By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Sergison Bates unwraps £2.45m suburban housing scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 30-Nov-2015 11:18 am

    The houses in the third photo appear to be looking straight into each other.

  • Comment on: London Assembly members slam Garden Bridge 'secrecy'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Nov-2015 12:48 pm

    Anyone get the impression that Boris thinks he's Teflon coated?

  • Comment on: Study makes case for £88m east London crossing

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Nov-2015 12:36 pm

    Good to see positive comments on an elegant, practical and ingenious design for a genuinely worthwhile project that really will be a public asset.

  • Comment on: High Court forces Lambeth to rethink demolition of Ted Hollamby estate

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Nov-2015 12:00 pm

    Two scandals - a crooked council administration, and gross failure to recognise the benefits of repair and conservation (including that of the community) rather than 'clear felling' and replanting. If this affair reflects the overall competence and integrity (or, rather, lack thereof) of Lambeth Council, there's a case to be made for it to be put into 'special measures'.

  • Comment on: Norman Foster hits out at Heathrow expansion plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 24-Nov-2015 11:51 am

    An estuary airport might be the right long-term strategy for London, but it looks mighty like the wrong long term strategy for the rest of Britain's population - which, unfortunately, lies to the other side of London.

  • Comment on: Council backs Knight's River Cam footbridge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 24-Nov-2015 11:36 am

    As an aside, why hasn't anyone built a giant Anglepoise as an urban 'landmark' sculpture? - preferably working, choreographed say to the volume of traffic on a city roundabout..

  • Comment on: PLP wins approval for 62-storey Helter Skelter replacement

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-Nov-2015 11:35 am

    At least it's not bent / warped / twisted / convoluted.

  • Comment on: Campaigners march against new wave of New York towers

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Nov-2015 1:16 pm

    The problem of being plagued by the shadows created by the imposition of tall buildings on a neighbourhood has surfaced much closer to home, where Boris is over-ruling the objections of Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils to plans for a cluster of tall buildings - on the old Bishopsgate goods yard site - that would overshadow Shoreditch.

  • Comment on: Sadie Morgan: ‘Design quality is top of HS2 panel’s agenda’

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Nov-2015 12:43 pm

    There have been 'concerns' about Euston ever since the arch was destroyed , so it'll be very interesting to see what effect the independent design panel has on what happens here.

  • Comment on: Council set to back contentious plans for threatened East End oddity

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Nov-2015 12:34 pm

    Quite apart from the treatment of Spiegelhalter's shop, there are surely questions to be asked about the rising fashion for plumping up London's real estate by adding more storeys where a structure will (hopefully) bear it. I wonder what Ian Nairn would've made of this?

  • Comment on: Another Grimshaw building in listing wrangle

    Robert Wakeham's comment 13-Nov-2015 12:18 pm

    Come on, Mr Grimshaw - we live in a time of change. Why not give the whole of London a certificate of immunity from conservation? Think of the money to be made from flattening everything and rebuilding to double the height (infinitely more on the school playing fields) with a set percentage of the profit going to the ruling political party and the rest being efficiently laundered offshore?

  • Comment on: Farrell: 'Why are we not building new bridges in East London?'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 13-Nov-2015 12:08 pm

    Both Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan are apparently in favour of the 'garden bridge' project, but I don't know whether their enthusiasm for a bridge that's more folly than anything else indicates that they're bridgaholics - and have the vision to push for more bridges downstream - or whether they're just two more politicians jumping on a vanity 'bridgewagon'.

  • Comment on: Lyndon Goode Architects' West Bank visit overshadowed by Boris controversy

    Robert Wakeham's comment 12-Nov-2015 11:49 am

    If Boris has time on his hands in Israel he could go and chase up Ori Kalif in Tel Aviv. Mr Kalif is the director of CLTX Ltd, who illegally flattened the Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale on 8th April while the landlady was out. Mr Kalif was ordered to rebuild the pub within 18 months from demolition - he's only got 11 months left and the clock's ticking. Actually, Boris probably has bigger fish to fry.

  • Comment on: Way cleared for British Land to demolish Foggo buildings at Broadgate

    Robert Wakeham's comment 12-Nov-2015 11:33 am

    Barbarians at the Gate.

  • Comment on: Architype’s Lewisham self-build homes get go-ahead

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 12:40 pm

    We need a lot more of this type of design & development approach - it would be wonderful to see the torch carried for Walter Segal by John Broome and others getting far wider recognition throughout the country.

  • Comment on: Housing minister claims right-to-buy extension will mean more new homes

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 11:59 am

    A member of a government charging down the road to 'severe cuts' - come hell or high water - criticises local authorities for making severe cuts. It encourages the old question: 'Would you buy a second hand car from this man?'

  • Comment on: Glasgow seeks city centre masterplanner

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 11:50 am

    Glasgow City Council should try walking before it attempts to run. The condition of many of the pavements in the city centre is an absolute disgrace - and it would appear that the council can't even cope with repairing damage to the areas of fine Caithness flags installed when Glasgow was 'miles better'.

  • Comment on: Giles Pike completes £700k 'industrial' home in Hackney

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 11:20 am

    I wonder if the combination of existing raw brick external walls and W20 windows result in a house in which some rooms take a lot to heat in cold weather?

  • Comment on: Not enough regional experts on HS2 design panel, say critics

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 10:59 am

    Hopefully the panel will consider it part of their remit to encourage the re-creation of the magnificent Euston Arch.

  • Comment on: OS31 reveals £15k pop-up marketplace

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 10:53 am

    Great idea - as long as the roof has somewhere for the rain to go.

  • Comment on: Witherford Watson Mann wins go-ahead for Hoxton business centre

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Nov-2015 0:48 am

    Useful space, admittedly, but the roof lines are creeping inexorably skywards, aren't they? London only makes economic sense if it swells (or bloats)?

  • Comment on: Squire and Partners bags planning for King's Cross housing

    Robert Wakeham's comment 10-Nov-2015 10:29 am

    The architecture of money, rather than people - and neither the applied decoration nor the public garden design look as if they'll make much difference to what will basically be a rather sterile and anonymous environment.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge's £20m public loan to be repaid over 50 years

    Robert Wakeham's comment 5-Nov-2015 11:23 am

    I'm not sure whether the need for ethical standards in public life is taken seriously in Britain - or is just taken for granted - but surely it would be reasonable to expect Boris and George to stand as guarantors for the debt. After all, it seems to have been entirely their decision to bung public money into this folly - and their status as elected politicians (two, in Boris's case) surely doesn't give them free rein to throw our money at anything that takes their fancy. And exactly why does this folly qualify for charity status?

  • Comment on: Public funding for Garden Bridge slashed by £20m

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Nov-2015 10:52 am

    If Boris, Sadiq and Lib - and all the others taking this folly seriously - think that a bit of financial manipulation defuses the situation, they're very much mistaken. The TfL view that this is an important addition to London's public transport infrastructure doesn't fit with planning approval being in the hands of a couple of local councils, Any new stretch of railway - however short and even if built on an old abandoned route, in the middle of nowhere, requires parliamentary assent in a hugely elaborate procedure designed to ensure that the full impact of the proposal is thoroughly examined. A very substantial and 'quirky' private bridge over the Thames in the centre of Britain's capital gets approved almost on the nod. How so?

  • Comment on: TfL unveils revised route for £27bn Crossrail 2

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-Oct-2015 2:08 pm

    Given the unfolding scandal of TfL's involvement in 'monkey business' on the garden bridge project, it would be good to see that there's rational, logical and honest justification for the proposed changes of route of Crossrail 2. Why favour Balham over Tooting Broadway - why can't it serve both? Why the change of route in North London?

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge procurement was ‘neither open nor objective’

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-Oct-2015 1:28 pm

    There's an analogy with the unfolding story of the public funding of Kids Company - politicians splashing tens of millions of public money with more than one eye on their public images. Whether cronyism is a factor in the Kids Company scandal as well I don't know, but it's become clear today that the bunging of £46 million (and counting) was at the direct disadvantage of charities who played by the rules in seeking help from the government. The garden bridge stands to soak up far more public money, in the long run, than Kids Company - so how long before Boris & George put their hands up to having made a mistake - or are they going to try and brazen it out? If they do, what chance that they're held to account? - they should mind those old adages that the bigger you are, the harder you fall, and that - if you're in a hole - stop digging.

  • Comment on: C20 Society demands Balfron Tower rethink

    Robert Wakeham's comment 27-Oct-2015 12:14 pm

    It's hard to understand why the revamp involves altering the tower's appearance by drastic change to the style of the windows rather than sympathetic renewal. This leads to the suspicion that the designers' desire to make their mark on the building is in direct conflict with respect for its existing character.

  • Comment on: TfL director contradicts Boris on Garden Bridge procurement

    Robert Wakeham's comment 23-Oct-2015 5:20 pm

    Could Boris Johnson's perception of the meaning of 'robust' be rather different to what the hoi polloi understand by this word? I wonder if Mr Johnson might apply the word to anything that he thought would be accepted as credible by the credulous - but how about the incredulous? If Mr Johnson has such a shaky understanding of the meaning of 'robust', I wonder if he can get his head around colloquialisms like 'watered down' - or the various meanings of 'whitewash'?

  • Comment on: Heatherwick: 'Opposition to Garden Bridge is ludicrous and devastating'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 20-Oct-2015 1:22 pm

    Thomas Heatherwick can castigate people who haven't 'seen the light' - 'Oh Ye of little faith' so to speak - all he likes, but he might one day understand that his proposed garden bridge across the Thames is not God's gift to man, any more than he is. Rather, he seems to believe that his inventiveness in creating a series of (mostly) successful quirky designs gives him the right for a massive intervention that will change the character of a much loved stretch of the river that bisects our capital. Not so much 'open up views and spaces in London that normal people have never seen before' as bugger up views and spaces that 'normal people' are very familiar with. If Heatherwick and friends are so keen on this project, they don't need to impose it on us - I really do believe that they could create it in a new park, to adorn a new stately home, for their private pleasure. And maybe public fame - who knows, maybe when we're all pushing up the daisies it'll eventually gain listed protection as part of a designed landscape of national importance. The trouble is, Heatherwick & friends are in a hurry, and want to impose their wishes on 'normal people' who apparently don't know what's good for them.

  • Comment on: TfL's Garden Bridge probe slammed as a 'whitewash'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 9-Oct-2015 10:05 am

    Capital sleaze, Boris - what a hoot.

  • Comment on: Listing refused: Minister ignores HE on Spence’s Hyde Park Barracks

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Oct-2015 10:11 pm

    The Terry confection would quite suit Nicolae Ceausescu's Bucharest - but London?

  • Comment on: Council rejects rocket-shaped flat scheme in Southwark

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Oct-2015 1:46 pm

    The Menier building shows this proposed neighbour up for the rubbish that it is.

  • Comment on: Poll: Less than half of Londoners support Garden Bridge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Sep-2015 1:30 pm

    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).

  • Comment on: Richard Murphy wades into Calton Hill row with rival plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 25-Sep-2015 12:56 pm

    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.

  • Comment on: Khan: 'I'll scrap Garden Bridge if I become London Mayor'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 24-Sep-2015 9:41 pm

    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) .

  • Comment on: Many in the profession still consider Hadid an exotic anomaly

    Robert Wakeham's comment 24-Sep-2015 9:26 am

    '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

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-Sep-2015 11:30 am

    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.

  • Comment on: Glenn Howells submits plans for Manchester office

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-Sep-2015 11:21 am

    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

    Robert Wakeham's comment 21-Sep-2015 10:56 am

    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.

  • Comment on: ‘Chief architect won’t work,’ Quinlan Terry tells Lords

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-Sep-2015 11:44 am

    '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?

  • Comment on: Five million hours later: Foster's Bloomberg HQ tops out

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18-Sep-2015 11:24 am

    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

    Robert Wakeham's comment 17-Sep-2015 10:06 pm

    '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.

  • Comment on: Neave Brown: 'You cannot build homes properly without a programme'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Sep-2015 10:47 am

    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’

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Sep-2015 10:41 am

    If Norman Foster eventually goes to Heaven, he'll get a pat on the head from Hassan Fathy.

  • Comment on: Select committee urges Garden Bridge funding probe

    Robert Wakeham's comment 15-Sep-2015 4:25 pm

    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

    Robert Wakeham's comment 12-Sep-2015 5:31 pm

    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.

  • Comment on: Studio Egret West wins approval for £250m Maidenhead scheme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 9-Sep-2015 1:29 pm

    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'?

  • Comment on: Revealed: Grimshaw's new designs for HS2-ready Euston

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Sep-2015 10:58 pm

    This piecemeal approach does seem very short sighted - and is there no thought of how to provide for a reconstructed Arch?

  • Comment on: 'Turn Circle Line into giant travelator', says NBBJ

    Robert Wakeham's comment 8-Sep-2015 10:16 am

    I see problems for the elderly and infirm, and emperors with no clothes.

  • Comment on: Conservationists 'ignored' over Hoskins' Calton Hill plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 4-Sep-2015 10:52 pm

    Surely there's a more appropriate re-use for this fine building, or is the City of Edinburgh going to the dogs, courtesy of a complacent and perhaps philistine council? They recently ignored the advice of their planners and approved Jestico & Whiles' 'Golden Turd' in the city centre - God help Edinburgh, which deserves far more respect than some architects seem prepared to acknowledge..