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Design Buro slams 'shallow' CABE

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A Midlands-based practice savaged in a CABE design review has attacked the agency's 'shallow response' to the project.

CABE's report said the Design Buro's scheme - for a mixed-use development on Lincoln's waterfront - was unsatisfactory and left it feeling 'very uneasy'.

The report attacked the scheme's massing, its scale and its 'two conflicting aims'.

'On the one hand, ' it says, 'it claims to be ordinary in is construction and appearance, yet on the other the aim is for a landmark building. As it stands, the scheme does not succeed in either.' The committee's report also objected to the modular nature of the construction, which will result in 'a risk of a very bland building with very little modulation of depth in the facades', it says. It also criticises both the project's east and west elevations as 'not acceptable'.

'This project needs a serious rethink, ' it adds. 'Some fundamental questions about its density and purpose need to be answered.'

But the Design Buro has hit back. 'We are disappointed with the shallow response to this project from CABE, ' associate director Justin Griffiths said. 'We suspect that few, if any, of the committee had visited the site, and yet felt competent to pass detailed comment on a scheme that has been the subject ofintensive study and research by this office.'

Griffiths added: 'At no time have we described the scheme as ordinary. On the contrary, we believe it will be an exciting addition to a lively waterfront.'

The design review committee has also examined two other schemes. It gave praise and support to Allies and Morrison's St Paul's Place scheme in Sheffield, but gave a luke-warm reception to DMWR Architects' Columbus Tower in London's Docklands, criticising the base of the tower and its 'relationship with the rest of the building'.

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