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Alan Dunlop's Comments

  • Comment on: RIBA moves to scrap Part 3

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25-Mar-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.

  • Comment on: New London School of Architecture opens for applications

    Alan Dunlop's comment 24-Mar-2015 10:12 am

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

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

    Alan Dunlop's comment 20-Feb-2015 11:22 am

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

  • Comment on: Hoskins reveals contentious hotel plans for empty Edinburgh landmark

    Alan Dunlop's comment 6-Feb-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.

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

    Alan Dunlop's comment 24-Jan-2015 12:14 pm

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

  • Comment on: Revealed: Five practices shortlisted for Mack revamp

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8-Jan-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.

  • Comment on: Revealed: Five practices shortlisted for Mack revamp

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8-Jan-2015 7:59 am

    Very safe shortlist.

  • Comment on: Scottish architects split over £1,000 festival payment

    Alan Dunlop's comment 12-Dec-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.

  • Comment on: The Vinyl Frontier: Barrowland Park by LOCI Design

    Alan Dunlop's comment 9-Dec-2014 7:00 am

    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.

  • Comment on: Scotland at the Venice Biennale: from idealism to calamity

    Alan Dunlop's comment 11-Nov-2014 9:12 am

    " between 1950 and 1970 no European country invested less in social housing." Very interesting, what's the source/reference?

  • Comment on: Morgan McDonnell's 'intricately woven' Edinburgh scheme wins 2014 Doolan Prize

    Alan Dunlop's comment 6-Nov-2014 7:29 am

    "Intricately woven....a virtuoso performance, highest standards of place-making " really?

  • Comment on: Search begins for architect to restore the Mac

    Alan Dunlop's comment 14-Oct-2014 10:40 am

    Why?

  • Comment on: Punters backing O’Donnell + Tuomey to win RIBA Stirling Prize

    Alan Dunlop's comment 14-Oct-2014 10:34 am

    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

    Alan Dunlop's comment 29-Sep-2014 1:07 pm

    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

    Alan Dunlop's comment 9-Sep-2014 12:04 pm

    Beautiful, considered work.

  • Comment on: Stirling Prize shortlist: the critics react

    Alan Dunlop's comment 17-Jul-2014 4:01 pm

    mmm...me too Joe, Ortus looks like a stunning project.

  • Comment on: Are there too many architecture schools?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 5-Jul-2014 12:11 pm

    "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.

  • Comment on: Aedas unwraps limestone-inspired University block in China

    Alan Dunlop's comment 10-Jun-2014 12:36 pm

    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.

  • Comment on: Anger as Strathclyde school of architecture leaves Brutalist home

    Alan Dunlop's comment 5-Jun-2014 6:20 am

    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?

  • Comment on: Mac fire: the show goes on for GSA fine art students

    Alan Dunlop's comment 5-Jun-2014 5:58 am

    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? http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/anger-as-strathclyde-school-of-architecture-leaves-brutalist-home/8641156.article

  • Comment on: Glasgow School of Art by Steven Holl

    Alan Dunlop's comment 11-May-2014 10:34 am

    Very good piece. It's true the critics have been negative, much of it I think as a consequence of the architect's metaphysical archibabble, which makes Kahn the personification of clarity and suspect post rationalisation. It's in it's relationship with the GSA and Holl's stated intention of an "homage" to Mackintosh, which became a " complementary contrast.....if you want to respect someone; you do the opposite" that the building is compromised and Holl left open to much criticism. It is undoubtedly a strong work of architecture. Considered and skillfully constructed and as this piece points out, Glasgow is the better for it.

  • Comment on: Red Road flats demolition 'spectacle' scrapped

    Alan Dunlop's comment 15-Apr-2014 8:28 am

    I agree Matt, many of the "mistakes" of Red Road were down to mismanagement but don't necessarily agree that it has been deliberate and that Sam Bunton has been scapegoated to an extent. I also agree that there is nothing to applaud but the correct decision has now been made, for whatever the reason we should, as Glaswegians interested in promoting our city internationally, celebrate that.

  • Comment on: Dynamiting homes as a TV stunt sends the wrong message

    Alan Dunlop's comment 15-Apr-2014 8:15 am

    forgive me .... but what on earth are you saying. Sorry, but this is drivel.

  • Comment on: Glasgow academics weigh in on Red Road flats demolition

    Alan Dunlop's comment 12-Apr-2014 7:41 pm

    Excellent post.

  • Comment on: ‘Serious, almost grim’ visitor centre opens at Bannockburn site

    Alan Dunlop's comment 13-Mar-2014 8:57 am

    Grim? The choice of grey and black Petersen bricks and black pantiles are a bold move and will no doubt be controversial here. But this building is undoubtedly a work of Architecture. Intellectually satisfying on many levels, expertly considered and immaculately detailed, in my view.

  • Comment on: A world away: House No 7 by Denizen Works

    Alan Dunlop's comment 12-Mar-2014 5:58 am

    Great review. Pleasure to read.

  • Comment on: Niall McLaughlin appeals against Oxford college refusal

    Alan Dunlop's comment 17-Dec-2013 5:54 pm

    Good luck, a frankly bizarre decision to refuse.

  • Comment on: Learning from Glas Vegas

    Alan Dunlop's comment 13-Dec-2013 4:47 pm

    Great issue, clever ideas, excellent drawings. Well done

  • Comment on: Chipperfield accounts reveal slump in pre-tax profit

    Alan Dunlop's comment 18-Oct-2013 9:15 am

    why is that worth pointing out?

  • Comment on: Parametric pebble: Aberdeen Maggie's Centre by Snøhetta

    Alan Dunlop's comment 4-Oct-2013 5:38 pm

    Exceptional photography

  • Comment on: Sutherland Hussey unveils Shanghai gallery

    Alan Dunlop's comment 4-Sep-2013 9:39 am

    Immaculate renders of what looks like a very interesting and contextual project. Good luck with it.

  • Comment on: Major breakthrough in PQQ reform

    Alan Dunlop's comment 3-Sep-2013 10:07 am

    Excellent, long overdue.

  • Comment on: Are there too many architecture schools?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25-Jul-2013 12:17 pm

    "I feel it is frankly immoral for schools to be producing unemployable graduates." Agreed and agreed also that there are too many schools. As for the most effective way of teaching architecture, I'd be interested to find out the number of the heads of these many schools are experienced in the craft of architecture, have actually built projects of some scale....... or at all.

  • Comment on: Too many architecture students are simply unemployable

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25-Jul-2013 11:15 am

    Frankly, Glenn if you want to read a great article on the problems of architectural education read Austin Williams on sustainability supplanting critical engagement then Penny Lewis on the need for a core method and text, rooted in the study of history, context and culture and the modern movement.

  • Comment on: Daniel Libeskind lands Durham Uni jackpot

    Alan Dunlop's comment 16-Jul-2013 10:33 am

    I think you should say what you really mean Respor.

  • Comment on: In pictures: 3DReid student prize 2013 shortlist unveiled

    Alan Dunlop's comment 4-Jul-2013 9:35 am

    Congratulations Bruce and good luck.

  • Comment on: Scottish architects unconvinced by SNP’s new architecture policy

    Alan Dunlop's comment 27-Jun-2013 1:21 pm

    Not unconvinced at all.........actually pretty ambitious and I'm thankful for it.

  • Comment on: Sergison Bates wins green light for 'country house clause' home

    Alan Dunlop's comment 8-Jun-2013 7:33 am

    Is there a site plan and plan(s)?

  • Comment on: Glasgow leader reported to ethics watchdog over George Square fiasco

    Alan Dunlop's comment 23-Apr-2013 9:24 am

    Kerr Robertson is an highly experienced architect and well regarded professional. The fact the RIAS acknowledge that the competition was well run is largly due to his input and direction. "whichever design won we would have gone with the public’s view." I don't recall this being made clear, if so why have a jury?

  • Comment on: Sutherland Hussey completes Iron Age museum in China

    Alan Dunlop's comment 21-Mar-2013 8:53 am

    Congratulations SHA, a great project and build quality looks excellent.

  • Comment on: Work to start on 'less radical' George Sq revamp

    Alan Dunlop's comment 19-Mar-2013 11:24 am

    Explosive right enough, well done RIAS..........wonder what the major issue was that arose during the judging and left the leader of the council increasingly agitated, the competition a shambles and Glasgow an international laughing stock?

  • Comment on: Ramp house: Architects build wheelchair-friendly family home

    Alan Dunlop's comment 9-Mar-2013 11:56 am

    Very nicely done, cleverly planned, good light from a narrow site and spatially very interesting. Congratulations.

  • Comment on: Revealed: the six finalists in George Square contest

    Alan Dunlop's comment 10-Jan-2013 9:52 am

    Water features aside, Entry 2 seems to better understand the social, political and civic context of the square. That in my view is fundemental and suggest an architect that is very familiar with Glasgow and its history........it is also a fine proposal and that also seems to be reflected in the poll above.

  • Comment on: Double tops: Chris Dyson wins planning for Fashion Street twinset

    Alan Dunlop's comment 3-Jan-2013 11:10 am

    Congratulations, Chris.......I'll look forward to seeing some more beautiful drawings.

  • Comment on: Peter Buchan: 'Architecture education is over-regulated and sterile'

    Alan Dunlop's comment 3-Nov-2012 8:47 am

    Sorry Peter, I've had to read this an number of times to get to the core of your arguement. The global meltdown has brought with it an age of philistinism. At present it’s all about money. At the recent AIA international conference, when the government's chair of education committee said architects had nothing to contribute to the future design of schools, leading members of the profession, including some you have mentioned, listening as the profession was undermined, stayed quiet. I was the only one who challenged that stunted view. As a professor who has taught now in a few countries I am always heartened and delighted by the insight and capability of the young people who continue to study architecture. They are often outstanding, intellectually, creatively and rationally. This capability somehow has to be nurtured and allowed to develop and grow. As long as we have such people interested in becoming architects then the profession has a positive future.

  • Comment on: Tributes made as visionary architect Lebbeus Woods dies

    Alan Dunlop's comment 1-Nov-2012 9:12 am

    The most remarkable, gifted and visionary architect artist of my generation. Astonishing work. Looking at his drawings was a humbling experience.

  • Comment on: Scrapped: Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Union Terrace Gardens binned

    Alan Dunlop's comment 25-Aug-2012 10:35 am

    Perhaps more realisable and believable would be a better description, David. Less ambitious perhaps but better suited to the topography of the gardens and the climate of Aberdeen, particularly in winter when the wind whips in from the North Sea?

  • Comment on: Scrapped: Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Union Terrace Gardens binned

    Alan Dunlop's comment 23-Aug-2012 11:42 am

    Time to restore the Peacock Visual Arts Brisac Gonzalez project, I think.

  • Comment on: Paper Architecture

    Alan Dunlop's comment 16-Aug-2012 11:47 am

    Great Drawing and very interesting proposal and background story. Enjoy Venice both of you.

  • Comment on: Student Shows 2012: Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment

    Alan Dunlop's comment 26-Jul-2012 4:24 pm

    Atopian, eh. Very clever............ and as all schools should aspire to be.