Simon Carne's comments
A fresh approach is needed. The proposal looks compromised by too many conflicting views on what ‘fits’ best. Maximising value seems to be driving the scheme, another approach is needed.
With two down, one to go fingers and toes crossed. First the Garden Bridge now increasingly likely HS2, the third, cancelling Brexit, is the ultimate and most valuable prize. Perhaps then the country can get round to building the homes, schools, affordable infrastructure including bridges and railways that are needed for a modern developed North European country, and protect the environment and lead on climate change initiatives across the globe, and re-balance the economy and provide employment opportunities for the benefit of the North and Midlands and keep the Union, and change the voting system to be more inclusive and representative.
Paragraph 79 and its predecessors was drafted to make approval extremely difficult. Calling it the country house clause only confused the issue, when it was first promoted by John Gummer. Having reviewed many of these applications for local planning authorities who do not consider they are qualified to judge truly outstanding design and the highest standards in architecture, only the most exceptional should be granted approval particularly in an AONB. The default response therefore is No. This example for all its qualities has offended a number of the requirements of the clause and so the appeal has rightly been dismissed. Even if the design is seen to raise the standards of architecture in the locality, it will invariably be an extravagant unaffordable design solution. If some balancing factor of economy and modesty could be introduced combined with a solution that really does raise standards of design in the country and not necessarily in the open countryside, that would be an advance. Small sites outside village settlements exist but the process of Paralgraph 79 and the costs associated with gaining approval deter applicants who could become part of a larger developing community. So far of the 15 or so schemes I have seen only one came close to approval and that was refused. It may be the subject of an appeal in due course.
Light industry to resi to hotel to offices to workspace to light industry and repeat
Go for it I’m in.
The diving analogy is very good. But I still think the station deserves the prize even though it must be the most complex challenging project with a client that is demanding and potentially difficult.
Piers summed it up best. Jack Pringle has not.
I should have said that when it came to competitions we did ones that had a fee for competing after getting through to the shortlist. Bids for jobs without a design input are a different matter.
I sympathise but ever since architecture and design competitions became the best way to do really creative work with no risk (unless you won), to try things out without having to convince your client and in the knowledge that your best work may be stolen, this had been the dilemma. I don’t have an answer but as an urban design practice we saw it as a marketing and creative process that enabled us to look beyond the brief and get known. Also international competitions have been a valuable source of work for many practices.
Arguably the workshop and creche are the more forward looking part of the ensemble. Supermarket with parking in a City Centre site and canalside private residential development are not only not 21st century but also hamstrung by being so definitive architecturally.