Alan Dunlop's Comments
Comment on: Schools: What is the impact of austerity?
Clever piece Helen. Concise. All you need to know, really.
Comment on: RIBA moves to scrap Part 3
"Currently students enter practice with poor business and client skills and receive very poor pay in return". March Students of architecture are in my experience, clever, articulate, critically engaged and motivated by a belief that architecture can improve lives and be a catalyst for positive change. They may have poor business skills but leave university highly motivated and with the expectation that they are entering a profession with integrity, purpose and a clear artistic and philosophical direction. Instead, are more likely to find a profession that is currently bogged down with issues of low fees/ low pay; value engineering, speculative work, meaningless competitions, BIM and supplanted by project managers, “key stakeholders” and accountants. The universities, not the offices, are where architecture as the mother of the arts is still practised, and ideas about place making, aesthetics, beauty and a willingness to experiment is undertaken, architecture and urban design discussed and critical engagement expected. It is practice that is letting students down, not the other way around.
"Practice" needs to move closer to architectural education, not the other way around.
"engagement..delivery...collaboration..accessibility.. sustainable-solution..viable...improved experience", yep, all there. Just "key stakeholders" missing
The building is impressive and it’s great that it could be brought back into use but I would not underestimate the challenges ahead in converting such a significant, neo classical monument as Hamilton’s Old Royal High into a hotel. The program is in many ways incompatible and the plan of the Grade A building seems resistant to such a conversion and judging by the supporting comments it look like the hotel accommodation will sit separately from the main building. I wish Hoskins luck but it won’t be easy. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to assess the real merits of the proposal as it stands from the very general and non-descript cgi image and loose concept sketches provided. I would hope that is not intentional by the developer and that much more detailed information is made available soon.
......I can remember your beautiful pen drawings and a meticulous drafting skill, Rachel. All the best.
I defer to few people in my appreciation of Mackintosh and have written frequently and spoken on the BBC about his genius. The true worth of the Mac building and example of Mackintosh's profound talent is that it is still a working art school, over one hundred years since its completion, with the exception of the library. That was a museum space. However, you had the knowledge that Mackintosh once stood in that space, talked with the craftsmen, developed the design, you were always very much aware of his presence. That connection is now lost and cannot be replaced, no matter how good the replication. It is a shortlist that avoids controversy and for me disappointing that there is not one "wildcard" on the list, like Mackintosh himself was in the 1890's. However, most of all I find it ironic that such an esteemed institution like the Glasgow School of Art, that prides itself in innovation in art and makes such a play of having four winners of the Turner prize should now play it so safe. Who could do it? I can think of a few and have faith in my profession that we could rise to this challenge and could produce a new library that can meet modern requirements and it can still be beautiful, inspirational and well considered.
Very safe shortlist.
I'm happy you're content Jim. True, I have not attended a convention since 2004 and it will probably be another ten years before I attend another. Yet I 'd be interested if you could suggest another architect who has written more positively about architects and architecture in Scotland in recent years. I'm up to my neck in CPD. However, I have read the 2011 document and as far as I can detect the publication has had absolutely no influence on the Scottish Government or public procurement in Scotland: Small and medium sized practices still are still restricted or barred entry; Design quality of new buildings and fitness for purpose has not significantly improved, The Scottish Futures Trust or "Hub"s are driven by bottom line economics not design quality ; We are no clearer on the expertise of those judging PQQ's or those involved in the final tender selection of public sector procurement process. However,as the profession is dogged by a lack of respect, which has resulting in low fees and long hours, the Presidents call for pricing, reliability and value for money in the process seems to have had an effect but not in the way anticipated, I suspect.
Great project that has lifted a whole area of Glasgow's saltmarket and reinvigorated an important site that has been bordered by rotting timber panelling and derelict for years. It has transformed the space between London Road and Gallowgate from an area filled with rubbish, rubble and abandoned syringes to a space used by local residents, office workers and joggers. The change in gradient from Gallowgate to London Road has been expertly handled, with the incorporation of gabions, retaining walls and bench seating. There are also quirky elements, not fully noticeable at first, like the rainbow pathway that includes the names of the 2000 or so bands that have played at the nearby Barrowlands and a blue Dr Who police box which is sure to delight local kids.
" between 1950 and 1970 no European country invested less in social housing." Very interesting, what's the source/reference?
"Intricately woven....a virtuoso performance, highest standards of place-making " really?
Comment on: Search begins for architect to restore the Mac
I too have just visited the building, David. You make a valid point about the rain. Seeing how the weather will affect the brick facades over time will be interesting but I disagree strongly that the building is "ill resolved". In my view, it's a truly remarkable and original work carried out with rigour on a very difficult site, whether it wins the Stirling or not. I hope it wins but despite the "hype" it may not. How often has the clear Stirling favourite lost out? Anyway, Rory Olcayto's comment seems particularly relevant to your post "James Stirling’s portfolio is practically defined by risk - every one of his great buildings flirts vigorously with failure."
Comment on: Amanda Levete: the social networker
I am genuinely puzzled how a practice with few built projects and limited profit before tax can run an office of 55 people?
Comment on: Maggie’s Lanarkshire
Beautiful, considered work.
Comment on: Stirling Prize shortlist: the critics react
mmm...me too Joe, Ortus looks like a stunning project.
Comment on: Are there too many architecture schools?
"I have now wandered though another raft of end- of-year shows which display huge endeavour and creativity...but exhibit endless unbuildable, unreal, irrelevant and ultimately forgettable projects that will evaporate as soon as the shows close." Sadly I have too, in the UK but also China and USA as critic, reviewer and also external examiner. Often brilliant cgi images and stunning drawings from cleary talented students of ultimately pointless projects.
Having just returned from Suzhou and this building, I believe this project would be a very relevant and informative case study for those architects interested in how things are done in China. Focusing on the high aspirations and design intent of the architect, compared to what the LDI's and contractors understand and are capable of delivering.
Why not use the currently vacant architecture studios of the Fielden building at Strathclyde University as much needed temporary studios for students of the GSA, while restoration work is undertaken. A generous offer of solidarity, respect and friendship from one great institution across the city to another needing help which will be a positive reuse of much respected Fielden building?