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Fosters faces design review flak in Scotland-

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Foster and Partners has come under heavy pressure from Scotland's design watchdog over its plans for this new arena in Glasgow.

Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS), a version of CABE north of the border, has released the details of a harsh design review in which the plans come under sustained criticism.

The Design Review report says that while the general nature of the scheme is supported, there are a number of problems with the project and the way it sits within the city.

The report says: 'The project team was complimented on the design of the building, which the panel described as a monumental work. However, the arena was seen as a stand-alone element and the panel expressed major concerns in relation to public realm issues and integration onto a wider context.

'Instead of enhancing the quality of the pedestrian experience, and reinstating the city streets, it appeared that yet more barriers were being created at the expense of the pedestrian.

'The monumental scale relative to the human experience at street level was also questioned.

'While A+DS commends, in general, the design of the building, it has major reservations about the quality of the experience for individuals moving around and towards the building,' it adds.

However, Foster and Partners insisted that A+DS' critique was welcome, saying the practice 'appreciates the comments made'.

'Our present brief is for the arena building only and we are pleased that the design was generally commended,' a statement says. 'We appreciate the comments made on the context of the arena and anticipate that our brief will shortly be extended to consider some of the adjacent areas when we hope to address the issues raised.'

At the same meeting the context of the arena, the wider masterplan, by Keppie Design, also came in for a mauling.

by Ed Dorrell

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