By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Simon Carne's Comments

  • Comment on: Can Jeremy Corbyn solve the housing crisis?

    Simon Carne's comment 4-Sep-2015 12:30 pm

    Thorough and interesting long article let down by a ridiculous headline. Sorry. Seeing the so-called "housing crisis" through the myopia of a London-centric unrepresentative (of UK voters) body of professionals is hardly going to make any difference. Land supply, planning, employment opportunities, transport investment, re-balancing the economy, ditching iconic high profile so called investment, energy policy....etc all have to be considered. A forward looking strategy for the UK is required and the Labour debate has not addressed the bigger problems that we face.

  • Comment on: First look at shortlisted designs in Preston Bus Station contest

    Simon Carne's comment 17-Jul-2015 9:55 pm

    Preston got a lot for its money. £5k for each shortlisted entry I seem to recall. However even if they have strayed over budget and come up with more substantial buildings than the 25 year design life envisaged it is nevertheless great to see such creative responses to such a dramatic building. I voted for 1, which seemed to me to be closest to respecting the bus station and answering the brief.

  • Comment on: Wilkinson Eyre wins Copenhagen bridge contest

    Simon Carne's comment 8-Jul-2015 3:20 pm

    Agree with Robert and Peter. The Danes (and Swedes) know a thing or two about bridges ......and crime thrillers.

  • Comment on: Rising stars reveal north London house extension plans

    Simon Carne's comment 8-Jul-2015 3:18 pm

    "A suspended stove allows uninterrupted garden views".

  • Comment on: Moxon brought in on Garden Bridge project

    Simon Carne's comment 8-Jul-2015 3:15 pm

    The story gets better every day.

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

    Simon Carne's comment 3-Jun-2015 12:09 pm

    Lack of vision could better apply to the whole misconceived project.

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

    Simon Carne's comment 29-May-2015 10:41 am

    So it's also modern methods of construction that will make this white elephant fly. It is incredible that so much public money can be channeled to this frippery. A worthy contender for the pages of the FT How to Spend it magazine, not for the serious subject of building cities for people.

  • Comment on: Coalition of critics slams the Garden Bridge

    Simon Carne's comment 20-May-2015 9:47 pm

    Remember Covent Garden and the Motorway Box. We are now in an era of equivalent nonsensical projects. A robust business case? Like the one for HS2?

  • Comment on: Why are we so reluctant to turn up the volume?

    Simon Carne's comment 3-May-2015 4:40 pm

    Paul Finch hits nail on head (again). Never mind adding the Rosen Ratio to architectural taxonomy, it would be good if a few more submissions to design review thought about the section as an essential part of design. Amazingly the very worst even seem to have avoided drawing one. The high end of design, concert halls, theatres, museums, art galleries depend on an understanding of volume, but everyday building need sections too. The result? - Design so dumbed down by crude area limitations that any opportunity for delight is lost.

  • Comment on: Hall McKnight hails planning victory for contentious Strand plans

    Simon Carne's comment 23-Apr-2015 11:59 am

    Kings College is a very complex set of buildings. The challenge of this site is considerable. Replacement of the existing Victorian unlisted buildings has been inevitable for years. I worked on them in 1989/90 and we argued at the time that the pair of Georgian terraces were also so badly mauled that they were not worthy of retention. I'm not convinced that the proposed replacement is as good as it could be in the hands of this excellent practice.

  • Comment on: Revealed: first images of 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

    Simon Carne's comment 25-Mar-2015 2:56 pm

    Stick men meet tellitubbies

  • Comment on: Micro-homes: part of the solution or part of the problem?

    Simon Carne's comment 16-Jan-2015 10:56 am

    Isn't Pocket Living just an answer to a very specifically inner urban area problem, for that read London, Birmingham, Manchester. The UK is not short of space for good sized homes at reasonable densities, but lacks well connected places, with the infrastructure, facilities and job opportunities paying decent salaries that make viable liveable neighbourhoods. As architects I suspect we love the challenge of making beautifully crafted flexible space using economy of means. But is this what people want? Invariably they end up having to accept what the housebuilding industry provides, poorly designed and ill considered spaces.

  • Comment on: Architect defends plans to demolish London's 'best visual joke'

    Simon Carne's comment 16-Jan-2015 10:21 am

    The front wall and four openings are the elements that maintain the joke. "Celebrating it in a contemporary way" could also be a joke. Just not so funny.

  • Comment on: Tottenham Court Road Station revamp opens

    Simon Carne's comment 13-Jan-2015 12:49 pm

    Saw it yesterday morning and was glad to see that it wasn't very exciting. I like underground stations to be spacious, clean and legible. After the exceptional Jubilee line extension stations, this seemed to be a reasonable solution good ordinary. As there is more to come it will be interesting to see how the new entrances work and the links to Crossrail are handled, so for now just happy to have a much better station.

  • Comment on: 09.01.15: DRDH in Bodø

    Simon Carne's comment 12-Jan-2015 3:15 pm

    Previous comment should be total cost of £10.3m - apologies.

  • Comment on: 09.01.15: DRDH in Bodø

    Simon Carne's comment 12-Jan-2015 3:14 pm

    Great coverage of what looks like a very impressive building. One small query, the financial data doesn't make sense - divide the total cost (310.3m) which looks very reasonable indeed cheap by the area (17,500sqm presume that is both builldings) and you get a cost per square metre of £588. Something must be wrong but what?

  • Comment on: Feix & Merlin completes East London warehouse extension

    Simon Carne's comment 23-Dec-2014 10:20 am

    Looks great but always frustrating to read cost confidential. Could at least publicise the build cost.

  • Comment on: Westminster still concerned over Garden Bridge’s impact on views

    Simon Carne's comment 1-Dec-2014 2:02 pm

    From the Summary of teh 80 page planning report...."The Garden Bridge is a unique proposal for which there is no precedent to make comparisons against. It is very clear therefore that a very robust, comprehensive and responsive Operation and Management Plan is going to be needed to ensure the project is a successful one in terms of visitor experience and impact on neighbours" In other words a potential recipe for disaster

  • Comment on: Groundworks wins planning for 'paragraph 55' country home

    Simon Carne's comment 12-Nov-2014 2:25 pm

    file for future reference - under what satisfies para 55

  • Comment on: Helsinki Guggenheim contest: 100 snapshots of the 1,715 entries

    Simon Carne's comment 23-Oct-2014 4:04 pm

    I have just spent an enjoyable couple of hours sifting through the Helsinki entries.They were a great source of good and bad graphic techniques, ideas to "borrow" without knowing the provenance and a chance to play name the architect. Though I'm pretty sure neither Sanaa nor Zaha entered, they both seemed to have spawned numerous poor imitations. The competition cannot be presented as a bit of fun. But, like Martin, it cannot be a serious way of finding an architect. The jury have much more to review and yet I still found 40+ worth making favourites and finally got down to a shortlist of 6. I probably skimmed through half and must have missed quite a few. However i look forward to seeing the results if only to see if any of mine get through. The Sydney Opera House was salvaged from the reject pile and Zaha's Peak, another competition with hundreds of entries, won though I doubt that the jury thought it was going to be built. Nevertheless both have played significant roles in advancing the art of architecture.

  • Comment on: British newcomer wins contest for Canadian winter restaurant

    Simon Carne's comment 20-Oct-2014 4:11 pm

    more a church than a restaurant?

  • Comment on: John Pardey reveals Lutyens inspired house

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Oct-2014 4:33 pm

    I have always liked John Pardey's houses, but can't get my head around the response to orientation here. It seems as though a Villa Savoyesque imagery has taken over. All but the largest face North west. Master bedroom faces North east. Kitchen faces North west, pantry located at key south west corner. Large terrace garden faces east and with no relief from closely packed GRC fins. Surely one of the lessons of Lutyens and Jekyll's work was The importance of the relationship between inside and outside and the importance of orientation?

  • Comment on: Amanda Levete: the social networker

    Simon Carne's comment 25-Sep-2014 4:11 pm

    Agree with Sutherland. Anonymous articles not what I expect from the AJ.

  • Comment on: Housing minister slams Wolfson Garden Cities prize-winner

    Simon Carne's comment 5-Sep-2014 9:37 am

    One wonders if the minister or any of his civil servants bothered to read the clear, well argued and eminently achievable proposition put forward by Urbed and their friends and colleagues. What is so depressing is that we have much of what we need in terms of legal instruments in place. What we don't have, but what Urbed over many years have demonstrated, is the commitment to a vision that is on the one hand radical but also 'conservative'. They do not propose a one size fits all solution but careful design and planning.The ministers and their advisors should look beyond the headlines and listen. I believe Nick Boles was one who did but of course he gets moved on. It is to Lord Wolfson's credit that he stumped up the cash to encourage this debate in more than just sound bites - not unlike Sir Terry Farrell working and funding the Farrell report for Government for free.

  • Comment on: Stirling Prize shortlist: the critics react

    Simon Carne's comment 17-Jul-2014 8:37 am

    Reasonable shortlist and an excellent panel of judges, but have the buildings had a chance to prove themselves? Given the dire state of most building in the UK does this shortlist send a message to the commissioning and design community?Time only will tell.

  • Comment on: Francis Terry launches rival design for Mount Pleasant housing scheme

    Simon Carne's comment 10-Jul-2014 9:27 am

    One wonders whether there was a brief? If there was an urban design assessment which I doubt, how did it inform either the first of the alternative Terry scheme?

  • Comment on: Retrofit Awards 2014 shortlist announced

    Simon Carne's comment 27-Jun-2014 12:08 pm

    90 shortlisted, the judges certainly have their work cut out.

  • Comment on: Deputy mayor: 'Lack of skyscraper masterplan for Isle of Dogs is problem'

    Simon Carne's comment 27-Jun-2014 9:15 am

    Is skyscraper masterplan an oxymoron?

  • Comment on: RIBA Awards chief says Welsh architects must raise their game

    Simon Carne's comment 19-Jun-2014 8:47 am

    I had the privilege to be on the Design Commission for Wales panel that reviewed Stormey Castle before it was given planning permission. The concept, presentation including Chris Loyn's evocative watercolour sketches, attention to detail and setting in the landscape bowled us over. From the photographs it is clear that Chris has held on to his concept and achieved a remarkable place in the landscape. If there is any justice it would be a national award winner.

  • Comment on: Ellis Woodman: Farrell’s Convoys Wharf will be a citadel for the rich

    Simon Carne's comment 17-Apr-2014 8:24 am

    The irony of Farrell's involvement. An excellent summary of the value of a river frontage and how PTAL has been ignored. Compare and contrast with Old Oak Common PTAL high but no river.

  • Comment on: Heritage row erupts over Chipperfield’s Nobel Centre

    Simon Carne's comment 15-Apr-2014 8:43 am

    Is it one storey too high? Dominating not respecting its neighbours, could more be placed below ground?

  • Comment on: Make's Leadenhall high-rise scheme wins planning approval

    Simon Carne's comment 26-Feb-2014 11:06 am

    interesting to see Make's work in context of Foster's Gerkin. Teams on each sharing the same members and no doubt the shape justifications for one could equally be applied to the other?

  • Comment on: Zaha, Rogers and Chippo on 'stellar' Crystal Palace shortlist

    Simon Carne's comment 25-Feb-2014 12:46 pm

    Lucy's comments are so sensible but architects just can't resist the thrill of the chase. Also surprising to see who is on the panel of judges. How will their deliberations be recorded in the interests of transparency and openness? At least there are a couple of 'relatively' small practices involved and so - good luck Marks Barfield.

  • Comment on: Cardiff: a city of big ideas

    Simon Carne's comment 7-Feb-2014 9:59 am

    The critical importance of regional transport in the City Region should not be underplayed. Felix rightly points out the scale and population of a South Wales City region, but it is one that is crying out for greater employment opportunities. Transport for the region as a whole is required. Having looked for example at numerous projects large and small across Wales and in particular in the south, my overall impression is that welsh enthusiasm and skill is often denied by the lack of the urbanist's vision for these independent towns and cities who jealously guard their identity, but miss opportunities to work together. By all means celebrate history, culture and individuality but share the proceeds and collaborate.

  • Comment on: Sketch competiton longlist R - Z

    Simon Carne's comment 28-Jan-2014 10:21 am

    Louis Helman answers the brief, but then he doesn't need an introduction. Hannah Carding answers it with humour. Is the brief the key or will technical expertise win? They are lovely but for those taking on the larger scale it is difficult to see how the sketches show the different ways in which we make our houses, neighbourhoods and cities our own. It's a tough task for the judges.

  • Comment on: A first look at Wilkinson Eyre's £116m Euston office scheme

    Simon Carne's comment 20-Dec-2013 9:01 am

    BREEAM "excellent" fully glazed south facing building saved by CHP. Is that a suitable model? All those bike spaces and showers waiting for a good local cycling infrastructure.

  • Comment on: Maccreanor Lavington's Passivhaus affordable housing starts on site

    Simon Carne's comment 2-Nov-2013 3:06 pm

    One aspect not mentioned in the First Look article was the apparently generous floor plan areas. The 4 bed houses seem to be nearly 200m2, the one bed flats just over 93m2 and the 2 bed flats about 107m2. These if correct are considerably in excess of the London Housing Space Standards and recommendations in the RIBA's Case for Space campaign.

  • Comment on: First peek at Studio Glowacka's Forgotten Spaces exhibition

    Simon Carne's comment 16-Oct-2013 8:47 am

    Richard Rogers inspired -like it Agnieskza

  • Comment on: Government looks to bring in minimum space standards for homes

    Simon Carne's comment 21-Aug-2013 10:09 am

    It is well worth re-reading Parker Morris. It addresses so much more than space standards. Many of the recommendations are of course past their sell-by date, but within the text there are many gems. I have in my copy highlighted many, here are few - "It is important that these minimum space standards should not be taken as a maxima; they are nothing of the sort." Para 16 The adaptable house merits only one paragraph (29) but ends with the call. "We see the investigation of practical possibilities of doing it (adaptable housing) easily of the most important lines of future research into the development of design and structure the sooner it is started the better" "The over-riding concern in designing with the car in mind must be to design for the pedestrian to stay alive....."para 200 89 pages long, arguably too many words and not enough diagrams but excellent value at 4/- from HMSO. Time to publish again on the web with metric and costs updated for inflation?

  • Comment on: Legal challenge to Chipperfield’s Elizabeth House scheme

    Simon Carne's comment 20-Jun-2013 8:30 am

    Whilst having buildings as part of the backdrop to a World Heritage site is not in itself unacceptable, surely the issues are also quality of public realm, a cut back to reveal the entrance to Waterloo Station, lack of enclosure to the enlarged public realm and the unrelieved elevational treatment. Big buildings require more subtlety and interrogation before approval.

  • Comment on: Architype reveals plans for UK’s largest Passivhaus development

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Apr-2013 11:54 am

    A new model for rural development? Can the "rules" of urban design be broken? So many questions, I'm sure Jonathan has good answers.

  • Comment on: A typology of spans

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Dec-2012 4:44 pm

    Inspirational. Brilliant.

  • Comment on: Manchester’s new sound

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Dec-2012 4:33 pm

    10,600 sq m, £19.4m even after rising to £26m looks exceptional value for money.

  • Comment on: Top 10: World's most spectacular modern churches

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Dec-2012 4:02 pm

    These churches were selected by Emporis. Not knowing who they were I thought I'd have a look and they are....The #1 provider of building data and construction projects worldwide! Says it all.

  • Comment on: Foster's fantastic plan isn't just an airport, it's a £50bn leap into our connected future

    Simon Carne's comment 18-Dec-2012 3:46 pm

    Foster's airport is also of course more than architecture as well. In fact it isn't architecture at all, but planning, so long decried as a profession by architects. If the UK was serious about planning (and for that matter architecture) then it might happen one day.

  • Comment on: Olympic stadium wrap set for Rio encore

    Simon Carne's comment 13-Aug-2012 3:58 pm

    article 25 are clever guys keep it up.

  • Comment on: Stirling Prize 2012: too much Koolhaas and no Khan

    Simon Carne's comment 23-Jul-2012 10:02 pm

    Brockholes should be there. Stadium is great as a piece of engineering and planning butt not great architecture. lyrics could win it as architecture and urban design all round subtlety. Looking back at previous short lists this is not a bad crop and with at least two or three worthy potential winners

  • Comment on: The story of Goldibox: Maidstone Museum by Hugh Broughton

    Simon Carne's comment 2-May-2012 10:25 am

    thanks Christine I was looking at the magazine at the time!

  • Comment on: The story of Goldibox: Maidstone Museum by Hugh Broughton

    Simon Carne's comment 27-Apr-2012 3:13 pm

    Please can you print site plans as a matter of course. I visited the gallery about three years ago, before the extension works. It was great then and the changing levels were particularly well handled in the original. But following the plans as it is now difficult without the wider context. It looks brilliant and what value for money. More please.

  • Comment on: Long House by Dan Brill Architects, Winchester

    Simon Carne's comment 11-Apr-2012 8:57 am

    Looks as though it was almost permitted development? A very clever and attractive solution.