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Robert Wakeham's Comments

  • Comment on: Foster wins Cardiff bus interchange contest

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-Jun-2015 10:26 am

    Good thing he's not a brilliant female architect, from Iraq.

  • Comment on: Mayor of London launches major international housing competition

    Robert Wakeham's comment 23-Jun-2015 8:27 pm

    New London Architecture are surely unwise to be involved with the Mayor of London when he's associated with what appears to be a rigged selection process for the designer of the proposed 'garden bridge'.

  • Comment on: Hall McKnight's contentious Strand plans dropped

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-Jun-2015 8:08 pm

    It's important to be fair to everyone involved, but it leaves the question of whether 'meeting the brief' is sometimes followed too slavishly by those supposedly qualified to know better.

  • Comment on: TfL boss orders Garden Bridge review

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19-Jun-2015 10:43 pm

    As Heatherwick Studio's experience in bridge design is apparently limited to just one project - the 'hedgehog' novelty footbridge produced to add interest to the Paddington Basin development - presumably either Heatherwick employs architects with extensive bridge design experience from elsewhere, or it's not so much his studio as his structural consultant who has the relevant experience. Whatever the facts, at least he's not up there with Mr Johnson in the asinine riposte to Caroline Pidgeon. I'm not sure whether Mr Johnson's attitude to beauty bears close examination - and his stellar career path is beginning to display some unfortunate parallels with that of the affable Mr Blatter.

  • Comment on: Revealed: Gensler’s £300m Shoreditch tower

    Robert Wakeham's comment 17-Jun-2015 11:26 am

    Architecture? - stacked boxes?

  • Comment on: Design competition urged for HS2 viaduct

    Robert Wakeham's comment 16-Jun-2015 11:09 am

    Another case where the notion of a bridge as tourist attraction is being punted - but this time there's a good deal more utility, and sense, to it. Even if it's unlikely to be up there with the Millau wonder by Foster & Virlogeux.

  • Comment on: Expert slams Garden Bridge business case

    Robert Wakeham's comment 11-Jun-2015 1:37 pm

    I know what Scotland will make of it - it's really no more than a bare-faced scam, but then with Boris Johnson's involvement that's not altogether surprising. What is surprising is that some otherwise well informed and very well respected personalities in the British architectural firmament seem to have been blinded to the seamier aspects of the affair - perhaps dazzled by novelty?.

  • Comment on: Rogers: 'The Garden Bridge will be a jewel'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 10-Jun-2015 4:11 pm

    Opening up new perspectives? Surely doing more harm than good when it comes to perspectives, and it beggars belief that the rather clod-hopping 'landings' of the bridge will actually require the eradication of a good number of trees. It's surely clear that the function of a bridge providing a useful and reliable link for people across the river is in direct conflict with the restrictions imposed on access to a garden that requires protection, careful maintenance and closure at night - and when required for private garden parties. Hardly a 'vital new connection', and the argument - however seductive - that it'll be another Manhattan Highline is not comparing apples with apples.

  • Comment on: Called in: Hall McKnight's Strand plans face public inquiry

    Robert Wakeham's comment 10-Jun-2015 3:50 pm

    Sorry, 'Historic England'.

  • Comment on: Called in: Hall McKnight's Strand plans face public inquiry

    Robert Wakeham's comment 10-Jun-2015 3:49 pm

    So far so good, but just how dysfunctional is English Heritage?

  • Comment on: Campaigners to fight Mayor's funding guarantee for Garden Bridge

    Robert Wakeham's comment 9-Jun-2015 11:58 am

    I just wonder about the bridge trust's 'projected annual revenue surplus' and their 'robust business plan'. That, plus the blatant double-speak from the mayor's office, makes me suspect that the real scenario would have the 'commercial activities' crowding out the public access to the point where the bridge would really only be a very, very obtrusive private pleasure garden. And the taxpayers' very considerable commitments would create not so much a safety net for the bridge as a trampoline for Boris.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge backers dismiss claims project is 'hanging in the balance'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 5-Jun-2015 1:05 pm

    I just don't understand how seasoned politicians like Boris Johnson and George Osborne can continue to root for a very high profile 'boutique' project that offers little more than novelty value when it involves their committing £60 million of public funds while at the same time rooting around squeezing the lifeblood out of public services to reduce the national debt. They seem to share the notion that the bridge will be a tourist attraction, and an advertisement for British design ingenuity. They might also like to consider the implications of what seems to be a blatantly dishonest procurement process and profligate use of scarce public funds to create an essentially private folly. This is such a glaring faux-pas that it might just be the 'straw that breaks the camel's back' as far as the 'United' Kingdom is concerned, given the widespread contempt in Scotland for what some call 'Wastemonster'.

  • Comment on: London Assembly demands Mayor withdraws Garden Bridge funding

    Robert Wakeham's comment 4-Jun-2015 11:12 am

    Looks as if 'the emperor's new clothes' have at last been rumbled.

  • Comment on: Corbusier: the architecture and the man

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Jun-2015 12:57 pm

    The reference to William JR Curtis's mention of 'messy contracts and estimates' touches on the (untold?) history of just how Corbusier's more exotic works came to be costed, tendered and actually built. I once asked the manager of the shop at Ronchamp whether there'd been much difficulty in finding a builder for the church - not only did she not know, it was clear that she'd never been asked that question.

  • Comment on: Manchester reveals £1bn airport expansion programme

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Jun-2015 12:43 pm

    To realise the airport's full potential it needs direct train services from the south - not just from the north of England and central Scotland.

  • Comment on: Camden slams HS2 for lack of vision over Euston

    Robert Wakeham's comment 3-Jun-2015 12:34 pm

    Whatever happens at Euston the decision makers should remember the mistakes of the past when light-filled airy concourses at large mainline termini were replaced by worm-burrows - Birmingham New Street Station here, Lyon Gare de la Part-Dieu and New York Penn Station.

  • Comment on: Theatre Royal by Page/Park Architects

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-May-2015 11:44 am

    A landmark street corner 'drum', whose complex elliptical curtain wall seemed to take a very long time to construct - but why such reticence when it comes to signage to indicate to the out-of-town visitor that this is the Theatre Royal?

  • Comment on: Zaha unwraps polished steel Middle East Centre extension

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-May-2015 11:03 am

    A refreshing contrast to the surround buildings, but the 'cheek by jowl' juxtaposition of the 'cut end' of the new with the facade of the old makes the new look crude and overbearing - unless the two buildings aren't as close as the photos suggest.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge to be built 'within 1,000 days'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 29-May-2015 10:50 am

    'Bullish' is about right for a rather private project that is getting a big fat boost of £60 million of public money from a couple of 'old pals' from the Bullingdon club, and their perception of values at this time of drastic 'national belt tightening' in the public sector seems to be remarkably warped, to put it mildly. True, the Festival of Britain was staged at a time when the country was worn out, but this bridge is no morale-booster, it's a grand folly that might be fine in someone's private park but - if built - will go down in history as a very expensive (and intrusive) monument to some preening public figures at a time when the general population was being expected to accept massive cuts in the welfare state.

  • Comment on: Historic England changes tack on King's College Strand plans

    Robert Wakeham's comment 22-May-2015 12:24 pm

    So... 'King's College said it was 'sensitive' to the 'architecturally significant environment' in which it operated'. They could've fooled me.