Robert Wakeham's Comments
Comment on: vHH completes another nature reserve scheme
Am I alone in lamenting the days when practices - especially ones as good as this - were known by their real names (regardless of whether the founders still played an active part) rather than just by initials?
'Oligarchs rule' might seem excessively cynical, but hasn't this been true?
Off with her head! / Prison -The Tower / Botany Bay.
Comment on: Lego Games - the Olympic park in mini-bricks
Is it just me or does the Orbit bear a passing resemblance to someone's entrails? - no offence to Warren Elsmore, he seems to have done an excellent job of capturing the character of the Olympic structures.
Good for Angela - I wonder what would happen if the RIBA ran a members-only survey (with the widest possible publicity) to rank the Olympic buildings in order of merit? Hanging, drawing and quartering, or despatch to a slave labour camp to build the new airport on Rainham marshes?
And how does the architect propose that the floor is cleaned - an irrelevant detail?
Comment on: Sturgis unveils Reading tower plans
Comment on: Union Terrace Gardens faces new threat
Surely, if Peacock Arts and Brisac Gonzales are still prepared to deal with not just the new Aberdeen city council but also a local population that seems to be deeply divided, then the ideal outcome would be to resurrect what was clearly an excellent project. It's time for Sir Ian to swallow his pride, stop leading ACSEF by the snout, accept that Aberdeen's not some post-communist central Asian thug-state blowing its wealth on monuments to the great and the greedy, and put his very substantial reputation - and money if necessary - behind the proposals that promised to deliver much needed arts facilities while showing genuine respect for the character of the gardens. Proposals that won the original competition, and the vote of the people. If Sir Ian has been persuaded that the key to reviving the truly crummy state of Union Street is the replacement of Union Terrace Gardens by a fragmented building of sub-Hadid style (sorry Zaha, no insult intended) that has only its stone in common with its setting, he's been had. For my money the key to the problems in the city centre are traffic management - you've only got to walk up from the station into the city centre to see how traffic engineering in decades gone by has shown scant regard for the quality of life in the city, and if Sir Ian wants a really effective legacy he could promote an international ideas competition to sort out the traffic and bring back the quality of urban life that the centre so desperately needs.
'Thrown out by the planners' - no, thrown out by the councillors, and the Ministry of Sound seem to have the same power to impose a 'cordon sanitaire' that is historically associated with the Ministry of Defence's attitude to development near dangerous munitions storage sites. Perhaps the Ministry of Sound should relocate to an industrial estate where they'll disturb no-one. Planning blight by an airport or NATO base is one thing, but by a nightclub?
Perhaps Mr Forrest could now turn his attention to the design of the close inshore 'offshore' windfarm planned for this stretch of coast, and currently giving Mr Trump apoplexy. May I suggest that the proposed clubhouse chimneys - reminiscent of the vent stacks on some of our more forbidding Victorian prisons - could inspire treating the wind towers as cotton mill chimneys, and adorning the turbine blades as traditional windmill sails; that should keep Mr Trump happy.
Reminds me both of a Victorian tram shed in Knightswood, Glasgow, and of one of those 'asylums' of old, tucked away in various corners of Scotland - except that the tram shed and asylums are architecture, and have substance, whereas this isn't, and doesn't.
Reproduction architecture has it's place - like reproduction furniture - but how on earth do you apply 'traditionalism' to Olympic venues? All I can think of is giant Roman amphitheatres, and I wonder if this is what TAG would like to see, or is it just that the athletes' village should be another Poundbury?
Don't I recollect previous proposals (for Maplin Sands, I think) being criticised for ignoring the greater risk of fog causing flight delays in the Thames estuary area, compared with Heathrow? - or have technological advances rendered this no longer a problem?
When the City Council held a referendum to ascertain the views of the people of Aberdeen, there was a majority vote in favour of retaining the gardens, so the council has apparently chosen to ignore this result. Such is democracy, in Aberdeen.