Robert Wakeham's Comments
Comment on: Another Grimshaw building in listing wrangle
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?
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'.
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.
Barbarians at the Gate.
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.
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
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'.
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?
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
Great idea - as long as the roof has somewhere for the rain to go.
Useful space, admittedly, but the roof lines are creeping inexorably skywards, aren't they? London only makes economic sense if it swells (or bloats)?
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.
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
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
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?
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
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.
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'?
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.
Capital sleaze, Boris - what a hoot.