Chris Medland's Comments
Good points made. As tweeted by one-world design architects on July 29th 'With new media & immediate detailed info the days of PR machines and possibly contrived polls/ surveys are over'. I still contest that for at least £64,000,000 of our money we should have a public right of way - if not why not? The GBT simply don't answer.
Comment on: Libeskind’s Jerusalem pyramid gets go-ahead
Comment on: Libeskind’s Jerusalem pyramid gets go-ahead
the way it lands on a straight sided base is really unconfortable
Comment on: Green light for Essex co-housing scheme
good. beautiful drawings too... not a sketch up man with cap in sight
I have every confidence it will... thanks
Duncan - please see my note above yours. More info on our facebook page etc but in short the space for the landing of the bridge has been left at the request of wandsworth and the S106 agreement has Barratt installing the piles....
The proposal is to be built immediately adjacent to the new pedestrian and cycle river crossing (on the same site), The Diamond Jubilee Bridge- it will become a gateway building for Battersea. For a full update on the positive steps forward made by this and others developments please refer to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oneworlddesign/posts/901672479924221:0
Both Ken and the Director from Arup are misunderstanding what some peoples objections are - its not about design - its much more important, its about democracy, openness and who owns the right to privatise a public space. Why doesn't the bridge have a public right of way? There is no reason to close it at night - lots of public London streets have trees and flower beds that need maintenance and the city is served by the best police force on the planet. Public rights of way can be temporarily closed under licence for 'private' fundraising events. There is no real need to stop cyclist either. The combination of the highway code, law of the land and common sense will do the job it does elsewhere on places like the Thames path that at times are only 2m wide and are shared spaces (with pedestrian priority) The whole thing is tail wagging dog that's why people don't like it - it has the feeling of an occupation of the space, a private invasion of the river rather than a welcome guest at the party on Thames. Yes you can build a bridge over our river, yes you can put some nice trees on it, and yes you can even have private events on it occasionally - but when we say you can (through normal council applications process) and we can use it all day and all night within the laws of the land.
I have checked my calendar - its not April 1st...
If you repeat the corporate line enough times you are bound to start believing it eventually. There is clearly a bubble of billy bollocks wrapped firmly around the PR machine behind this. If it was the right thing to do it then why is a PR machine employed at all.
well said. completely agree
one world design architects ethos and moto is ‘design that adds value’ – some mistake this as a purely financial endeavour. Not at all. From the outset one-world design architects has been focused on adding ecological, social and environmental value as a priority. This project, along with the Diamond Jubilee Bridge for instance, is an example of where, with the help of a great forward thinking client and design team, we have succeeded - that is the joy for me in this project
Couldn't agree more. However of course we are dependant on the commitment of clients because its their money we spend. We are also dependant on government policy as its within that framework and the parameter they set that the clients operate. We need the RIBA to be a stronger voice in pushing forward greater environmental standards and lobbying for improvements at government and statutory authority level. We also need the industry press to focus more on real sustainability issues, not green wash projects ( urban parsley) and we need to design buildings now for the climate of 20, 40 and 80 years time. I refer you below to our manifesto statement first issued 4 years ago - perhaps time for an update: 1 – The Challenge Constants and Change As we face the challenges brought about by the economic, political and social context of today, the effects of climate change will take greater prominence on future design. Global warming is real, its effects estimated and its consequences will be widespread and varied. Approximately 50% of all resources consumed on Earth are used in construction. Construction is reported to be the least sustainable industry in the world. It is about to go through the most dramatic period of change since the invention of steel framed buildings and the industrial revolution. This is not only because of the political commitments and the increased public acceptance of the need to be sustainable, but the buildings we design now need to be designed for the foreseeable effects of climate change. A new epoch will be recognisable in years to come, created by the need for architecture to respond to global warming and prepare our towns and cities for a new environment. The UK escapes the worst effects of climate change compared to many places; however the UK Met Office predicts that the south of England’s average day time temperature will be 9 degrees higher in the summer of 2080. Our future here will be hotter, we will have less predictable water supplies, more violent storms and we will have less reliable sources of fossil fuels. The procurement of buildings today needs to take all of these issues into account. Design solutions need to adapt to the effects of climate change whilst minimizing their contribution to the causes; design solutions need to be embedded within the form, construction and materials of all new buildings. Design now must allow us to maintain a good quality of the life without hindering future generation’s ability to provide the same for themselves. The challenge for the construction industry and Architects today, therefore, is how can we design for the long term to give people places that will serve them well through many times, changing technologies, and over many years in an earnest, considered and truly sustainable way? 2 – The Response Design Principles Sustainable development is defined in the Brundtland Report as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This definition contains two key concepts, that of needs and limitations. The basic needs of all people, and the limitations reached by contemporary technology, social context and the environments ability to meet future and present needs. All definitions of sustainable development depict the world as an interconnected system: One world that is connected in space and connected in the sequence of time. Architecture, building and development is by its very nature a positive investment in our future. It is the undertaking of work to sustain or improve our future quality of life. Architects working today for the benefit of people in 25, 50, 80 years time and beyond. The timescales involved mean that our buildings need to be designed not only to ‘meet the needs of the present’, but will need to serve future generations. Given the evidence and predictions of how our environment is changing, a more adequate/appropriate definition of sustainable development might be, ‘development that meets the needs of the present and foreseeable future without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’. This principle calls for designing and building focused not on short-term architectural awards, or acclamation , or even on building regulations or BREEAM standards, but to the best possible solution that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. This change in mindset is not about using low energy light bulbs, but rather about why electrically powered lighting is required at all. It is about asking difficult questions that generate a shift in our perception of the things we take for granted and the way in which our homes, offices and all buildings operate, look and are procured. The One-World view is that sustainability recognises the nexus linking the economy, society, and our environment. We have one world and the resources of one world only. Until such a time when resources from other worlds can viably be procured we need to base the design of everything on this brief. A one-world approach to design stipulates that we consume resources only at a rate at which they can be replenished and produce waste only at a rate at which it can be recycled. It requires that we deal with the relationships between all aspects of building habitation and use holistically rather than as individual elements in isolation. Architects now must seek out and support sustainable development opportunities and create solutions that offer both an environmentally sound and a high quality product. We will achieve this through understanding how things have been done before, learning the practical lessons of the past, and by staying ahead of the statutory regulations by meeting future standards today. We will use architectural tools to adapt, improve and craft existing and new buildings in a way that serves people to the best possible effect, without submitting to ego or seeking monument. Through clear thinking, not swayed by fashion or fads, we need to use intuitive approaches to address the challenges of regeneration that are fit for purpose, context and the future in a truly sustainable development.
PS - please AJ will you show the actual views of the bridge from the riverbank also, not from the penthouse of a nearby tower or a helicopter... lets see what it looks like from the queue to get on it and from the southbank where 30 mature trees are being killed to make way for it and the view to the city and st paul's will be obliterated... for the sake of balanced reporting...
‘London has treated the Thames as an obstacle to breach. Why does a bridge have to be barrier and not a place?’ Is this quote out of context? if not, what a weird and utterly arrogant thing to say. London has many fantastic bridges that are places in their own right, featuring in famous scenes of movies, in literature, music, nursery rhymes, TV adverts, plays, in works of art and are often the scenes of memorable moments in peoples lives. The Thames is also home to a thriving river boat service, it is still a commercial shipping lane and a place of work to many. The Thames Path, which stretches all the way through London is arguably London's most used park, public space, cycle route and walking route and has amazing views of the city, granted by the very fact that the Thames is an open space. The Thames itself is a place, and a much loved living and exciting part of London. The quote demonstrates the sort of wishy washy fluffy language being used to soften and fade the edges of a massive, hugely expensive, piece of civil engineering that will block the best and most famous views of London from its historic centre - the words are truly ridiculous and dumbfounding.
good points well made
Perhaps there needs to be an new, additional, grade or power available to Historic England- a power that enables a type of recording, rather than retaining a building of note? What I mean is that Historic England should be able to insist of some kind of detailed historic record being completed and made available prior to any demolition or modification of buildings worthy of note but not worthy of encapsulating for history like some kind of future museum piece.
Comment on: Expert slams Garden Bridge business case
under FOI I asked TfL: 'Were TfL’s procurement regulations followed in regard to the garden bridge funding?' Their formal response on 4th March 2015 was: 'There is no procurement as TfL is not purchasing works or the supply of goods or services. TfL is providing grant funding to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charitable body which will construct, own and operate the Garden Bridge.' I cant make this add up with what has been said above in the article.
Comment on: Stop moaning, the Garden Bridge is fabulous
great designs solve problems. Pretty ideas that cost a lot of money and create more problems than they solve are not great designs. Today our tiny little practice (one-world design architects) will safeguard 60,000 trees by donating 150 acres of Sumatran forest to the rainforest trust for a very small sum- £330 - we would encourage everyone to do the same or more. The Rain Forest Trust has said that £175,000,000 would buy around 70,000,000 acres of virgin rain forest in places like Sumatra and Brazil- 70 Million Acres! at 400 trees/acre (low estimate) this kind of money is to be shockingly wasted on 270 odd small trees when it could safeguard a staggering 28,000,000,000 trees - that's 28 Billion trees• A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 22kg./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 people - this would be enough to offset the carbon for London - it could be the first carbon neutral city in the world..... someone needs a good shake and to be encouraged to take a look outside zone 1 for a reality check. Please donate to https://www.rainforesttrust.org/
from the poll results I would hazard a guess that B is the UK entry!
As a river crossing the final decision on permission here is made by the mayor of London. If the review does send the project back to the planning authority then this would mean that the existing decision by the mayor would no longer stand. This in turn would mean that even if Westminster passed a second planning application a further decision by a potentially different mayor would then be required. many of the mayoral candidates would not pass it and some have also stated that they would overturn the existing decision. The main issue with the tideway tunnel 'clash' is simply an increase in river traffic which will be carrying spoil - this is inconvenient but not a show stopper. Elsewhere the complications of political moves is influencing the decision makers. For instance I suspect that those who advocate the bridge are hoping that Boris either fails to become an MP or the conservatives win a good majority, ensuring Cameron remains PM. If Boris becomes an MP in May, and Cameron fails to get a majority, there is the potential of Boris becoming the leader of the conservatives and even PM. A new mayor will be elected this year, before the garden bridge starts on site, and they may overturn the existing decision - there is a real possibility that it will never happen.... Perhaps the rush to start construction is more to do with politics than any technical coordination with the Thames Tideway Tunnel?
The solution is to make the building regulations more stringent, i.e. the equivalent of Code 5, moving to Code 6 by say 2020.
This is a real step backwards. Councils such as Woking require Code 5 for new developments, and rightly so. Statutory regulation compliance is the only tool we have as architects that cannot be value engineered out by developers. If Building Regs are only pushing for the equivalent of Code 4 then the volume developments will be designed to meet just that - hugely disappointing.
Comment on: Shortlist revealed in Nine Elms bridge contest
very nice, all but 1 are similar in design, i.e. suspension bridges - the exception being AL's which is a tied arch. The Thames is a designated helicopter route, I hope all of those vertical suspenders and suspension cables are well below the minimum flying height - this area of Battersea has an obvious and recent history in that regard
the nine elms redevelopment, a new tube station, potentially 2 new bridges and a housing zone - exciting times for Battersea
PS - the architectural world may love the Heatherwick café at Littlehampton but the locals call it the 'Rusty Poo'....
the point is that the existing public toilets need to be replaced as well as provision for the café users. The council are right I this instance and its not their fault if the developers financial model doesn't stack up. Why don't the council build out the project themselves and lease the café to cover the costs and bring in a revenue...
PII? Design responsibility? Different regulations in different countries etc - floating homes need planning permission too! so many questions...
Comment on: Groves Natcheva completes £205k London home
+vat, +contractor overheads, prelims and profit + consultants fees, +statutory fees,+ land cost etc?
Council don't seem to understand that the figure covered is for each and every claim, not a total maximum - how can there ever be single claim against the architectural design component for £5m on a beech hut? Severe lack of common sense in Local Authorities procurement policies which is no doubt leading to higher costs for them than necessary.
Comment on: Boris approves Garden Bridge
it has conditional planning consent, but one of those conditions is impossible to meet - i.e TfL have confirmed that they will not underwrite the maintenance costs but Westminster have conditioned that they must. Does this mean that until this legal issue is resolved the consent is meaningless?
Comment on: Robert Adam unveils Reading towers scheme
no offence but they look a bit like a re-clad 1960's council blocks given a sort of Vegas treatment
The race is on! It’s set to be an exciting few years for those bridge enthusiasts amongst us in London. There are two bridges with planning consent: our Diamond Jubilee Bridge and The Garden Bridge, and at least two others in the early stages of design including The Nine Elms Bridge and the Lower Thames Crossing (potentially at Woolwich, Gallions Reach or Belvedere). Each have their merits, none are mutually exclusive, serving different purposes for different audiences – but which one will be built first? The Garden Bridge is expected to be completed in 2018; the Nine Elms Bridge could be hot on its heels (subject to a smooth planning process); the Lower Thames Crossing as a road bridge will be a bigger challenge altogether and we expect will take longer to complete. The Diamond Jubilee Bridge is still in the running to be the first and could be open by the summer of 2016, more likely 2017. Progress is being made with funding, and with a fair wind and continued political and public support it really could be the first Thames crossing since the millennium.
Comment on: Garden Bridge backers hit out at critics
Its about principles and clarity. This garden bridge was initially portrayed as an infrastructure project and as such tax payers money is being spent through the TFL and Government funding of £60m - if this was the total cost of a new bridge and it would be owned by the tax payer through adoption by the councils etc. this would be fine and normal as long as the cost:benefit ratio stood up to the necessary scrutiny that is required when spending such amounts of tax payers money. However, the bridge is likely to cost at least £115m more than what we have promised as tax payers, so it needs to be more than a river crossing. It was then promoted as London's equivalent of the New York Highline - this is of course nonsense as the highline was an intuitive recycling of a derelict piece of existing infrastructure at very low cost into something extraordinary; not a new construction. It was then touted about as being about ecology and sustainability - this again is of course nonsense as the river bank and mudflat habitat is a rare and protected area whereas London is blessed with vast parks and hundreds of thousands of trees; and for £175m you can do an awful lot of good for ecology and sustainability elsewhere. Many substantial (around 30 I understand) trees will be felled to make way for the bridge also. So now the marketing is all about tourism; you may have noticed but London is not short of tourists. The city is a world city and already has huge pull in regard to tourism. If we agree that £60m is well spent and we get a new crossing at this point of the river then the idea that an extra £115m above and beyond the cost of a new bridge is required to attract more tourist is of course, again, nonsense. Therefore what it boils down to is that the poetry and romance brought to the proposal by Lumley and Heatherwick is required to attract private sponsorship - to pay the extra £115m the bridge needs to be a landmark and a place that large multi-national corporations want to be associated with (and can use on occasion to entertain other large corporations). So it becomes a posh park of sorts, a tourist attraction that doubles as a river crossing most of the time but needs to entertain its backers to survive financially. The added twist here is of course the location. The above funding strategy is less likely to work at Nine Elms, where many would prefer the bridge to be located, and arguably where is it needed, as the view simply isn't as good. Corporations will pay for a view in one direction of St Pauls and the City, and in the other the Palace of Westminster, but not one of private apartments like Riverlight. The problem that Lumley and co. face is that they are trying to sell something to the public and planning committees that already exists. We can all walk at sunrise and sunset along the tree lined embankment, surrounded by trees, or jog, or rollerblade or cycle along southbank with a majestic view of St Pauls. We can also currently walk across Waterloo Bridge and gain the most beautiful view of Westminster in one direction and the city and St Pauls in the other - and we can all do this for free. The problem for those who object is that the planning system is geared up for saying yes; they must consider what is put in front of them and cannot take into account the cost, where the money is coming from or if there are other options. Only politician can do this, the Mayor in particular in this instance. And his view seems pretty clear so far, therefore in conclusion because of the way the system is set up the garden bridges construction seems almost inevitable.
We as architects are always muted in our applause but It has become increasing clear that the London Eye was by no means a one-off. Marks Barfield are setting the standard now, their work is simply fantastic on all fronts and they are leaving the Lords of Foster, Rogers etc. in their wake. really great stuff well done
We could secure a lot of the amazon rain forest for £175m. We could plant a new forest in the west country, Wales or Scotland where land values allow. We could provide renewable energy to 1000's of people forever for this budget- we could power a town, we could build at least 6 other pedestrian bridges and pedestrianise waterloo bridge Please do not hold this up as a value for money sustainability project - it in no way is.
The Jubilee Bridge, connecting Battersea with Fulham new train station at Imperial Wharf, has planning consent, is compliant with the London Plan, it is part of the saved policies of both LB Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth councils and is hugely supported locally by both the public and members of parliament. The proposals contribution to London both economically and in connectivity terms is highlighted in LB Wandsworth independent report which also notes a TfL cost:benfet ratio of 2.1:1; way above the pass mark for capital grant funding. This proposal is for a public bridge, it is a unique design and will hugely benefit the health and the environment of the area as outlined in the independent report. There are predicted to be at least 1.2 million uses a year and the GLA state ‘the design of the bridge is supported and represents and high standard of architecture in line with London Plan policy 7.6.’ on the report at the following link. http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/diamond_jubilee_footbridge_report.pdf However, when asked Michele Dix at TfL stated 'I can confirm TfL does not hold a budget for these purposes'. So we enquired as to how then £60m of public money was assigned to the Garden Bridge, the response was: ' The case for this contribution has been made on the back of the unique design of the bridge and public space and the potential benefits this will bring to London in terms of connectivity and economic development.' We pointed out that the Diamond Jubilee Bridge fits all of these criteria, already has planning consent and is around 1 tenth of the cost, and TfL replied by saying we should seek funding from local business in the area. There are conclusions to be drawn from this but we will let you draw you own.
please AJ - we are not reading your publication to be shown pictures of sofa's and kitchen CGI's! How many units are there - density? What is the targeted CfSH rating and how is it achieved? Social housing component, floor plans, car parking, services and energy strategy, wall construction, construction methodology, procurement route etc etc? Otherwise you just look like you are being used as a Fosters PR facility
I am a big fan of Cameron, and have met him several times and supported AFH for many years. However I think he may have misjudged this one.
sometimes it seems that people are scarred to say what they really think through fear of being shouted down. Nice scheme, wrong place. Nothing like the high line which essentially recycled an existing piece of structure - this is an expensive new 'park' that blocks the best view of London from waterloo bridge and the south bank. This is not a sustainability driven project and if it was there would be a multitude of better ways to spend £175million; and it is not a transport driven project (what is the cost:benefit ratio?). As great as it may be the existing situation is better. There I've said it.
This issue is very close to home for a small practice like ours. We lease offices in London, which the freeholder has plans to convert to apartments but will not say exactly when. It has to be said that some of the ground floor units which were initially designed as commercial space, make awful apartments, particularly those that lead onto the Thames path in Battersea as they is literally no privacy (perhaps the permitted development rights went too far in some instances). There is a shortage of smaller sized office space, i.e. less than 1000sqft but a lot of empty retail space around this size. Permitted development allows retail to be used as office for 3 years, however retail landlords are holding out for retail rents, even though the shops remain empty for years at a time. If the landlords rental expectations could drop then offices such as those required by architectural practices could be part of the solution to bringing life to local high streets.
Debate is of course important and ultimately will be beneficial. The AJ is taking up a lot of copy on this issue and although the recommendations are interesting I cant help by wonder who is best placed to give expert views on this issue. The issue is not as simple as height, density etc. - its not just an architectural or planning issue, its one of society, psychology and base human needs. There is a chronic housing shortage, there are limited models of providing space for new homes, I hear NO to highrise and NO to building on green belt, we cant all keep saying no to everything so lets find out what the best way of doing things are, at a human level, before rejecting ideas. Where is the sociological research? Too many opinions, not enough science?
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/rivercrossings/garden-bridge/user_uploads/image-4.jpg as enchanting as the 3D views from a helicopter are please refer to above elevation on the TfL consultation website for the elevation that will be seen from the south bank...
Dear Frank, As a local Battersea practice we would be delighted to discuss how we can assist with your project at Battersea Power Station. Contact details available at www.one-worlddesign.co.uk I look forward to your call Chris
variety is the spice of life - there is no one size fits all
Comment on: Architects ‘squeezed out of middle class’
I cant help but think that over the next ten years, unless fees rise back to historic percentages, that the mix of long hours, average pay and (due to house prices) long commutes will lead to large practices having a shortfall in quality staff availability (people with 10 years experience who want to start a family for example). This will probably lead to the creation of satellite offices on the main access routes within earshot of London in places like Guildford, Milton Keynes and Brighton which will take on more and more of the work with lower overheads and less time spent commuting. This will be made all the easier by advances in remote data exchange over the web and superfast broadband.
Is this the same Yalding in Kent that has consistently flooded in recent years? Hmmm. I would also reiterate what I said in September last year - There are 22.0 million private homes in the UK serving a population of 60.5 million people. On that basis there are 2.75 people per house. If London requires 809,000 homes by 2021 this means that the current bed space shortfall plus the expected increase in population over the next 8 years is approximately 2 ¼ million people. If all the funding and policies are put in place then the most optimistic prediction means that of those people some 368,500 will be housed by the London Councils. This means that nearly 1.9million people will need to be housed by other means. Say we are lucky and 10% of these people are accommodated by extensions and alterations to existing housing stock in London, and another 10% are accommodated outside London by improvements to existing housing stock and commute in, there are still 1.5 million people unaccounted for. Now we look at brown field sites within the M25, let’s be cautious and say that there are enough viable sites to house a further 500,000 people in 200,000 new privately funded homes for sale or build to lets developments. We are still left with 1 million people to house - we need to build two whole new cities the size of Bristol within commuting distance of London. Perhaps 4 smaller cities, north, south, east and west of London. Given that cross rail will be complete I would suggest one to the west near Maidenhead or Reading and another near Shenfield or further out into Essex, or close to the M11, Stevenage could be expanded to the north and Crawley to the south. Let’s get busy…
Dear Robert, There are 5 river channels as defined by the arches of the existing railway structure. All 5 channels are navigable and must remain so. Due to the manoeuvring and access requirements of boats at Imperial Wharf Marina and Albion Quay, along with the Environment Agency’s concerns relating to any effects on the ecology of the intertidal mud flats, a two river pier solution is required. For the full description of the constraints and issues please refer to the design and access statement available at http://www.public-access.lbhf.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=MCVILTBIGX000 thanks