ON BEHALF OF STUDIO OCTOPI
As the inevitable squabbling continues about the temporary parliament solution, it shouldn't be forgotten there was a third way which would have been the cheapest of all options put forward. HMS Parliament. www.hmsparliament.com Studio Octopi in collaboration with Beckett Rankine, Expedition, Jackson Coles, Houlder and Securewest. Sadly the idea was dismissed by MPs and TfL sold the Woolwich Ferries for scrap for £37,000 each. Now we're talking about demolition, install and then presumably reinstatement. What spectacular waste when there could have been virtually none.
ON BEHALF OF BARBARA WEISS
With the disastrous consequences of having built so insensibly too many mediocre towers across London becoming more and more evident to all (just take yourself to Nine Elms if in any doubt!), it is a small consolation that, finally, a first indication that this collective madness might have peaked is emerging.
Planning applications are down, starts on site are down, completions are down, though we can still expect a horrendous new wave of completions washing over us over the next two years, the final blow to the London we knew and loved.
The Vu-city images are an irrefutable confirmation of the new horrors that await us. London's character is being eroded more and more, and for little or no benefit, as evidenced by the current glut of empty luxury flats . Outer London's increasing efforts to 'keep up with the Jones'" by acquiring at least one tall building each, are pathetic and misguided to the extreme, and go against the Mayor's promises not to impose unwanted tall buildings on residents that are resisting them. We need to build high-density, mid-rise housing, not towers – we all know this, so why isn’t it happening? We are living in London's Dark Ages of urban planning and architectural design, governed by greed, short-termism, denial, megalomania and intellectual bankruptcy, to name a few - the next generation’s judgment of our legacy will not make happy reading.
(on behalf of Paul Finch) Who exactly decides whether an idea is 'respectable' or not? And what happens if one person thinks it is but others don't? You end up on a slippery slope to the world of third-rate student unions banning free speech if it might cause 'offence'. The only way to encourage ideas about housing is to ventilate them. Publication does not imply approval, a concept some find difficult to take on board. Paul Finch
(On behalf of Paul Finch) That is why I said I have no faith in private house-builders creating a sufficiency of stock. I am therefore baffled by this response. Paul Finch
(On behalf of Paul Finch)
You don't need a competition to find out if the Port of London Authority rules preclude a low-level bridge. The question which needs determining, if there is to be a low-level option, is how frequently the bridge would be raised before its purpose became hopelessly compromised. Another question is whether the competition criteria adopted (eg financial turnover) prejudice the chances of smaller practices getting beyond the first stage, let alone the likelihood of winning. This applies even though they may be talented and committed, which is certainly the case with reForm Architects and Elliott Wood, whose proposed design was immediately welcomed by Sustrans, who know more about bridges than the GLA. The constant call for competitions plays into the hands of project management ideology which is far from good for architects. There isn't of course any competition involved in writing the brief and setting out criteria which begin to pre-determine the sort of winners likely to emerge. From observation, the weighting given to design quality is far too low but competition-groupies don't seem to care. Paul Finch