Mmm.....I understand the point you're making Chris and I agree judging by the selected photograph above the staircase does appear rather stark and uncompromising. However, in reality, it did not strike me at all as being a risk. In fact, throughout the project, access for all and circulation has been very well considered and significantly improved. With high levels of natural light throughout.
I think you'll find I said as much, Laura
"Collective Architecture was named Architect of the Year in the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards, an accolade that was well deserved. The practice is demonstrably capable of impressive new-build work. However, what deserves particular recognition is its long-standing commitment to community engagement; its capacity to listen to and work with local people to improve their environment and lives."
China is in the process of developing track changing trains, Robert to handle variable gauges. Coping with cross border variable rail gauges would be the least challenging aspect of this whole endeavour, I believe.
I did an extensive interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week. It's now published here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-26/boris-johnson-is-building-bridges-between-a-fracturing-uk/11630656
If interested, there are also good links.
A political distraction....really? Damn it! Well spotted, Number.