Douglas Read's Comments
Comment on: Obituary: Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014)
I am very sad to hear of Kathryn's passing. I had the privilege of serving on a Doolan Award jury with her and remember her great sense of fun and humour as well as an incisive questioning brain. She was a joy to know. Her death is a great loss to Architecture and to Scotland.
Comment on: Major breakthrough in PQQ reform
Item 10 will help a lot if implimented. The practice of "Bundling" a number of small projects into one big commission no matter what the geographical separation denys many small practices the opportunity to grow by simply counting them out of the "Bundle".
Spot on Paul, It's not the "Special" buildings that are of concern, they will generally look after themselves and be given the designers and budgets the need. It's the "Ordinary" that we need to improve. To paraphrase Robert Venturi - we need to make Main Street alright.
Take a look at the Scottish regs - there are minimum space standards there. Maybe too minimal - but generally accepted.
Comment on: Ungagged Olympic architects named
All very well - but a bit late in the day.
It would be interesting to see how the London based responses compared to those from outwith London.
As another former pupil of Hermitage, 1966-69 when it was brand new, I can only partially agree with Rory. Sure it was a bold sculptural statement to reflect the age, but it had many practical flaws. Pupil circulation was a nightmare, heating was pretty much hit and miss and the toilet windows barely opened at all. On the other hand it does seem to have produced a fair number of Architects amongst its FPs - maybe that means something, but what? Its replacement probably reflects the current age in its own way.
Comment on: The end for building regs as we know them?
It's not the regulations - it's the money. If you reckon that doing away with Planning and Building Regulations are going make a difference to the construction industry then you are in for a big disappointment. Instead of wsting money on quangos the government would be better to kick start the economy with a rolling programme of new social housing.
As you say Paul, quite apart from the simple fact that the various Architects and designers deserve praise which they have so clearly earned; the impact on exports and jobs would have been incalculable. It has time the government - of whatever party - realised how much British design earns abroad and helped rather than hindered the cause.
It's a marketing strategy; it's an initial consultation. How many of us go a long way down the line with no fee certain? The final fee for any job that comes out of it will have to be agreed. Good luck to them!
Comment on: Lighting design pioneer Jonathan Speirs dies
Jonathan will be very much missed. He was one of the most talented designers around globally. He was one of the most delightful, friendly, modest and humerous people I have ever had the joy of knowing. He lit up the world in more ways than one.
Dudok's Hilversum Town Hall must be in the running!
Comment on: Nick Clegg: VAT cut on refurbs 'too expensive'
Strange that he should think a VAT cut is too expensive when it would seem very likely that the increased take in tax paid due to a reduction in the black economy would more than offset the reduction in VAT.
Comment on: The buildings of 2011 - as chosen by you
While these are all terrific projects it's hardly "as chosen by you"; it's "as chosen by leading figures". How about a straightforward readers' choice where the only rule is that can't vote for your own practice? It might be interesting to see if any less well publicised projects make the top ten.
Will Heinekin, Cadbury and Coke be paying for the spectacular product placement? Or will they be ratated over the games with other bidders?
Comment on: The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #5
I may have got this wrong but the only democratically elected commentators on the planning application are in fact the lay Councillors. They may be "populist", they be aesthetically pig ignorant, they may even be to blame for despoilation of the entire country with appalling little noddy houses made out of ticky-tacky - but they are the only democratic bit of the entire process. Would an undemocratic process guarantee anything better - or might it make tings worse?
Sounds like a case of "Shoot the Messenger".
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