Comment on: AJ Writing Prize: Call for Entries
The brief is more about the sensual experience of being in a building - how the spaces that architects create make us feel - we wanted to get away from critiques of buildings from a purely aesthetic point of view.
*Response about the procurement process from Glasgow City Council’s lead architect Kerr Robertson: "The design service for the New Wing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is being led, and largely delivered, by an in-house design team as governed by the Teckal Procurement Process. Where projects related to council owned property (particularly with that council is also a major joint funder) in-house services may be used without any need to appoint external consultants. There are of course strict procedures that apply under Teckal, and Local Authorities must demonstrate that they have sufficient and capable in-house resources and that this offers best value. In the case of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the Council does have particularly good in-house expertise in delivering a wide range of significant capital projects of this type, value and complexity. Indeed, the same team here successfully completed a similar project for GCC in partnership with the BBC SSO at Glasgow City Halls – a project which has been received much acclaim in terms of value for money, quality of accommodation and acoustics. The proposal here will see the in-house team provide Architectural, Quantity Surveying, Project Management, CDM and Inspectorate services. Due to other project commitments this was augmented with the appointment of external consultants for other disciplines such as Structural, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, as well as Acousticians/Venue Engineering. Procurement of these external consultants was made under the GCC Construction Consultant Framework. This Framework, which has been running for 3 years, was put in place for this specific purpose and subject to close scrutiny under Scottish Government and EU procurement rules."
Comment on: The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #1
News editor's note: The anonymous architect has contacted me to say that they did 'charge a fee for the time spent'. And they were paid.
Posted by Jean Grant, L8 resident 'May be I am one of those perceived as “who don’t have the time and understanding to get themselves about?” I have lived in the Granby/ Princes Park area of Liverpool all my adult life. I am one of a group, many of whom still live in the area, who were helped to buy a house in the first phase of city council mortgages, the understanding was that this was encouraging people to actively put down roots in what was officially seen as an unstable uninhabitable area In fact it was a very vibrant multi cultural area I am a member of the Civic Society Council as a representative of my Liverpool 8 area, founding chairperson of the Friends of Princes Park and an early member of Growing Granby, an organisation in the Granby Triangle supporting the need for residents to be properly consulted about development in their area. And their wish to make Granby more sustainable. The Welsh Streets, the Four Streets Granby Residents and Cullen Street Green Harmony association all support retention of houses, and better maintenance and developed planning for the area. Two weeks ago residents formed a group of thirty picketing on Kingsley Road for a week, they successfully raised media coverage, negotiating meetings in the Town hall and setting up better communications with the council. The four streets have formed a community land trust and are also running workshops and a market. And as they have done for many years they continue working on their streets making them some of the most beautiful in the Liverpool. Growing Granby, which aims to include a wider area, have started our first community garden and are beginning a play scheme. In September we are arranging events for residents to develop a people plan developing practical ways we as residents can sustainably improve the dereliction. Growing Granby’s own objections to the Gleeson estate were well thought out, backed up by our own long experiences of living in different parts of the area and visiting examples of good practice in Liverpool and other parts of the country over the last three years. We had an afternoon’s consultation and discussion with the Planning officer; we asked various bodies for outside support regarding the Gleeson estate, this is why a letter of support from the MCS was sent to the planning committee. Most recently, recorded at the July Council meeting was my request that the Merseyside Civic Society support the Granby Liverpool 8 area by developing a panel of civic society members to support areas in need of a design review. This was agreed and more will be announced at the next meeting. Does Wayne Colquhoun also live in Toxteth? If so please support the activities of the local residents, planting picketing and campaigning. We have more active residents groups in our area than anywhere else in the city; many of us are conservationists ardently working to preserve the buildings and our splendid spaces. Where ever we live in the area I am sure we can all agree that our long term suffering from Pathfinder demolitions, has been a form of civic vandalism, at vast expense destroying more property and bringing about more problems for those of us wishing to stay than the current problems we are having with young people from outside our area. I would also add that due to demolition we are small in number compared to the more salubrious areas of the city From the sixties land lords, up to the current housing associations and all the political changes in policy I have watched this community being manipulated by the press, politicians and landlords. There is little evidence of a political will to develop a firm basis of long term inclusive community involvement. There is a lack of proper facilities for inclusive debate but encouragement to rabble rousing this is counterproductive. Because we live in a devastated area does not mean we are blind to its beauty. But rather we do not want to move to these small shoe boxes with no decent design. Although we may not have experienced the best education and often have health problems we are well aware of our needs and creative ways we could provide for them Of course we understand that our most beautiful areas have been compulsory purchased, we have gone through HMRI and now seem to be in a last minute fury of undisciplined demolition. Our area has been subject to these problems for such a long time; if moving house is the most psychologically upsetting experience in a person’s life time; imagine what 20 years of upheaval is like? Not only the boarding up but the years of clearance to the new towns and estates on the city edge, and more recently to closer new estates. If you have lived in an HMRI area you may understand that there is a period of 20 years when what had been a nice street with a good community is increasingly boarded up it is difficult to remain loyal, it is difficult for people to talk down to you because you want to stay in that beautiful house with its family memories It is difficult to insist you are not daft but have made a complicated aesthetic judgement. And then, often because of illness or change in circumstances beyond your control you take the persistent offer to go and live in a shoe box, not even designed by someone with a love of the materials they are working with, you are made to feel you need to be grateful to your housing representative for coping with the badly placed plugs and rats and druggies so you politely say how nice it is and indeed in some way it is a relief not to be surrounded by HMRI dereliction and isolation This turmoil means that inevitably we have lost our heritage of a spatial memory; it is not a simple situation and should not be demeaned by in fighting.
Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Chiswick House Café by Caruso St John Architects The Velodrome by Hopkins Architects Partnership Barking Central by AHMM & MUF City of Westminster College by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Ty-Hedfan by Featherstone Young Architects (PS You can keep the book for proper punters, Richard Waite, AJ news editor)