Architect fights back over claims Donald Trump clubhouse design is 'gross'
Acanthus df director Douglas Forrest has hit back against claims by an academic that his Donald Trump clubhouse is ‘gross’ and looks like a ‘hideous leftover from the Victorian era’
The centrepiece of Donald Trump’s £750 million Aberdeenshire golf resort was unveiled last week but received a mixed-reaction from critics with University of Glasgow architecture emeritus professor Andy MacMillan claiming it was not ‘even worthy of Disneyland’.
He said: ‘It is gross. It is out of character, and it doesn’t begin to exploit the landscape around it — it just stands there.’ Adding the scheme was like a ‘hideous leftover from the Victorian era’.
Acanthus df director Douglas Forrest, who studied architecture with MacMillan, however said there was ‘no harm’ in placing a traditional building on the coastal site and said there ‘should be absolutely no surprise or embarrassment’ felt towards the design.
He added: ‘[The scheme] ignites and invites opinions. It is provocative in the best sense of the word.
‘For the golf clubhouse all things considered in terms of the site, the brief and also the client’s preference whether you are Tutankhamun or Lehman Brothers the client does matter. That has always been the same since architecture with a capital “A” began.
‘Our client loves and wants to contribute to the tradition of golf in Scotland. Golf is a traditional game and there is no harm in the traditional form this building is taking.’
Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland secretary Neil Baxter told The Scotsman: ‘It’s a building that might have echoes of architecture from 1850, but it’s very much of now.
‘And the quality of the materials is exemplary, and that always tells in a building. We have got something that will bring in the international tourists and encourage Americans to come here and settle in for a week of golf, and I think that clubhouse fits the bill.’
The single-storey 1,600m² structure will be built from granite, slate and glass and is one of the many buildings — including a five star hotel and guest houses — planned for the Gareth Hoskins Architects-masterplanned leisure resort. A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted soon.