect rethinks plans for threatened East End oddity

    Robert Wakeham's comment 28-Apr-2015 9:55 am

    Thank goodness it hasn't suffered the fate of the soon-to-have-been-listed Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, suddenly and illegally demolished the day after Easter Monday in a manner reminiscent of the outrageous destruction of the Firestone Building in Brentford in 1980.

  • Comment on: Studio Octopi starts crowdfunding for Thames Baths

    Robert Wakeham's comment 27-Apr-2015 11:41 am

    If I was going to rank - on a scale of 1 to 10 - the Thames Baths project, and the 'green bridge', in terms of appropriate interventions on the river, these baths would be up there at 1 and the 'green bridge' would be an also-ran.

  • Comment on: Hall McKnight hails planning victory for contentious Strand plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 23-Apr-2015 12:45 pm

    A notable attribute of the existing range of buildings, apart from architectural variety, and interest, is that they're not drab - more than can be said of their replacement, which seems to be following the current widespread trend in London for dark and rather dismal buildings. Does the level of atmospheric pollution justify this, or is it just fashionable?

  • Comment on: Euston Arch rebuild efforts move forward

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-Apr-2015 12:47 pm

    Boris would surely be better advised to have TfL contribute to this inspired project than to pursue the elitist and dysfunctional garden bridge folly.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge objector given judicial review boost

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-Apr-2015 12:43 pm

    If only the judicial review could also examine Transport for London's use of public money to help fund a bridge that has no provision for cyclists - the clue is in the word 'transport'. Boris would be better advised to put the money into reconstructing the historic Euston Arch

  • Comment on: Adam defends contentious Classical tower proposals in Reading

    Robert Wakeham's comment 20-Apr-2015 11:24 am

    So I wonder what changed Historic England's mind?