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Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Critics accuse TfL of ‘pre-judging’ 2013 Garden Bridge contest

    Robert Wakeham's comment 6-Mar-2015 1:43 pm

    This is more like a story from Putin's Moscow - or am I being naive?

  • Comment on: Boris to underwrite Garden Bridge upkeep costs in shock u-turn

    Robert Wakeham's comment 5-Mar-2015 3:59 pm

    There was a time when I'd sit in a cafe in Theobald's Road before work, and we'd see Boris cycle past - and while we were fairly sure where he was headed we didn't have a clue where he was coming from.

  • Comment on: Richard Murphy reveals £110m Glasgow mixed-use scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Mar-2015 11:14 am

    Good to see respect for the ambience of the Merchant City - if only architects could show the same degree of respect for nearby George Square.

  • Comment on: 'Crude' Glasgow hotel plans attacked

    Robert Wakeham's comment 2-Mar-2015 12:24 pm

    The plight of George Square is even worse than stated - the massive car park behind the hotel is part of the Buchanan Galleries retail mall expansion into a mega-mall, and this structure is being built on the area of the station car park, in conjunction with the expansion of the station - which is to adorn one corner of George Square with a new sloping glass curtain wall topped by an enormous eaves projection, utterly out of character with the Square and more akin to an airport terminal building (the initial facade proposal was far more in keeping with the Square). The massive new car park is needed because the retail mall expansion is at the expense of the existing multi storey car park, that was built as part of the Buchanan Galleries development. Sustainability? - don't even think about it, and so much for the notion of master-planning (at least, in Glasgow city centre) - the new car park was initially proposed to be located on top of the very large Buchanan bus terminal, as part of a massive 'air rights' expansion of the retail mall. What's the betting that this won't still happen in the not too distant future? The demolition of the adjoining concert hall steps, at the head of the pedestrianised Buchanan Street, just adds insult to injury in what is fast becoming an ill-fitting jigsaw of missed master-planning opportunities, opportunistic commercial conflict and civic myopia. Glasgow deserves miles better.

  • Comment on: C20 Society in last ditch listing bid to save Grimshaw’s Ship

    Robert Wakeham's comment 27-Feb-2015 11:47 am

    Plymouth can ill afford to lose such a fine modern building, so I just hope that there's sufficient strength to the both inspirational and practical 'can do' spirit of those challenging the demolition proposal to win out over the remote and mean-spirited 'can't do' culture of the Daily Mail

  • Comment on: Jane Priestman: 'I could deliver HS2 with my eyes shut'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 27-Feb-2015 11:38 am

    How refreshing to hear someone come out and say that - when they're looking for architects - they like names, not initials or 'quirky things'.

  • Comment on: Scrapped: Crystal Palace rebuild proposals ditched

    Robert Wakeham's comment 27-Feb-2015 11:08 am

    With this dead initiative for recreating the Crystal Palace, and the still alive and kicking project for inserting a planted bridge over the Thames between Temple and the South Bank, I wonder if Boris Johnson is beginning to exhibit an unfortunate penchant for promoting the sort of daft 'grand project' that attracts populist support but in reality is a can of expensive - and destructive - worms.

  • Comment on: Second Bauhaus Museum contest launches

    Robert Wakeham's comment 26-Feb-2015 12:29 pm

    Can the new museum really 'strengthen and complement' what appears to be quite a small City Park?

  • Comment on: Doubts cast over Nine Elms bridge contest as Westminster objects

    Robert Wakeham's comment 26-Feb-2015 11:20 am

    And there was me thinking that Westminster Council knew what they were at, but after rubber stamping the silly garden bridge, and now bungling this bridge project, I've changed my mind

  • Comment on: Grimshaw’s Plymouth ‘Ship’ threatened with demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Feb-2015 3:27 pm

    Unadaptable? really? I wonder - and Stewart Brand's ideas might be fine in theory, but surely lead to a proliferation of rather anonymous flexible metal 'sheds' - and even Team 4's pioneering shed for Reliance Controls in Swindon only lasted from 1967 to 1991, with a retail park now occupying the site of the industrial estate.

  • Comment on: Project manager appointed for Mack restoration

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Feb-2015 12:07 pm

    Regarding next month's decision on the choice of architect, I wonder if this will also determine whether replication or modernisation wins the day? Architects of great merit have argued for both options, and hopefully there's no element of the 'arrogant' and 'egotistical', that Ken Shuttleworth sees in some architects, at play here. The claim that 'repro' would be a sham, without the patina of age, is surely a bit specious, if it's recreating really unique design - and the patina of age would surely evolve, not be replicated, please. Didn't the post-WW2 reconstruction of the historic fabric of some European cities teach us the value of replication - for example Dresden, and Gdansk?

  • Comment on: Grimshaw’s Plymouth ‘Ship’ threatened with demolition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Feb-2015 11:26 am

    This is just the latest example of a high quality modern building becoming 'surplus to requirements' and being viewed as a prime candidate for enthusiastic neglect leading to demolition, to realise the maximum site 'potential' (usually 'on behalf of the shareholders', and fired by the high value of bog standard houses crammed in as tight as possible). A sad reflection of today's society, and the logical answer for any company is never to commission good architecture that will be valued for what it is - and will become an insidious threat to maximising the return on investment.

  • Comment on: Niall McLaughlin pays tribute to 'rebel' Ian Athfield

    Robert Wakeham's comment 23-Feb-2015 10:29 am

    Just brilliant.

  • Comment on: Hunter Architects wins planning for thatched 'P55' house in Suffolk

    Robert Wakeham's comment 20-Feb-2015 10:45 am

    Vertical thatched walls are certainly innovative, but I wonder if I'm alone in thinking that the whole assemblage is something of a dog's breakfast, rather than raising standards of design in rural areas and reflecting the highest standards in architecture - as specified in para 55 of the NPPF. And with the apparent destruction of a Grade ll-listed farmhouse in favour of a 'family dwelling' that can be 'closed up in its entirety' this is surely rather more posture than architecture, and designed for part-time occupation in a rural area seen as a weekend / holiday destination rather than a viable community.

  • Comment on: Legal challenge launched over 'devastating' garden bridge plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-Feb-2015 12:02 pm

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of this legal challenge - to what appears to have been a quite extraordinary abuse of process - given the success of the legal challenge to what seems to be a similar bypass of procedure in Winchester. But whereas the Winchester affair appears to have been due to poor decisions by badly advised councillors, the London affair looks rather more toxic.

  • Comment on: Alsop and Ahrends among 700 UK names pledging to a cultural boycott of Israel

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Feb-2015 12:06 pm

    The fact that a country is a democracy seems to be widely considered as justification for what's done in the name of that country. Not only is this a dubious proposition, it's dangerous - as everyone in a democracy can be considered responsible for what's being done in their name, when in fact many people object strongly to their democratically elected government's actions.

  • Comment on: Campaigners begin battle against AHMM's Shoreditch Estate scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 13-Feb-2015 12:50 pm

    John Betjeman will definitely be stirring in his grave.

  • Comment on: RIBA rolls out 2015 General Election campaign

    Robert Wakeham's comment 13-Feb-2015 12:45 pm

    If Local Authorities don't already have the power to block developments in areas vulnerable to flooding it surely follows that everyone involved in expediting these developments - from landowners to architects - deserve to be sued for gross negligence. A parallel with those fine citizens with Swiss bank accounts?

  • Comment on: Brisac Gonzalez wins planning for £28m Paris mixed-use complex

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Feb-2015 10:18 am

    Aberdeen's loss is, once more, Paris's gain.

  • Comment on: Norman Foster hails conversion of his Renault building into kids’ play centre

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Feb-2015 10:14 am

    Catherine Croft describes it as 'a mess' - but, unless the 'now' photos aren't telling the whole story, the new signage is surely not that disruptive?

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