Robert Wakeham's Comments
Comment on: SHH wins go-ahead for black-fronted Mayfair home
I wonder why this locality was designated a Conservation Area? Variety might be preferable to total uniformity, but isn't an apparently black building here more than slightly incongruous, and arguably just representative of what might well turn out to be a short-lived fashion fad?
Comment on: Euston demolition plans dropped
11 new platforms, but without expanding to the west, and the probably irresistible pressure for over-station development - does this all add up to a multi-layered cavern that fails to learn the lessons of the past?
The whole affair is all the more grubby when you realise that anyone walking around Glasgow city centre rapidly becomes aware that the fine Caithness flag paving in the pedestrianised streets isn't being cared for, and that in some streets the pavements are in such an appalling state that they're wheelchair aggressive and have clearly been neglected for decades. Pedestrians have been further abused in recent years by the arrival of large on-pavement sponsored information / advertising panels that in many places block more than half the pavement width, and create massive and dangerous obstructions to pedestrian visibility. In this context, resurfacing George Square is akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
Good to such architects who can design a new school, to tight budget, so very well. London's gain is Glasgow's loss - the architect comments 'with too many materials you get a fruit salad, you get Building Centre elevations', and the reviewer refers to 'Pseudo-modernismn. CABE-ism. The kind of buildings a wolf could blow down'. A classic example has recently appeared in Great Western Road, Glasgow - St Peter The Apostle High School, Kilbowie, Clydebank. I wonder what Isi Metzstein would've had to say about that confection?
Emblematic of the state of Britain outside London.
Comment on: RMJM legal battle intensifies
Isn't it time RMJM's behaviour attracted the attention of ARB?
Comment on: Plan to save Preston bus station revealed
It'd make a good IKEA within the existing structure and without losing its character.
Comment on: Newt halts work on Ryder's £14m Durham police HQ
For a protected species, the Great Crested Newt seems to be remarkably widely distributed given the frequency with which it's found to be 'in the way of development'.
If only the different factions in the city of Aberdeen (and Holyrood) could bury the hatchet and see their way to resurrecting the fine scheme by Brisac Gonzales, which would be an asset to all (and absolutely worthy of Sir Ian Wood's largesse)
Let's hope that good design can prevail - but only the people of Glasgow can 'clean the stables' of cynical, self-serving politicians. Glasgow deserves miles better.
Comment on: What a week for Glasgow
21% of city centre shops empty, but meanwhile plans to double the size of the city centre Buchanan Galleries retail centre are forging ahead, including the provision of 1700 parking spaces and £80m of 'public realm improvements' funded by the city council, who see the project as a key to regeneration in this area of the city centre. Meanwhile, the 'public realm' in other areas of the city centre - some already the subject of past improvement - is left to degenerate. It just doesn't add up.
In favouring Entry 6 the disreputable Mr Matheson showed scant regard for the historic qualities of George Square, let alone for the informed opinions and advice of the distinguished jury. Perhaps his greatest contempt is for the people of Glasgow.
Perhaps, before any more moves to start tinkering with George Square, it might be a good idea to repair the damage caused by gross neglect - and botched reinstatement after street excavations - of all the fine Caithness flag and Brazilian granite paving in the city centre. This was installed, with great fanfare, in a makeover associated with the 'City of Culture' and previous 'Glasgow's miles better' initiatives. There is also the question of the extensive city centre pavements that never 'got the treatment' and are spectacularly neglected, as well as the quite astonishingly squalid back streets in the city centre. And the more recent installation of pavement-blocking advertising panels further indicates a very real lack of civic integrity in favour of superficial gesture. 'Public participation' will require wholesale reform of the city council, if it is to have any meaning.
Surely the arched structure depicted in Entry 4 - apparently of considerable size and mass - would be far too prominent and over-scale in the setting of the square? But this is a minor point in the context of the sheer awfulness of the recent government of the city of Glasgow, and this bungled competition is just one aspect of the problem.
At the time of the 'miles better' and 'city of culture' campaigns some (but far from all) of the city centre streetscape was overhauled, with prominent use of fine Caithness flags and Brazilian granite setts. There has been considerable wear and tear, with flags left damaged and broken by vehicles and cack-handed 'restoration' of areas after excavation. No sign of reasonable care in maintenance. Some of the central streets - let alone the spectacularly sleazy back alleys - were never given the 'treatment'. More recently large advertising panels have been installed on many pavements, obstructing pedestrian movement and creating hazards for the disabled, blind and infirm. Meanwhile the city council has been led by people who've proved themselves devoid of integrity. 'All fur coat and no knickers' could be a fit description - and it's a rat-eaten fur coat.
The history of this - and the previous competition - just reinforces the impression created by the historic whiff of cronyism and corruption in this council, that the citizens of Glasgow deserve far better.
'Engineering hub' sounds suspiciously like 'engineering ghetto' - since when has architecture (in the developed world) been classified as engineering, and is it part of a university's function to encourage polarisation of disciplines? What sort of an investment programme actually degrades the quality of accommodation - investment in empire building?
Comment on: Niall McLaughlin scoops King’s Cross gold
Surely whoever's responsible for making this work structurally also deserves credit.
Comment on: RMJM's UK companies go under
I wonder what the 120 employees think, and whether the reported removal of computers from the London office by bailiffs has affected their work?