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Comments (42)

  • Comment on: Mayor rejects ‘unwelcoming, poorly designed’ Tulip

    Atticus 's comment 15 July, 2019 4:26 pm

    As Paul Finch rightly points out, this is a suspiciously political and not an urban design vote based on sound aesthetic and other applicable principals (which Paul notes the mayor has proven by previous example that "he", ie his advisors, haven't got). The historicist lobby would always rather see London preserved in aspic, and not attractive for the future, which to some extent has a valuable input into the debate. Fortunately town planning control only appeared as late as 1948 or they would be campaigning for it to remain as 3 mud huts on a bridge "because anything bigger would be out of scale". I detect shallow virtue signalling by the climate change snowflakes.
    Rant deflection shields deployed!

  • Comment on: Building study: Glasgow flats by Graeme Nicholls Architects

    Atticus 's comment 13 July, 2019 11:36 am

    Grim. Another bleak-house from the current crop of colourless hairshirt architects. This kind of stuff only serves to further alienate the profession from the public's respect and patronage. Not a humanising detail or visually rich material in sight. Please photograph it on a dreary wet and windy Glasgow day when tear shapes of soaked brick emanate down from the inadequate roof overhangs. This is graphic design not architecture. The insides look like an end of life prison or Soviet Gulag. Not impressed, when Glasgow has such a heritage of great urban architects, the likes of Salmon, Mackintosh and J.J.Burnet, who grappled with and succeeded in creating a humanist expression of the façade, and in particular Alexander "Greek" Thomson who mastered the tenement façade, which this claims to be a successor of.
    The so-called inspiring representational "narrative" is feeble to the extreme in realisation. Better to concentrate on the design and forget the BS justification.

  • Comment on: Barking blaze: Fire experts had warned balconies were ‘significant hazard’

    Atticus 's comment 21 June, 2019 10:22 am

    Robert Wakeham: Major housebuilders and other developers save on architects fees by employing them to do the bare minimum and leaving subcontractor, often without design responsibility, and their own design managers to maintain continuity. If the initial architect was impoverished enough by the process they will have put in their specs/prelims that their work is design intent only, is not a final solution for construction and it is the responsibility of others to ensure regulatory and other requirements are met. Because their work is not as highly skilled as a full design service they will have also used cheaper and less experienced staff. This fragmentation and de-skilling looses the thread of an overall strategy for matters such as fire, if it was established in the first place anyway. We have worked as subcontractors designer in a major development and found that the process missed out what used to be stage E where strategy was defined. The client had refused to pay for it. We inherited a mess and as conscientious professionals our analysis and influence had to be exerted way beyond the package we were detailing, with an enhanced appointment, to be able to do that. This doesn't always happen, and gaps in thinking occur. The "blame" in our instance lay between the major client, who wouldn't pay for stage E, and the contractor who wouldn't do likewise at the beginning of his work and was under financial imperative to start on site imediately. Not having an equivalent to the old RIBA stage E in the current scope of works does not help. This is a regular occurence, and Building Control bodies don't wade in to demand it.
    Strictly speaking timber is an unsuitable material externally where fire resistance is required, because there isn't an available treatment that can be guaranteed not to deteriorate with weathering. Most building control officers accept treatments. Only a few are sticklers and will not. Weexhaustively tried to find a product and could not.

  • Comment on: ‘Without instant action the Architects Declare paper promise is meaningless’

    Atticus 's comment 13 June, 2019 9:14 pm

    Notwithstanding I agree with Walter Menteth, this is a typical AJ virtue signalling campaign, missing rather than hitting head on the really big issues. As usual its China. So although setting an example by "little acorns" in the UK may be good, why not campaign for a carbon tax on all Chinese imports and investments, to bring them in line with the carbon tax targets of the west? This graph shows how UK CO2 emissions are but a pimple on the elephantine CO2 output of China.
    Go stand in Tiananmen square and protest, or at least do it in front of the Chinese Embassy, rather than virtue signalling by blocking Regents Street. Or at least rally a pressure group to get our government to do that.

  • Comment on: Residents call for removal of timber cladding after fire at Barking Riverside

    Atticus 's comment 11 June, 2019 10:11 am

    ps, the last line of my comment above is from 2017, being the end of that quote.

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