Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Viñoly commits to Britain despite heavy Colchester criticism

  • Comment
Rafael Viñoly has said he remains committed to building in the UK despite his controversial 'golden banana' Colchester Arts Centre being branded 'a white elephant' by irate local residents.

The Uruguayan architect dismissed opposition to the scheme, triggered by an online debate organised by Colchester's Civic Society, as 'nothing unusual'.

He told the AJ: 'This is a project that challenges the basic typology of Colchester. I am becoming more accustomed to the process which is so unique in terms of approval.

'Vocal opposition is connected to some political agenda. It's just the sort of controversy that comes from this type of architecture, which is so visual.'

Work to build Firstsite:newsite - the official name for the arts centre - begins in the next few months and is scheduled for completion in October 2007.

It follows a decision by the Government Office for the East of England not to call in the radical yellow structure for a planning inquiry ( Viñoly clears final planning hurdle for 'golden banana').

Described by Viñoly himself as a floating croissant-shaped structure, the building is set to become a magnet for arts and culture in the region and will act as a catalyst for the £100 million regeneration of the St Botolph's quarter of Colchester.

The scheme has won the backing of Colchester City Council. However, locals have labelled the distinctive architecture everything from 'a disappointment' to 'essentially a box'.

by Clive Walker

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.