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Robert Wakeham's comments

  • Why the Garden Bridge debacle should concern us all

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19 April, 2016 2:38 pm

    To Chris Medland: If your bridge had been the 'brainwave' of a luvvie, and designed by the 'flavour of the month', then you'd have had more chance of the gift of a tax holiday from on high.
    It probably didn't help that your bridge would be a really useful addition to London's infrastructure, rather than a piece of frippery - and, don't forget, the 'spirit of fairness' probably only applies to the behaviour of naive and simple-minded oiks devoid of personal ambition..

  • RA debate: What is Britain's greatest maverick building?

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19 April, 2016 2:23 pm

    I'd propose the Dunmore Pineapple.

  • Outrage as FAT’s House for Essex denied RIBA East Award

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19 April, 2016 11:43 am

    The first of Grayson Perry's four Reith Lectures in 2013 - 'Democracy Has Bad Taste' (available on BBC iPlayer and as a transcript) should be prescribed listening / reading for all architects, as should the other three of his 'Playing to the Gallery' series - 'Beating the Bounds', 'Nice Rebellion, Welcome In!' and 'I Found Myself in the Art World'.
    If the jurors weren't aware of these they've missed out on their education.

  • Locals brand George Clarke’s Dorset beach huts 'a terrible idea'

    Robert Wakeham's comment 19 April, 2016 11:14 am

    'The chalets are exempt from planning permission under the 'permitted development' rule allowing garden sheds' - if a development of twelve holiday chalets can be covered by this rule, it looks as if the rules need fine tuning.
    I wonder how big the associated gardens have to be to qualify for getting a shed, or are we talking about virtual gardens, given that it's an SSSI?

  • Guardian scraps plans for King's Cross events space

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18 April, 2016 12:46 pm

    Surely someone can take over this project, which would be an asset to an area that's recently been featured in the AJ for Thomas Heatherwick playing tricks with listed buildings and for some rather bland new high density residential developments.

  • Careers: On the move

    Robert Wakeham's comment 18 April, 2016 11:21 am

    Nice to see one practice still using its real name.

  • First pieces of Orbit slide lifted into place

    Robert Wakeham's comment 15 April, 2016 11:21 am

    A video of Anish Kapoor being inserted at the top and ejected at the bottom might just become a popular work of art.

  • Why the Garden Bridge debacle should concern us all

    Robert Wakeham's comment 14 April, 2016 5:49 pm

    I wonder how long criticism of the Garden Bridge procurement affair will continue to be couched in polite language - implying (perhaps unintentionally) that the matter is just a minor aberration, on honest mistake by well intentioned servants of the people?

    TfL has recently mishandled another procurement exercise with breathtaking financial consequences - letting a contract for new signalling on the subsurface lines of the underground system to an inexperienced contractor by 'cooking' the bid analysis. 'Flawed evaluation and scoring during the bidding process' according to a London Assembly report (sound familiar?), which estimates the losses at £886 million for the increased cost of a new contract, £271 million in lost revenue due to a five year delay in the introduction of a 40% increase in passenger capacity, a £181 million hit on the wider economy of London due to the delay, and £85 million termination costs to exit the original contract.
    That's a total of £1,422 million, i.e. £1.422 billion.

    What worries me as much as London - and the country - being stuck with Boris's legacy of a monument that owes more to cronyism than anything else is the wider question of what Caroline Pidgeon refers to as a 'rotten procurement process'; is the Garden Bridge affair just the tip of a grubby iceberg?

    What of all fourteen planning call-ins that the developer-friendly Mr Johnson approved over the heads of the council planning authorities - all above board?

    Zac Goldsmith hardly encourages confidence in stating that 'Given that the public contribution has already been spent, it would be a great shame and waste if the project were shelved'. That's an interesting notion from someone hoping to take over the reins from Boris, and of the same political party - in effect, throw public money at a controversial project that you've been promoting 'on the sly' and then tell the public that they must accept it otherwise it'd be a waste of public money.
    I wonder if Jaroslav Hasek and Franz Kafka might accuse Zac Goldsmith of plagiarism?
    Doubtless Messrs Goldsmith, Johnson and friends are well aware that politicians and civil servants can no longer be surcharged for the cost to the public purse of their shenanigans - but there are other sanctions available, given the will to impose them. Perhaps it all depends on who your friends are?

  • Edinburgh schools contractor also blamed for closure of Glasgow school in 2012

    Robert Wakeham's comment 13 April, 2016 1:24 pm

    Interesting that the faults discovered in Glasgow four years ago apparently didn't ring any warning bells about other similar school buildings constructed by the same company. Perhaps there's scope for more joined-up thinking - and not just in Scotland.
    In the not so distant past the collapse of the West Gate (Yarra) Bridge in Melbourne and the Cleddau Bridge in Pembrokeshire led to reviews of the design and construction of box girder bridges, resulting in the need for remedial work on similar bridges worldwide.

  • New homes to replace locally listed Salford pub

    Robert Wakeham's comment 12 April, 2016 2:20 pm

    Back to the 1960's?

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