Robert Wakeham's Comments
Foster shouldn't confuse London with Britain - the location might well be convenient for London, but that's not the same as being convenient for Britain.
Comment on: What went wrong at Oxley Woods?
RSHP's comment that 'The design of Oxley Woods was inspected and approved by the NHBC...' leaves me wondering if they approved the detailed design 'as built', whether they inspected the work under construction - whether it was built in accordance with the details that they'd approved.
Not enough information, perhaps due to ongoing responsibility issues, but it's important to know whether it's to do with site supervision, whether there's a material or systems failure involved - or whether it's down to a combination of factors. Uncertainty as to the cause could result in avoidable disruption of efforts to speed up the provision of value-for-money housing when it's desperately needed.
Comment on: C20 Society fails in bid to list Euston Station
Travelling through Euston station and forecourt certainly doesn't 'lift the heart', and to me it has a distinctly drab, communist-era East European feel to it.
Comment on: Glasgow School of Art by Steven Holl
A breath of fresh air. And the building doesn't seem to be riding on fashion - like the current vogue for twisted, bent and deformed 'look at me' towers in London, so very eloquent in their symbolism of the age of the dodgy 'financial services' culture. There's 'gallus' and there's crude, lumpen, late 20th century banality - like the apartment blocks flanking the tracks on the approach to Waterloo, and the assemblage of junk dominating the approach to Leeds Central from the southwest - monuments to extraordinary philistinism.
You haven't convinced me, Alex, - the part of the FGW network being electrified won't be that much faster or more comfortable than the existing service, and you've forgotten the well patronised long distance bus network that ties very smoothly into Heathrow. And your vision of Crossrail would translate, in my mind, to the hassle of transferring from Eurostar to the RER at Gare du Nord and then traipsing across Paris and a fair distance out beyond the far suburbs.
Hopefully there's more colour internally than would appear to be the case on the images of the exterior.
Who's going to tell Johnson, and the government, that - since Heathrow serves a huge area of southern Britain - shifting it to the east of London would seriously hinder access for a large number of users.
No mention of what the drawing archive contains, surely this is relevant to the project? Just material related to the Shatwell Farm developments?
The elevation in the first image is unfortunate in having quite such a regular grid of windows, in that it suggests that the housing is no more than high-bay racking for storing people.
'Faceting and sculpting' in an urban environment - apparently to include the roof, as if the whole building has been carved out of one chunk of brick - surely risks differential staining if roof rainwater just runs down the walls? Or are there to be gutter 'grooves' along the wallheads?
Comment on: Israeli architect defends RIBA’s motion
Anyone passing themselves off as someone else should be exposed and identified for who they really are - the AJ is usually mercifully free of the 'faceless ones' so, please, could we have a bit of honesty?
Jonathan Meades refers to 'even the most half witted elected representative...' - the trouble is, this is Glasgow, and the electorate seems perfectly capable of electing a parrot if it's wearing the right colours. In the case of the current leadership, it seems to be following in the footsteps of the previous disgraced one.
Perhaps by the time that HS2 is completed our friends the electrical engineers will have worked out how to pick up power from the two rails - like toy trains - by induction or whatever, thereby avoiding the need for posts and wires.
I wonder if this'll be an example of an attractive riverside site, with a variety of contrasting buildings and uses, being 'dumbed down' by the pressure to maximise the return on providing more very, very high value residential space? No reason why an architect shouldn't benefit from their investment, but will it be at the expense of the 'place'?.
Comment on: Brady defends RIBA Council Israeli motion
None of the human rights abusers listed by Stephen Games have such a close association with Britain, and to my mind there's a great deal of obfuscation being employed to justify condemnation of Brady's motion and the RIBA Council's vote. This reminds me of the controversy in the pages of the Architectural Review a few years ago, and at the risk of being accused of anti semitism myself, I think that no-one should lose sight of the fact that racism and prejudice can work in two directions, and is especially insidious when it's fed by misplaced loyalty, religion, selfishness and outright greed.
Gherkins, cheese graters, walkie-talkies - and now a pile of carelessly stacked boxes? What next in the novelty store?
The mismatch between 'London values' and national values was brought home to me last week when it was reported that the long disused Brompton Road underground station on the Piccadilly line had been sold for £53 million, while down in Somerset the 'fixing' of the flooding problems, including a barrage to protect Bridgwater, would cost the almost unimaginable sum of £100 million. £53 million pumped into the London economy (from the Ukraine economy) while it's anyone's guess whether there'll be a 'business case' for pumping money into Somerset. Enjoy MIPIM.
Comment on: Highlander. House at Camusdarach Sands by Raw
'Sculptural architecture' involving wrapping timber cladding over the roof, looks as if, even with really careful detailing, it could be a real challenge to keep the building looking sculptural in any climate, let alone what'll get thrown at it at Morar.
Whatever the outcome, it'll be a monument to philistinism if reconstruction of the Euston Arch isn't an integral element in the work.
Comment on: Flood debate: Should we build on floodplains?
The Thames valley tv news footage has clearly demonstrated how some residential areas are inundated with calm water whereas others, presumably nearer the river, are exposed to flowing water - and surely the former would indeed be candidates for floating houses.
Comment on: Fraser rubbishes Scottish Poetry Library revamp
I'd like to know why Fraser and the client 'parted ways'. If the SPL really has outgrown this fine building maybe the ideal would be for it to be sold to someone who'd give it more respect, and for NRS to design a new building - which would hopefully be less of a dog's breakfast than their current proposal, and would better reflect their undoubted design skills.
The smaller central arch accentuates the larger scale of the two side arches, and while the alignment of the piers with those of the adjacent Battersea Railway Bridge is clearly essential, I don't understand why the two 'double span' arches couldn't have been four smaller arches - which would surely have been a more elegant solution and avoided the over-scale and clumsy appearance of the big arches.
There's also the question of whether IKEA stores are truly 'fit for purpose', given their standard design formula with inadequate provision for 'shortcuts' in the upstairs maze leading to unnecessary overcrowding, and failure to provide for acoustic damping in the restaurant creating too much noise for comfort.
Comment on: A steal in steel city: SOAR Works by 00:/
For a different 'take' on the headline illustration see Google Streetview
What would the 'Middlewoods Lock site' route entail, compared with the demolitions and alterations listed above?
'The contractors found their own way' - there's surely an opportunity for research on just how builders over the last century have successfully tackled radical and challenging construction; a few years back at Ronchamp I asked the visitor centre manager who it was that had risen to the challenge of making such a revolutionary design real, but she couldn't enlighten me. The 'knowing how' must have surely uncovered some construction industry geniuses over the years, particularly before the rise of computer aided design.
This is really good news, if it results in the original competition winning scheme - that respects the character of the setting - being realised. It might also go some way to restoring confidence in the governance of Aberdeen city.
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?
Comment on: Work to start on 'less radical' George Sq revamp
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.