CABE chief executive Jon Rouse has set out an aggressive agenda for the New Year as the commission looks for ways of spending its increased budget, set to double to £4.2 million in April. Rouse told the AJ that first on his shopping list is a significant increase in staffing levels. Specialists in housing, education and research will be a priority.
He also confirmed that within the next fortnight CABE will advertise for an education coordinator to lead its new Education Foundation. Part of the foundation's remit will be to include architecture in the school national curriculum. An online digital photo library will also be launched to provide examples of best practice.
CABE will also be busy in early 2002 with the Coppergate II inquiry (AJ 6.12.01) - scheduled to start next Monday. Peter Stewart and critic Dr Giles Worsley will present the commission's evidence against the controversial Chapman Taylor scheme for a mixed-use development in York.
Rouse added that the review process will be ramped up. 'The number of projects which we will see through the design review process, and assist with developing through the work of the enabling team, will expand significantly, ' he said.
CABE's latest design review report, issued last week, slammed Broadway Malyan's £100 million residential tower in London's Vauxhall (AJ 15.11.01) - for being too ambitious. Although the committee applauded the 49-storey building's aspirations to act as an example of effective regeneration and sustainability, it questioned whether the design team could deliver and pointed to the enormous cost implications of the project.
CABE said: 'We are not yet convinced that this scheme can reach the high standards it sets for itself, or those which are necessary for such a key site and such a prominent building.'
The tower, at 170m, would be the capital's fifth tallest. But CABE felt the proposed height might be 'too overpowering' at close range.