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Chris Medland's comments

  • Garden Bridge Trust accused of ‘misleading’ bid for TfL money

    Chris Medland's comment 25 May, 2018 10:42 am

    time to update the graphic... its sunk.

  • Revealed: TfL’s sudden change of tune over Garden Bridge construction contract

    Chris Medland's comment 18 May, 2018 7:22 pm

    page 132 -133 of 237 (numbered 130-131) of the minutes now published on Tfl's website shows the kind of organisation the GBT became.

  • Revealed: TfL’s sudden change of tune over Garden Bridge construction contract

    Chris Medland's comment 18 May, 2018 4:50 pm

    Keep going Will. There is more to find yet I suspect.

  • What is going wrong with architectural competitions?

    Chris Medland's comment 3 May, 2018 7:18 am

    Dear Will. Although your reply above is appreciated and understood, is it not the case that that real work that was won would have been won by someone in the profession anyway? The process by which it has been won is essentially a net loss to the profession as a whole which leads to les pay and productivity generally - this lack of collective overview is part of the problem. There has to be a better, more efficient, method of clients selecting architects to progress projects that works for both them and the wider architectural profession. At the moment there is simply too much time, money and effort wasted.

  • How was the Garden Bridge Trust able to spend £46m on a non-existent bridge?

    Chris Medland's comment 30 April, 2018 10:31 am

    Robert is right above - and the message it sends out is that the UK is not a meritocracy. Sadly we are not even close.

  • How was the Garden Bridge Trust able to spend £46m on a non-existent bridge?

    Chris Medland's comment 30 April, 2018 10:29 am

    Its funny how the construction contract was signed in January 2016 (without the GBT owning the site etc etc) exposing taxpayers to a further £19m cost at a time when the mayoral campaigns were in full swing. Sadiq Kahn was ahead in the polls and was published in the Evening Standard a few months before as stating that he would scrap the Garden Bridge in favour of pedestrianising Oxford Street. Its even stranger that the outgoing Mayor then signed a direction permitting the draw down of the additional (premature?) money before he left office. Call me a cynic but it seems that if an organisation was determined to get a project to the point of no return, or as close to it as possible, and had limited scruples about the potential exposure of public funds then that timing would have been deliberate.

    Did Boris Johnson ever answer Tom Copleys question about this?

  • Patrik Schumacher: Relax ‘outmoded’ space standards for EasyJet-style housing

    Chris Medland's comment 27 April, 2018 12:04 pm

    David, are you referring to my comment as daft? Did I mention big houses, cars etc. no - HMO's with shared facilities already exist, student housing already exists - I have lived in both. The housing standards are not about students or sharers they are about mass housing provision. In my view reducing the standards will reduce the quality of life for a generation and not help the housing crisis at all. If another type of tenure, a large scale HMO type of home is proposed then that's fine but it doesn't need any change in the standard. I don't believe that Schumacher is on the pedestal you put him but time will tell.

  • Patrik Schumacher: Relax ‘outmoded’ space standards for EasyJet-style housing

    Chris Medland's comment 27 April, 2018 11:30 am

    We are not robots. This proposition leads inevitably to a 'back mirror' type of high density dystopian future but this is not predestined, we all have a choice. I choose not to live in Schumacher's world and can see a different future where infrastructure works, where we all have adequate space, where all energy is sustainable and everyone has a home. This is possible and this should be the target, any divergence from this, any watering down of the ideal, leads to a race to the bottom, lower standards of living, lower quality of life and ultimately rebellion and the failure of the state. If society does not progress for the benefit of all of its citizens it will ultimately fail as history has shown many time before.

  • Rocketing material costs put new pressure on architects

    Chris Medland's comment 23 April, 2018 7:07 am

    This is a real issue right now on smaller projects. Grand Designs and similar programmes have enlightened many clients to new ways of planning their homes but have also sometimes given a misleading impression of buildings cost. Projects are typical aspiration led, and recently we have experienced a couple of situations where the clients eyes are bigger than their belly. With planning consent granted projects are stalling as the tender returns are coming back higher than they expected whilst some are unwilling to compromise on their expectations. With money becoming harder to borrow projects are stopping.

  • Where is the architecture in Whitehall’s new planning framework?

    Chris Medland's comment 19 April, 2018 12:32 pm

    Interesting article. If I may I would like to give an example of arse about face planning policy. There is a 1960's suburban estate in Hampshire which was laid out on a generally flat, heavily treed large site. Each plot is generous, at least 1/3 of an acre, some larger and in total there are around 70 homes accessed from the private road, set back from the street in large landscaped grounds with driveways. The original homes were of there time, and pretty interesting in parts - some bungalows, brick clad with tiled roofs, but also some two storey homes utilising upper floor vertical timber cladding with distinctly 1970's detailing - light and airy. The original occupants are dying off, the children have grown up and have moved out and now many of these homes are being sold on and going through refurbishment/demolition/reconstruction to upgrade them and make the plots useful for a whole new set of families. Great you might think - an almost perfect opportunity to build a contemporary new home. No, the planning guidance considers that contextual materials and forms in this location are pitched roofs, hung tiles and brick and their strong preference (based on the recent granted consents) is for a kind of mock overly large hung tile cottage pastiche. Its thoroughly depressing. Its like the 'modern' movement in architecture never happened, even though it was nearly a century ago. generally speaking, at least in the shires, we seem to be going through a neo-supersized-cottage-pastiche epoch. God forbid we should propose any material that has been used for less than 2000 years. Dreadful. Rant over. Thanks.

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