Chris Medland's comments
All good project start with a good, worthwhile brief - a problem to solve. This thing serves no purpose that isn't already fulfilled or cannot be fulfilled at ground level. Its an egotistical wasteful use materials and a symbol of a bygone look at me, bling, crass age. Its not remotely a tulip - it has no biomimicry qualities whatsoever, it's more akin to cotton bud laden with the translucent pus that has oozed from whatever has just been swabbed. If this gets built anyone concerned with climate change, anyone concerned with sea level rise, anyone concerned with ethics in development should just give up.
For me its black and white - something is either sustainable or its not. Even if the designers make this as sustainable as remotely possible, it is still not sustainable. This is a project that is based on an old economy that no longer exists - I wouldn't be at all surprised if it gets binned after several hundred million pounds are spent.
I think Sadie Morgan is one of the best architects of the past two generations and this one. Despite this I would have thought that anybody on the National Infrastructure Commission board and the practices that they represent should not have any involvement in projects that the board has an influence over - to me this is common sense and should be a prerequisite for being on the board in the first place.
imagine the rents... it wont happen
As good as it is, the most sustainable office tower is the one that doesn't get built because people work from home.
look, designing good homes is difficult. being efficient with the plan, maximising daylight, reducing overlooking etc. etc. but... why do all these contemporary high density developments look the same? There seems always to be a larger aperture than window, the top floor proportions are always a multiple of the lower floor and open to elements, brick panelling in various shades etc.. Even the polish on these proposals is from the same menu- sedum roof, PV's, the overly ambitious large trees on the roof. Its getting boring. what does this series of building have to do with the site, with Birmingham in the 21st century, with be regenerative and preparing its occupants for climate change? I have no doubt that it is an expertly crafted plan, and precisely detailed building that will be efficient and serve the client well, but, despite it being by an exciting practice, good god its boring. If these guys with their track record and such good clients are doing this where's progress going to come from? If it cant come in such large scale investments what chance do we, as architects, stand on smaller projects? Now is surely the time to be pushing the envelope - this doesn't, its just really good efficient work by an excellent practice. But where's architecture gone?
that looks like a tied arch bridge, not a suspension bridge....
I remember when people were touting David Bentley as the new David Beckham. Turns out that he was crap in comparison.
The worlds best architects have made a dogs dinner in Battersea. What a contrived wiggly mess. D- at any school of architecture yet itts been waved through by Heritage England. Even after years of looking at the schemes shiny fat faces of various shades of bling it still shocks me every time just how bad it all is. If you are stupid enough to spend £1m+ on a tiny one bed apartment to live there then good luck to you.... I make no apology for my bad mood! 3 kids and home working may have influenced it.
agree 100% with Maria Smith. I hope that this crisis will lead to many positive changes socially, environmentally and economically. The reset button has been pressed, all change is possible.
great effort. Well done
Despite their own internal environmental lobbying group (CEN) this conservative Government simply don't get it. This is a reckless, reactionary and ill thought through policy that will only benefit volume house builders who have yet again, we can only assume, used their financial clout to successfully lobby government and effect policy change in their favour.
nice. good work
many welcome points particulrarly in regard to PD and VAT, however, often I salivate over beautiful new country homes by the likes of John Pardy etc.- my wife however thinks they are ugly, cold and box like. How do you legislate for that - how do you legislate for personal taste.
Nearly a century after the Weissenhofsiedlung and most volume house builders are still throwing up this shite, blighting the suburbs and the shires alike. Despite 90% of new homes not being designed by Architects its clear that the wider population blame us for this. Its embarrassing at best, a huge con at worst. This study is important in highlighting and measuring the under performance and failings - the perpetrators should be fined punitively and made to repair the ecological and environmental damage.
The Garden Bridge was about 3 years too late to join the list of completed vanity projects. It would have been the epitome of the post 2012 Olympic glow, for better or for worse. The dedicated transport funding spent and the political fallout from its demise still today taints other projects, even those with a proven transport and environmental benefit. It would seem that Sadiq Kahn as mayor will not support river crossings at all where they are needed (with the exception of a £1bn road tunnel) whereas Boris Johnson was seemingly gung ho about his pet projects. Perhaps we need to consider taking infrastructure spending away from the mayors portfolio and into a non political transport planning department. Decisions should be based on provable benefits to London as a whole. The mayor can have a separate power over special projects but clearly, in the past 3 terms, both mayors have failed to deliver a single river crossing. I personally have had more success than either of them in progressing such a public project despite having spent no public funds whatsoever. In the case of the Cremorne bridge planning is granted, piles are in the ground and Wandsworth Council have nearly 2/3rds of the funding raised. its taken nearly 9 years to get to this point and the current mayor has confirmed that he will not assign a single penny. His decision is not based on cost benefit ratio or health and environmental benefits, or air quality improvements - his decision is based purely on the fact that the bridge is west of tower bridge - his decision is political and based on how people will vote and his calculation must be that some people in east London will not vote for him if he helps build a bridge in west London. Those same people are suffering from poor air quality, are at risk from increased climate change. If the decision to contribute to this public infrastructure was anything but political it would have been completed in 2018. Sadiq Kahn needs to change his mind and be a mayor for all London or I expect he will be replaced this year with another mayor.
on the bright side... Arup and Heatherwick will be recruiting
sorry to be controversial, as good as the proposal is (its great) so was the existing house. What happened to retrofit first?
Sir David King, UK govs Special rep for Climate Change until 2017, was just on Radio 4's the World at One and calmly and factually pointed out that London is not a city that is in a sustainable location - it will be under the sea a lot sooner than currently anticipated. He recommends that it is moved. How long will is be business as usual?
As one of her potential constituents - good luck!
Controversial I know, but in my view it looks dated already. Bin it and start again.
Thank you Barbara Weiss for putting your head above the parapet. You are 100% correct. This Brexit shambles is causing great headwinds to the progress of many things and could deepen and worsen further into the socioeconomic storm of the century.
At the very least, if the conservatives win but Labour gain ground, this policy will put pressure on the future conservative Government to be more ambitious.
A union will not help. The issue is easy to sort out as long as the legislation is in place. Any practice of more than one person (i.e. not sole practitioners) must become an RIBA registered practice, and sign up to the RIBA codes that include working hours and pay. Any company that doesn't is fined and/or directors struck off and perhaps insurers can refuse to insure any practice that is not. Job done.
of course we should reuse/upgrade existing buildings. its all about tax however - refurbishment should be subject to the same or a more favourable rate of vat than new build.
So was the GBT's application to drawdown funding from the public purse after they signed the construction contract without meeting the funding conditions fraudulent? If it was then why did TfL hand over the money, and if it wasn't then why did the Mayor later soften the conditions (that still have never been met)?
Put it this way - if anyone of us reading this had applied for that funding I suspect we would be in front of a judge, yet no one is and nobody will be, why is that?
If you can answer that question honestly to yourself then you will be aware of the huge problem that this country has. This issue will now fall between the accountability gaps and nobody will be held to account, but those of us who have been over the detail are now a lot more 'woke' to this particularly British form of cronyism and yet there is nothing anyone can seemingly do about it.
The current largest living wall in Europe is indeed pat f the National Grid campus in Warwick, at 1024 sqm, although its around a multi-storey car park by one world design architects with Cundall. http://www.one-worlddesign.co.uk/Project/national-grid-car-park/
Portsmouth, and the whole of Portsea Island, faces a huge challenge with sea level rise. Is building even more here sensible or is it just that the land here is cheap in comparison to building on the mainland and up the hill?
good, and use pressure brought to building owners by insurance premiums to encourage installation of fire suppression systems to existing buildings over 6 storeys.
£52m of public transport money spent on the Garden Bridge & Rotherhithe bridges without any public transport benefit gained. £52m is enough to have built the Cremorne (Diamond Jubilee Bridge) back in 2012 twice over. Assuming a 12 month construction period, by now, as forecast by TfL's own modelling in their report to the Mayor, over 7 million journeys would have been taken off the roads around Battersea and Fulham bringing huge air quality, health, time saving and environmental benefits to London as a whole. The funding gap now stands at £14m which we are working with Wandsworth Council to fill. Watching the other projects come and go and all that money being spent has been an education. There must be a better way of securing value for money in the prioritisation, procurement method and delivery of Bridges and wider infrastructure. Need and cost are mathematically provable, the cost:benefit ratio is a provable and measurable result that can be used in comparisons. Politicians from both main parties are guilty to a certain extent of playing to their crowds as you would expect, but this leads to dead ends, waste and the delivery of (in the past decade) nothing. There must be a way, lead by engineers and modelling, that takes the politics out of these decisions and enables infrastructure money to be spent in the best way to serve the end purpose - to reduce climate change, improve air quality, increase housing density and economic activity, improve health and quality of life.
agree with above comments - if a practice is not responsible for the detail design then it is not their block and the headline is misleading. House builders seem pleased to badge their developments with the kudos that the name of a good architects firm brings but not as pleased to employ them to see the project through - can the AJ dig a little deeper here?
The application is simply too greedy, that's obvious at first glance.
There should be no place for Nepotism is 21st century Britain. No one could ever claim that we are 'the best country in the world' whilst facilitating this 'very English kind of fraud..' (courtesy of Tom Copley). The various reports and investigations have been myopic and curtailed and despite there damning findings, and serious issues exposed by the forensic investigations undertaking by the AJ's Will Hurst and his team, nobody has been held to account in any way. It's sad that it has come to this but I hope this effort is successful.
I really really hope that I, and many others, are wrong about him. I hope that he proves to be effective, surrounds himself with well informed intelligent people and works collegiately for the good of the nation as a whole.
nice work. I hope the design team see it through to completion and the vision isn't diluted by D&B or value engineering
and yet she, nor her ministers such as Kit Malthouse, have done nothing to improve this whilst in office. They have also done nothing to improve energy standards in new homes. For a decade now government policy has enriched volume house builders at the expense of the tax payer, the environment and the younger generations ability to afford a home.
not over the detail on this but are there sustainable transport options for the fans to get to the site? if not then perhaps the planning committee are right. Great scheme but perhaps wrong site?
nice scheme, but perhaps a missed opportunity to plan a car free, or hugely reduced car ownership, type of living - the estate is still larger planned for cars rather than people, although some nice meandering pedestrian and cycle routes etc.
it would be interesting to see images/plans of the school that was previously there and for the client to explain why is had to be demolished rather than converted....
the construction contract would be a relevant document would it not? I guess they can only summons information from public servants rather than an independent charity... but given that TfL is such a large client contractors and consultants perhaps Bouygues or Arup will see fit to send a copy to the GLA for the sake of openness and transparency
This could tie in well with the regeneration of the Winstanley Estate in Battersea if Chelsea would consider moving South of the Thames. The site would be immediately adjacent to Clapham Junction (Stadia capacity is reliant on public transport availability). There is also a new footbridge being built (eventually) that links the area with Chelsea Harbour (the diamond jubilee/Cremorne bridge) so Chelsea based fans would have a short stroll across the river. One world Design did a sketch of this location as CFC's new home back in 2012 which we have put on twitter...
nothing wrong with the design - its the brief that is questionable.
the design and social ambition of the pier in its refurbished form is obviously fantastic and has been highly awarded however for some reason it is not financially sustainable. The 2p machines and seaside tradition of silly arcade games etc. has been around since the Victorian times and architects risk coming across as patronising and aloof by suggest that somehow a design is above such low brow culture. Everything is temporary and piers rely on footfall - its a means to an end.
Nice but I am surprised by the high carbon cost of this building at 30 kgCO2/m2/yr – is this due to an existing inefficient heating system being extended? If I understand correctly the SAP Environmental Impact rating (EIR) on the building’s EPC would be registered as an F in this instance, with the highest rating being an A.....