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Robert Franklin

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Comments (14)

  • Comment on: Who got what? How was £53m squandered on the doomed Garden Bridge?

    Robert Franklin's comment 13 February, 2019 3:52 pm

    Paul is right; only 'wasted' because not built. Great shame.

    And shame on Richard Waite for so much superlative-laden synthetic indignation worthy of the Daily Mail. Meanwhile the pointless, joyless HS2, and sundry weird and unnecessary towers in deserts, move inexorably on. No hope for the planet now...

  • Comment on: Astragal: Merry fucking Christmas, love Piers Taylor

    Robert Franklin's comment 12 December, 2018 5:04 pm

    Cynical, distasteful, inappropriate - inflated by infantile media exposure that only adds to the mess we are perceived to be in. Such defeatist negativity is sad, if not pathetic. Perhaps Piers could pose for fewer mood images and become less visible, making for a happier Christmas for all who still feel ours is a profession worth pursuing.

    Have faith that the Westminster tragicomedy might soon be over and the comuppance to end all comuppances is inexorably closing in on the 'Donald'. Poke fun, and get on with what we do best, in the fond hope that RIBA and the AJ may one day realise that not all new architecture needs to look as if it came out of one software package (and one studio), and that Roger the Scruton(iser) is replaced with someone of wider and deeper knowledge, understanding and tastes.

    Happy Christmas everyone, and "All shall be well, All manner of things shall be well".

  • Comment on: Foster + Partners plans 305m-tall ‘Tulip’ tourist tower next to Gherkin

    Robert Franklin's comment 19 November, 2018 10:56 am

    Excellent commentary so far. Clearly, no-one who cares a jot about sustainability, CO2 or unnecessary energy consumption had a say in this lunatic concept. Do not despair people; mockery can have a serious effect on ugly, vainglorious self-aggrandisement - a last gasp in a (hopefully?) dying age of monstrous displays of pointless and unjustified power; not unlike Versailles. Still, agreed it won't make money and is therefore unlikely to be built, so Revolution not required quite yet?

  • Comment on: More than 400 ARB ‘fake architect’ probes lead to just two fines

    Robert Franklin's comment 29 October, 2018 3:14 pm

    Not at all outrageous Elizabeth! Anyone can call themselves an 'architectural designer', but public perception of 'professionalism' now is that expertise is over-rated and cost is all. We are not alone in this, and the sooner all the professions take public pride in expertise defined by education, training and experience, and thereby by statutory title, the better.

  • Comment on: Unpicking Amin Taha’s Clerkenwell Close fiasco

    Robert Franklin's comment 1 October, 2018 11:01 am

    Aye to all the above, and it's not just axe-grinding councillors who are to blame.

    My experience around numerous county and district councils across the country is that over 90% of all applications now are decided by officers under delegated powers, but the staffing churn rate is such that any project can have a succession of authoritarian planners with no design training, or "conservation & design officers" with an "MA" in historic buildings achieved in no more than six weeks on a course in a building museum (also with no design content whatever), yet these people have ultimate power to enforce (largely through the cost of delays) their own subjective opinions. I've even had a conservation officer claim that her opinions were not subjective as she was a "fully qualified officer of the council". Wow! Abject genuflection! And protestations from RIBA come there none.

    After block after block of dismal flat rectangles or tortured 'ikons' of whacky shape-making, fed to us weekly as 'architecture' but in reality merely colossal ego-boosters or wallet-expanders for their commissioners, Taha's building made my heart leap with joy to see such mastery of structure and construction in a natural material while making an exhuberant and decorative expression of that material. There is no problem with thoughtful revivalism or 'pastiche' in the proper sense of the term, all also subject to rejection by planners, but then neither is there any reason not to evolve age-old material techniques into a new building that is far finer than the grim average imposed by planning departments everywhere.

    Taha has created something special here, and we need to be out in force, in support of its retention and his and our integrity as designers. I just hope the Appeal Inspector has some vestige of design understanding - not guaranteed by any means.

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