Alan Dunlop's Comments
Comment on: In praise of the quizzical line
This was a joy to read, a real pleasure. Drawing forces you to think....and think again.
Comment on: Lighting design pioneer Jonathan Speirs dies
Sad news indeed. Jonathan Speirs was an inspirational figure. An exceptionally talented designer who guided Speirs and Major to the top of their profession and one of the few Scottish practices with a truly global presence and international reputation.
Comment on: Arup wins approval for prefab country house
Comment on: First look at gm + ad's last building
I agree, it's a stunning and historically significant site, the true birthplace of the industrial revolution. Not that's of particular interest to anyone other than me but my first project as a newly qualified architect was the creation of the "New York Street" which was the centre piece of Granada Studios Tour and the cafe, burger bars and shops in the arches below........happy days. Not really a positive contribution either to such an important site but fun .........and it's gone, this proposal looks like it will stick around much longer.
Comment on: The house at Spanish Cove
Beautiful house, stunning quality of detailing and relationship to context. The limestone will only look better over time I would think, as the weather leaves its mark.........but what about the sto render how will that look ?
Impressive projects all of them but more likely to be the Doolan "Shortlist"
Congratulations Ross and Anna
There has to be someone at the head of government who takes a real interest in architecture that cares about design. At present, in both England and Scotland, you could be ordering toilet paper one week and commissioning an architect the next. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in New York seems to have pushed through a method for better procurement of city buildings. For projects under $15m only practices with 10 staff or under are considered.
Comment on: Gareth Hoskins unveils vision for Helensburgh
So what, we all borrow and this is much more convincing ....credit where it's due. Hoskins has taken on a difficult problem for an area that desperately needs it. Well done.
This is a particularly worrying time for the city John, so much substandard work seems to be pushed through on the back of the economic crisis. I've no idea where this project came from and although I consider myself to be very well informed with what's happening in my city, this was somehow kept under wraps. I had no idea either that Glasgow had a chief architect, the last one left before Glasgow was City of Architecture in 1999 which now seems to have been a golden age.
What an incredibly important and interesting project, matched only by an incredibly dull and uninspiring proposal. Glasgow seems to be in real danger of no longer being recognised as a city of good contemporary architecture with this effort and the tin sheds approved on the Broomielaw.
‘BREEAM becomes a problem [in terms of cost] if it is used far too late as a tick-box, hassle exercise rather than a design tool" I've been involved in a few school design conferences over the last year, both in the UK and USA. I've seen some great schools and some absolutely soulless, dispiriting and, frankly, dreadful ones. The dreadful ones always lead by TRUMPETING their BREEAM and LEED credentials.
Comment on: Herman Hertzberger wins RIBA Gold Medal
mmm...don't think he's been really underrated at all. He has been considered an outstanding architect and educator for as long as I can remember. Particularly recently by those able to distinguish architecture from product design. I think instead others have been overrated. Depends I guess on how much you value the RIBA Gold Medal as the true measure of an architect.
Comment on: Chancellor demands 'new PFI model'
Much discussion at the moment is about PFI. However, in the run up to presenting at the recent AIA BCSE conference I sat, quietly at first, with 200 architects, teachers and contractors and listened to Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness and Chairman of the Education Select Committee promote private sector and business involvement in the procurement of new schools, while damning BSF. It was a shocking exposition of the government’s hostile attitude toward architects. What was more bewildering to me is that those London based architects, many of whom were involved in BSF took it on the chin without question or response. The attitude that schools don’t need architects to design them and that business and commerce can meet all educational needs is philistine and I told him so. Cookie Cutter schools may be cheap to build but they are not the answer. Yes teachers are important, but so is quality of the physical environment and good architecture. Maybe in ten years, when this new form of PFI is exhausted we’ll learn that it is only by the architect and teacher working together and state school projects being properly funded that we can at last achieve great schools, that are fit for purpose.
p.s the yacht in the main image tells you all you need to know about the architects understanding of context.
This has to be easily the most disturbing planning approval granted by the city in recent years. Conceptually flawed, out of scale, materially suspect and more of a barrier on the waterfront than an attraction it also brings into question the significance of organisations like A+DS. Although their response was stifled by committee speak, their report was the most damning I have read recently for any project, yet the application was approved. Sad day for Glasgow and the high aspirations some of us have for the waterfront.
Comment on: The Stirling Prize was right to ignore the Scots
Agreed. It's rediculous that 13 projects have been shortlisted once again, it devalues the prize and many of us, not just Scots* have thought so for quite some time. Four projects can justifyably be included this year as the best of architecture in Scotland. Dundee House Museum Of Scotland Hillhead Primary Edinburgh University. * I'm Scottish too
I can't speak for their morals but as far as commerce and architecture is concerned, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is not really part of Scotland. It's frankly an independent state. They do things differently there. The architects, with a the exception of Gokay Deveci, in the city don't really engage with the rest of the country and don't need to. As a consequence it's hard (impossible) to find a building in the city centre that you could direct an architect visitor intersted in good design to go see , I've struggled many times. As far as applications being rejected by self interested councillors, in Aberdeenshire the opposite was true when Trump's proposals were approved.
These images have just been published, as part of the public consultation required in the run up to making a significant planning application. So it is the first time many of us have seen them and I'd say without exception the opinion, not just of architects, is that the project as presented is brutal pastiche and shockingly insensitive to the uniqueness of the landscape . The other weirder part of this is that the project as presented in these two drawings should be supported so wholeheartedly by the RIAS. As for the A+DS, they have not yet commented on the project as now presented but to their credit they have be critical in the past, so I'll look forward to what they will say now. As for procurement being parochial, we fankly need a bit more of that in Scotland, so that some of our best Scottish architects (and I would include Gareth in that, of course) can have a decent chance to secure public projects and make shortlists without being the token Scot there just to make up the numbers.
Well, as you know, for a project like this situated on such a wonderful, unique and ancient landscaped (now renamed the GREAT DOOONES of SCATLAND) all images should be hand drawn.
This has nothing to do with Scotland, I think you'll find the majority of architects here think it bizarre, despite the RIAS endorsement.
mmm..........apart from the removal of the fish, having visited I think that the big moves work well. My kids loved the main hall, I thought it impressive and for the first time I was interested to move up to the upper floors.
This is clearly and exceptional project, beautifully executed and photographed and as clear an example as any what can be achieved when councils and business groups have the confidence to commission a very talented young "local" architect, Robin Lee......... instead of looking to always sign up an international name.
Wild cards Centre for Competative Design Niall McLaughlin Lawson Park Sutherland Hussey Shettleston HA Elder and Cannon Sevenoaks School of Performing Arts Tim Ronalds Rothschild Foundation Stephen Marshall Bourne Hill Offices Stanton Williams
I think Chipperfield was poorly served last week by Joseph Rykwert's workmanlike review of the Hepworth Gallery, this in comparison is very well written indeed and a pleasure to read. It's also concise and written by someone who obviously understands the city, the river and the competititon process for major building projects in a city looking for European recognition. I now agree the appointment of Hadid was right for Glasgow but that does not make the project design any less bizarre. As for the quality of the detailing, we'll see tonight though it does look incredible, I agree
Comment on: Patricia Cain at Kelvingrove, Glasgow
I would absolutely recommend a visit to see this exhibition at Kelvingrove. The paintings, not just those of the Riverside Museum, are astonishing, truly. For those attending the RIAS convention Kelvingrove is within walking distance of Imax and an easy taxi ride from the Scottish Youth Theatre or use the underground from Buchanan Street....... that'll also be an experience you won't forget.
Comment on: ADAM unveils huge Dover homes masterplan
"Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?"
beautifully resolved project.
Nice door access control, I'm told
Entry forms can now be submitted up until the 14th January. There is a backlog of post at RGI, due to the severe weather.
Yes indeed, it would be a great pity.......... but that was the plan. Striking building, perhaps if Ian reads this he could let us know?
Comment on: Facing up to Mackintosh
Actually, there has been quite a bit of discussion among architects in Glasgow and genuine concern, although a reluctance to set anything down in print. Which is understandable, maybe given the international reputation of Holl. However, Curtis is a much respected critic and writer and make a number of very valid points particularly regarding daylight. Mackintosh brings light into his building in a very subtle way, I don't think that can be said of the proposal as it stands at the moment. As for the extent of the highly reflective front to the south on Renfrew Street, the elevation does dominate and I wonder what sunlight bouncing of the glass that will do to the north light coming into the GSA. All of us in Glasgow want this building to be a success, absolutely but it would be wrong to equate silence with contentment or positive feeling.
Although the reproduction quality in both the magazine and the website is very high, neither really shows the true quality of these paintings. They are really remarkable and, particularly for architecture students anchored to the computer and sketch up hopefully inspirational. They are also huge. The image above froms part of a triptych being prepared for Trish's Kelvingrove solo exhibition. It'll be worth making a trip to Glasgow to see.
Comment on: AJ exclusive: interview with Zaha Hadid
‘MAXXI cannot be drawn. Nobody has that technique. It’s lost. You rely on very steady hands, inking and transfers. All these techniques have been substituted by other things.’ Oh, really.
Having now visited the exhibition, my opinion has not changed, in fact it has grown much stronger. The only project that stands up to real scrutiny is, in my opinion by Sutherland Hussey. It is well resolved, realisable and disciplined. It also has depth in detail which is not immediatly obvious from the published computer generated image, the resolution of the glazed veil for example. What is most depressing is the emphasis the architects have placed on the immediate impact of the uber realsitic cgi's. The public's favourite seems to be an image of space ship as museum, with admittedly an interesting section but with what looks like a single point of entry and exit, how on earth will that work Scotty? Another project inspired by a Scottish bluebells has also caught the public imagination particularly its flawless seamless glass which cannot be cleaned without, in my opinion undertaking a major engineering operation. During this phase of public consultation these cgi's seem to be worth their weight in gold for they have have convinced visitors and posters on the official website that the most implausible and frankly dumb proposal is possible and seem dynamic, affordable and achievable.
I agree, though it reminds me very much of their Loch Ard boathouse. Nevertheless it is the only credible project and you have to wonder what was the brief set for the other contestants. Three of the projects could never be built within a budget of £150 million never mind £50 Million, in my opinion. So at the risk of sounding once more parochial you have very good project, well considered, well designed and by a leading Scots practice, they should get it. Will they?
What's Dundonian for Pure Mental?
Comment on: McManus Galleries, Dundee, by Page\Park
Was there myself recently. The project is beautifully executed and I doubt if there is another practice that could have done in better. Much credit to P/P and to Karen Nugent.
Comment on: RMJM loses raft of top names
No review? It's not that far away surely? This year Scott Sutherland will run a two year masters course with units led by, Gokay Deveci, Neil Gillespie and myself. You can see work done last year, designing a new island town here: www.newcrammondisland.co.uk No computers in my unit, from now on only hand drawings Alex Green above was a particularly excellent draughtsman.
Comment on: Design a Roof: A home for Boris
very clever, great drawings.
I think you both should declare an interest. I fail to see how the removal of the legally protected title could be beneficial to architects, particularly as there are many of us who do not wish to be part of the RIBA.