Robert Wakeham's Comments
Capital sleaze, Boris - what a hoot.
The Terry confection would quite suit Nicolae Ceausescu's Bucharest - but London?
The Menier building shows this proposed neighbour up for the rubbish that it is.
Londoners? What about the rest of Britain, or is London now being floated by Boris, George, Joanna & pals as an independent city state? I doubt very much that it's just Londoners who are left cold by the notion of this expensive and intrusive piece of public-private frippery - especially when George is preaching belt-tightening all around (except, apparently, in London).
It's just such a shame that architects of the stature of Gareth Hoskins - and Jestico & Whiles, with their hotel project - have got mired in such insensitive 'interventions' in the city.
So Lord Mervyn Davies thinks that there's 'huge public support' for it - forgive me - I hadn't noticed, perhaps there should be a Swiss-style national referendum to establish exactly how huge, with the costs of the referendum covered by the National Lottery, if this is such a wondrous project to enhance the setting of the Thames in the middle of our capital city and create a vital connection between north and south banks (except when closed for private junkets and during the hours of darkness) .
'The tendency for the press to put Hadid centre stage when discussing the abuse of workers in Qatar' was amply demonstrated on the BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme this morning - repeating claims of many deaths on her site (despite the BBC's own 'More or Less' programme on 6th June counselling caution in assessing the facts). Zaha denied that there'd been any deaths on her site, and was clearly appalled at the BBC's repeat of a claim that had already been discredited in court.
Comment on: Revealed: Folly for London winner
I dream of a competition for a Public Inconvenience - financed by Boris & George (courtesy of ourselves) - but it's a nightmare, because it'd probably get built.
It's interesting to compare this redevelopment with that of the St James Centre in Edinburgh's new town. In that case something drab and unprepossessing is being replaced with an eye-catching and discordant building (to put it far too politely), whereas in Manchester it seems to be almost the other way around.
Comment on: TfL grilled over ‘unfair’ Garden Bridge contest
This whole affair is threatening to become text book material for students of the power of patronage, of how a theoretically democratic organisation established in the public interest can find itself being compromised without (perhaps) realising just how pernicious the process has become. And that's just TfL - the engagement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this saga has still to be fully understood, but his enthusiasm for 'bunging' the promoters a big fat tax-break at the same time that he's putting the squeeze on tax breaks for the low paid speaks volumes. Perhaps some in the spotlight will blame the Manhattan High Line Park (and its precursor in Paris) - and the siren song of a high profile actress - for having seduced them into thinking with their hearts rather than their heads - but I doubt that the French notion of the 'Crime Passionnel' will be adequate defence.
'There's no such thing as an architect who's not on one extreme or the other' - an architect who tells a government that needs putting out to grass. Am I being 'opinionated', or is that the simple truth?
Would that there were more people like Michael Bloomberg commissioning civilised buildings - there's a desperate need in Edinburgh right now.
Comment on: TfL probe defends Garden Bridge procurement
'Lost or destroyed key documentation' - now where have I heard that before? And as for the rating of design experience, TfL is smelling of something, and it's not roses. But surely the statement that 'TfL's role in the Garden Bridge was unclear from the outset' is the killer, and if this project goes ahead - let alone if it's part financed by Boris & George looting the public purse - it'll stand as a rather naff monument to grubby government and twisted democracy.
We have a government that 'thinks of the scheme as an object' - think 'garden bridge', think 'iconic', think Boris & George, think 'what's in it for me and my pals?'
Comment on: Foster unveils plans for Rwandan ‘droneport’
If Norman Foster eventually goes to Heaven, he'll get a pat on the head from Hassan Fathy.
The history of this project surely demonstrates that the power of patronage, and privilege, are thriving - and seemingly harder to challenge in our supposedly more enlightened and democratic society than in the days of the Royal Fine Art Commission. CABE has come and gone, and we apparently have the Design Council to look to for guidance in such matters these days - they say that they conducted a design review at the pre-planning stage, but that this is not in the public domain. So, now we have a Chancellor of the Exchequer energetically promoting what he considers to be an 'icon' , and in the same breath preaching a rigorous (iconic?) brand of national austerity. He seems to think that he's inherited the mantle of the RFAC - and that deserves energetic challenge, Mr Osborne needs holding to account..
Comment on: Y:Cube by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Interesting space planning - I wonder when Ivan Harbour last had to use a kitchenette mini sink for washing his face, outside a yacht or a caravan? - and the external stair balustrade is surely unsafe for residential access. In stark contrast the stair structure appears to be wildly over designed.
Very topical, in the current talk of rapid change on London's periphery, so are these proposals indicative of what's happening on the metropolitan fringe? The penultimate image, of the town centre as existing, indicates a pace of reassuringly human scale - and the images of the 'revamp' indicate something very different, a drastic step-change in scale that can be seen either as natural evolution in response to commercial pressures, or a massive step towards the recasting of the centre of Maidenhead as a very different place. The 'Crossrail effect'?
This piecemeal approach does seem very short sighted - and is there no thought of how to provide for a reconstructed Arch?
I see problems for the elderly and infirm, and emperors with no clothes.