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Alan Dunlop's comments

  • News feature: Are architects doing enough to tackle dementia?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 6 May, 2017 6:06 pm

    True, dementia sufferer is a poor term. Also true is that the average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is five years. Studies now indicate that good architecture and appropriate design of the physical environment for people with dementia slows the rate of decline.

    Which means care homes, particularly should be well planned to encourage self reliance and independence and designed with high levels of natural light and access to secure outdoor garden spaces, with visual cues, make it easier for people to find their way around without support.

    Other empirical studies on the importance of the physical environment have more recently been extended to cover many other aspects of the built environment and there are now multiple neuro-scientific studies which evidence that an individual’s well being and health are directly impacted by the quality of their physical environment.

    This research provides insights into how the mind and the brain experience architectural settings but is sometimes hidden away in academic papers or obscured by scientific jargon; impenetrable to most architects, overlooked by politicians, and easy to ignore in an industry with differing priorities.

  • News feature: Are architects doing enough to tackle dementia?

    Alan Dunlop's comment 27 April, 2017 1:11 pm

    It's not the architects that are not doing enough, in fact designing physical environments for people with dementia is an area where architects can offer real expertise and improve quality of life. I've been writing, ( Hard Architecture and Human Scale: Designing for Dementia); lecturing ( Salk Institute AIA, RIAS MIT IIT ) and harping on about this (almost everywhere) for 24 years. Until the recent advances in medicine, studies mainly from Australia and USA clearly indicated that the physical design, of homes and other care environments for example slowed the progression of dementia. Think of that architects, empirical proof that really good design matters.

  • McAslan wins planning for overhaul of Glasgow's Burrell Collection

    Alan Dunlop's comment 26 April, 2017 10:30 am

    JMP analysis of the "problematic"existing entrance.

    "1. On entrance to the building you are faced with a very narrow, shallow lobby space which is compressed further on either side by toilets which create a bottle neck on entry to the building.

    2. This 19m long entrance corridor is further compressed by cloakrooms flanking either side extending the bottle neck.

    3. This wonderful triple height space is filled with light from the skylight above. This space is spoilt by a confusing entrance desk and shop.

    4. This moment of compression is spoilt with overflow from the shop and creates a very confusing entrance to the courtyard.

    5. The Courtyard is the buildings natural HUB."

    Perhaps Architects' Journal might encourage a response from John Meunier and Brit Andresen, given these comments and those listed before that the existing entrance is unwelcoming and intimidating?

    Perhaps also simply moving the gift shop and desk away would have made the existing entrance sequence and transition now less of a bottle neck and not so spoiled and confusing?

  • McAslan wins planning for overhaul of Glasgow's Burrell Collection

    Alan Dunlop's comment 26 April, 2017 7:17 am

    The Planning Application can be found here:

    It includes plans not previously released and correspondence from Historic Environment Scotland, concerning the landscaping proposals and the "height and bulk of proposed play apparatus "but nothing on the alterations to the building fabric and particularly the new entrance.

  • McAslan wins planning for overhaul of Glasgow's Burrell Collection

    Alan Dunlop's comment 22 April, 2017 9:06 am

    Text from the planning support document, justification for the new entrance.

    "The monolithic gable end entrance wing feels very church like and austere and can often be mistaken for a private building. This unwelcoming approach is reinforced by the lack of views into the gallery from outside. This intimidating entrance combined with compromised accessibility into and around the gallery makes for a confusing visitor experience."

  • McAslan wins planning for overhaul of Glasgow's Burrell Collection

    Alan Dunlop's comment 21 April, 2017 11:13 am

    Any plans available of this renaissance ?.......despite the leaking roof, the Burrell is a precious thing. Although completed over thirty years ago, it is yet to be surpassed as an art gallery and museum in the UK. The existing entrance through a 16th century stone archway set in the Locharbriggs red sandstone is fundamental part of the entrance sequence and transition. The incorporation of elements on the collection into the building fabric and the terraces, which meld the building into the landscape of Pollok Park also are critical.

    It's a considered and unique building, surpassed only perhaps by Jorgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert's Louisiana in Humlebaek. Judging by these ubiquitous CGI's, I can't yet see how it is being improved, for the new entrance, if that's what it is, is worrying and the images of the new spaces, frankly, rather dull in comparison.

  • ABK co-founder Richard Burton dies

    Alan Dunlop's comment 30 January, 2017 12:05 pm

    Very sad. All students of architecture should be directed ( forcibly) toward the work of ABK for the extraordinary clarity of plan and section through drawing and the legibility of their completed work. Buildings indeed clear enough to read.

  • Reiach and Hall's sculptural roof is based on a legendary free kick

    Alan Dunlop's comment 11 November, 2016 9:49 am

    Ha! Brilliant. Roberto Carlos indeed.

    So many others clearly based on Archie Gemmill's dribble against Holland.

  • The Carbuncle Cup: why architecture needs a wooden spoon

    Alan Dunlop's comment 7 September, 2016 1:13 pm

    "Greatly diminished from its swashbuckling heyday as a fearless news seeker, incubator of young writers and rival to the AJ, BD is now reduced to a pathetically shrunken online-only presence." Ouch......been kinder pulling out a knife.

  • Profession hits back at sculptor’s claim that ‘architects are like ISIS’

    Alan Dunlop's comment 6 September, 2016 1:12 pm

    Probably. Stoddart is an artist used to hyperbole and he has a long history of railing against modernism and modern architecture in defence of classicism.

    Oddly, his bizarre claims about architects being like a death cult and wilful destroyers of our built heritage did not appear to raise an eyebrow from Edinburgh World Heritage at the unveiling of his latest creation, a bronze sculpture of William Henry Playfair, outside the National Museum of Scotland.

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