Chris Medland's comments
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
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.
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.