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Alan Dunlop's comments

  • Ignore the RIAS gimmicks, Scottish architecture is in extreme difficulty

    Alan Dunlop's comment 23 December, 2015 9:13 am

    "working to attract a larger and more youthful membership ..........cohort of diverse talent to be their own advertisement for the benefits of architecture to society." Agreed Ben, fair comment

  • RIAS reveals ‘Scotland’s top 100 buildings’

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8 December, 2015 11:13 am


    Ah, from the worthy crew of the RIAS flagship "Safety First". Motto:
    "Nihil video , transigendum"


  • AJ retains Magazine of the Year title

    Alan Dunlop's comment 21 November, 2015 8:55 am

    Congratulations Rory, Will and Laura. Enjoyed also this Glasgow Edinburgh edition. Excellent.

  • No house style: the drawings of Stirling and Wilford

    Alan Dunlop's comment 13 October, 2015 10:20 pm

    Chris, as I've mentioned to you before, your single point perspective of Abando is a true work of art. As Kahn said, "put simply, hand drawing is the language of the architect"

  • Readers vote: Which is your RIBA Stirling Prize winner?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 7 October, 2015 11:08 am

    As good as all these projects undoubtedly are, there is now empirical study which clearly confirms that the physical environment, architecture and good design can improve life to the extent that it can reduce the rate of decline in people with a terminal illness or with dementia. The considered design of a school environment can also markedly improve levels of attainment among average students. Consequently project like Maggie's and Burntwood School are for me the most deserving. Whitworth is stunning absolutely, but not life extending, enhancing nor affirming to the same extent.

    Maggie’s for me therefore.

  • Conservationists 'ignored' over Hoskins' Calton Hill plans

    Alan Dunlop's comment 4 September, 2015 10:37 am

    It's very unusual for Charlie Hussey to respond to the work of a fellow architect in such a critical way but frankly I have to agree with him, it's frankly awful and a significant step backward. As foir the other usual supsects quoted, I would not expect any other response.

  • How to become a famous architect

    Alan Dunlop's comment 24 August, 2015 1:11 pm

    Paul, give yourself a break, take the dog for a walk, maybe. Have a holiday or do a bit of gardening, you'll feel better.

  • Kuma's V&A Dundee could never be built to budget, finds report

    Alan Dunlop's comment 18 August, 2015 11:44 am

    Again Paul, not all architects....as I'm sure you know.

  • Revealed: AJ/Hoare Lea Bursary finalists

    Alan Dunlop's comment 15 July, 2015 10:23 am

    Congratulations Anneli on making the final shortlist and good luck to all involved.

  • Scotland’s 2016 architecture festival lands £400k funding boost

    Alan Dunlop's comment 14 July, 2015 8:51 am

    Not every architect, Paul.

  • Partridge's Chicago: My kind of town

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25 May, 2015 3:25 pm

    Good list, but you missed Walter Netsch's Inland Steel

  • Schools: What is the impact of austerity?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 11 April, 2015 9:18 am

    Clever piece Helen. Concise. All you need to know, really.

  • RIBA moves to scrap Part 3

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25 March, 2015 10:27 am

    "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.

  • New London School of Architecture opens for applications

    Alan Dunlop's comment 24 March, 2015 10:12 am

    "Practice" needs to move closer to architectural education, not the other way around.

  • Urbanist Group: ‘We work with the best architects’

    Alan Dunlop's comment 20 February, 2015 11:22 am

    "engagement..delivery...collaboration..accessibility..
    sustainable-solution..viable...improved experience", yep, all there. Just "key stakeholders" missing

  • Hoskins reveals contentious hotel plans for empty Edinburgh landmark

    Alan Dunlop's comment 6 February, 2015 2:50 pm

    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.

  • Rachel Haugh: 'The name change is not going to change me'

    Alan Dunlop's comment 24 January, 2015 12:14 pm

    ......I can remember your beautiful pen drawings and a meticulous drafting skill, Rachel. All the best.

  • Revealed: Five practices shortlisted for Mack revamp

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8 January, 2015 10:37 am

    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.

  • Revealed: Five practices shortlisted for Mack revamp

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8 January, 2015 7:59 am

    Very safe shortlist.

  • Scottish architects split over £1,000 festival payment

    Alan Dunlop's comment 12 December, 2014 10:58 am

    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.

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