Gordon Gibb's comments
Would it be only DUP members that were allowed to cross it, and only if they propped up the Tory Party? This wouldn't possibly be a populist idea to buy votes, would it? Will the feasibility study for the bridge that will never be built, be likely to cost as much as letting a contract for a pointless bridge in London when you don't own the land at its ends, I wonder?
David Farmery I don't think that maximising the value of the site is a material consideration in planning terms. If it were, out-of- scale development potentially insulting or even destroying its context would be self-justifying.
The scheme does look massively out of scale and I can understand why people would be concerned. The Hoover Building is not predominantly Egyptian in its decoration. Although there are Egyptianate elements, used to better effect in his earlier work, Thomas Wallis was moving into a more Jazz Style idiom by the time of Hoover, picking up Native American and geometric forms, within basic classical monumentality.
His much better building on the Great West Road, the Firestone Buiding from 1928, was detroyed in an episode of state sponsored vandalism in 1980, when the developer, Trafalgar House, demolished it over a weekend with the inside knowledge that the listing would arrive on the Monday. That is why Hoover was listed when it was.
It would be good to know that lessons have been learned from that, and that the horizonal emphasis of the building sitting on the "road of factories" is not going to be lost because of an inappropriate and overbearing neighbour.
Robert Wakeham, I think the expression "scandalously re-destroyed" is one of the best pieces of language use I have ever witnessed. It may indeed be found that the Notre-Dame loss resulted from negligence, but I tend to think that the Notre-Dame situation is quite different to the potential resolution to the GSA fiasco. The spire is a discrete object which adorns the building. I think it can be changed, although any new idea would have to be measured against the quality and longevity of its predecessor, rather than being approved because it suits the current ephemeral fashion (isn't it great how good post-modernism looks now?). I think that the competition is a good thing, but I do think that the spire should be for aspirers. The eye of the needle test should be applied to the entries, with the rich "stars" being unable to pass through whether on a camel or not. Let the meek inherit the win for once, Emmanuel.
This is truly grotesque monument to previous century male-dominated thinking. What a load of rubbish!
There are some extreme comments from far right architects above, seen by them as normal and apparently justifiable on the basis of a nonsense argument about free speech. It saddens me how much this country has lurched to the right in recent years, as normalised by this nasty Tory government. It is also depressing that the comments above, not in accordance with our code of conduct, are aired by those who think themselves professional. You people really do need to get an education.
I am pleased to see Scruton gone, after wrongfully calling himself an architect and now after his non-inclusive behaviour. Of course the whole appointment and ideaology behind it were farcical, which is a not unknown position for this government. What I don't understand is why the writer and some of the correspondents go on to talk about London. The coverage of this post was supposed to be UK wide (another ridiculous scenario: can you imagine Scruton telling an architect in Glasgow how to make things pretty there?). So I ask again. Why is anyone talking about London? Are we not clever enough to know when to bypass parochialism?
The aluminium framed windows are certainly better than the uPVC replacements that they replace, and the maintenance issue is a relevant one. I don't know that colour makes much difference to staining. Darker materials stain badly too. The building is an ugly monster that is somehow alluring, and the revision to these minor details doesn't make it significantly less ugly, so I would suggest that there is nothing to see here.
I would disagree that unnecessary cost and debt is "nothing to see", in a country where the development of poverty as a policy outcome is the norm and government is evidently too poor to provide for the basic needs of the electorate in non-Tory areas.
The big problem that I have is not only the fiasco, but also the Graylingesque scale of the stupidity of the decision ever to proceed with this idea. The UK did not need London to have another bridge, for any reason. London did not need a bridge in that location, for any reason. The idea of making a bridge with a garden on it is on of the most stupidly unsustainable ideas any one ever had, and the idea that there was some charitable purpose behind this egocentric delusion takes us into the area of farce beyond the public purse paying for Peter Viggers's duck island.
When is anyone in the London bubble going to realise that the rest of the country, which is totally under represented in all areas, be it funding, media or culture, really doesn't care what you do or think, other than that you do not waste our resources on your strutting dandification?
Please don't prattle on to each other in the press about personalities. Just arrange to give the appropriate people their money back (Proceeds of Crime Legislation would help) and fire all of the incompetents who dreamed this up or let it fester.
Have any of these people noticed that we need to provide the poorer on more disadvantaged sectors of our society with adequate housing? Weird idea, I know, but maybe we could do that, as a country, rather than all this ... around?
I also find the title of this article "Why architects need to wake up to the carbon emergency" offensive. Do you have any evidence that we are less aware of this issue than we should be? Are you stating, as you appear to be, that we are asleep?