Were 3W the architects the DDDA were looking for?

Were 3W the architects the DDDA were looking for?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:18 am

Were 3W the architects the DDDA were looking for
Irish-Architecture.com


On October 1st, Irish-architecture.com motivated by the ongoing debate regarding the official winner, circulated a request to its mailinglist subscribers and the readers of affiliated websites for entries to the U2 Landmark Tower competition. In particular we were interested in entrants who had not been contacted by the auditors of the competition - PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) or by the organisers the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

We had previously published unsuccessful entries for the competition online and were anxious to trace any entrants who may have been the elusive original design selected - which escaped the auditors or indeed had been wary of contacting the auditors. And we found a few, one of which in particular set the alarm bells ringing - a design by 3W Architects from London.


http://www.archeire.com/news/2003/000250.html
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:18 am

Is this lost winner of U2 design prize?
Scott Millar

THE original winner of a competition to design U2’s new studio in Dublin’s docklands may have been found. A model by a London firm of architects bears a remarkable similarity to the entry first selected by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, according to sources close to the jury.
The British firm that designed the plan, 3W, is to ask the DDDA why it was not included in an audit of entrants carried out by the accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers after organisers of the competition couldn’t work out the identity of the winning entry. The design was later disqualified.

The competition was held to find a design for the new building, which will house a studio for U2.

Architects say 3W’s entry bears a striking resemblance to how jury members described the design that was originally selected. This was a simple and distinctive structure, a rectangular building with an elegant tower alongside.

Andrew Wells, who helped design the 3W entry, said: “Why have we heard absolutely nothing from the DDDA or Price Waterhouse? We paid our €100 entry fee and that was the last we heard.

“The first we heard of any inquiry into what had happened to entries is when we were contacted about displaying our design on the Irish-architecture.com internet site this week.

“If there was an audit and all valid entries were contacted, why weren’t we?” A team of three architects from 3W spent 10 weeks on their design. Arup, the creators of the Spire on O’Connell Street, worked in conjunction with the London architectural firm on engineering aspects. Wells said: “It was a very tight brief and we went through it a number of times to make sure we fulfilled the requirements.”

Its entry was delivered by courier to the DDDA at 8.30am on February 28 after being flown from London. Wells received an e-mail from the DDDA in May stating that there was a delay in the judging process due to the quantity of entries. This was the last correspondence 3W had from the organisers.

The competition attracted over 540 valid entries, the interest fuelled by the involvement of U2. The judges included Dr Arthur Gibney, president of the Royal Hibernian Academy; Jim Barrett, the Dublin city architect; Peter Coyne, chairman of the DDDA; and U2’s bass player Adam Clayton.

The envelope attached to the initial winning design stated it was from an architecture practice based in central Europe. However, the design displayed a remarkable knowledge of Dublin and of the docklands’ topography. It seemed more likely to be an entry from Ireland or Britain.

The DDDA commissioned Price Waterhouse Coopers to audit the entrants in July. The consultants contacted more than 500 entrants by e-mail, asking them to forward a copy of the one-page description that accompanied their entries. The idea was to match the descriptions to the entries. Even this unprecedented measure failed to reveal who had designed the first winner. 3W says it did not receive an e-mail.

Discrepancies were found in several entries. After obtaining legal advice the DDDA decided to disqualify the first “winning” design. It has since refused to reveal details of the Price Waterhouse Coopers audit.

With auditors and legal advisers now hovering around the selection process, the jury insisted on meeting one further time. This happened on August 5 and again they went through the 30 or so entries on the original short list.

On August 5, the second winner was selected. This was an impressive design by the Dublin-based architectural firm Burdon Dunne Architects (BDA) and Craig Henry Architects. A twisting glass tower, it had always been regarded as a strong contender.

Last week Paul Clerkin, the director of Irish-architecture.com sent out a request to more than 28,000 architectural firms worldwide asking if they had entered the U2 competition. 3W was one of the firms that responded.

Clerkin said: “It’s very unfortunate the way this competition has been screwed up. Architectural competitions are held somewhere in the world every week and to be unable to locate the original winner is farcical. It is now a lose-lose situation. One firm lost a commission, and the winning firm will always know that they were really second.”

A DDDA spokesman said: “There was only ever one winner of the competition, the design by Burdon Dunne Architects/Craig Henry. If this entry (from 3W) has not been contacted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the correct procedure is to contact the authority directly to clarify the issue.”

Price Waterhouse Coopers was unavailable for comment this weekend.

The competition has been riddled with controversy. At one point entrants received e-mails from the DDDA which included a list of other entrants, thus compromising the rules of anonymity.There was also concern when members of U2 were seen visiting the studios of Frank Gehry, a renowned American architect. Gehry was known to have entered the docklands’ competition and some rivals were unhappy that he appeared to be in contact with the band. Gehry’s design was not shortlisted.

The jury’s final report was just 106 words long. It said the judges had examined “all qualified submissions” and described the winner as “an outstanding initial concept for an architectural statement on this critically located site”.
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Postby MG » Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:27 pm

Wow, well done. 3W must be gutted?
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Postby ro_G » Sun Oct 05, 2003 2:33 pm

fair play Paul, some great investigative journalism (or just good old hard work) on your part.
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Postby notjim » Sun Oct 05, 2003 9:40 pm

cool! well done.
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Postby sw101 » Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:11 am

"as an outstanding initial concept for an architectural statement on this critically located site" -ddda

if that quote is accurate i think its enough to discredit this competition as no more than a farce. whatever about corruption and stupidity, i find that someone trying to tell me that felim dunnes proposal is anything approaching outstanding to be a massive insult.

you show the idiots what for paul. bravo
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Postby pepe » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:08 am

From Archinect

"We the undersigned believe that the ddda have acted with a complete lack of common decency in their dealings with the_entrants to the competition. A state of total and paralyzing incompetencey_ and an inability to tell the whole truth when asked even the simplest of_ questions. Many (the designers, the jury, the band and the people of Dublin's) hopes and dreams were placed on the_table, the ddda has effectively swept aside these dreams and is attempting_ to cover their tracks with unpublished audits, and the threatening of legal_ action. They seem to be completely unaware of anything that they may have done wrong._ Refuse to admit that they have made mistakes, and ultimately have allowed_ lawyers to make the decision that should have rested with an independent_ jury or with the people of dublin. These people have no idea what it takes to_design something. The hours of work and simply the dedication and passion to work late nights and even all night to meet a deadline. They only understand_ two things. Money and Preventing key information being made public. The RAIA_ should not allow the DDDA to run another single architectural_ competition (ON ANY SCALE) in the
future."

signed
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:30 am

where are the RAIA ?.............in many ways the ball is in their court....or are they too going to put their heads in the sand and hope it all goes away.

This situation doesn't give much credence to these "establishments" who wish to stake a claim on respectable and honourable (even) behaviour. The word "professional" is one which is drowning here and "establishments" like the RIAI must look again at how they view their own use of this word. but.... for us lesser mortals the high priests who seem to hold the exclusivity to such attributes look a little dated but sadly in control! Tragic but true.......we need that Jonathan person to challenge the Corporation!
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:33 am

The competition is nothing to do with the RIAI. It was a privately run competition - the RIAI advised on procedures and brief afaik and that is where their influence ended. All they can do is make representations on behalf of the architectural profession to the DDDA. The DDDA doesn't have to pass any remarks.

Also the declared winners may be RIAI members, 3W are not. So you cannot expect an organisation to operate against the interests of its members.

Ultimately it is nothing to do with the RIAI.
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RAIA v RIBA

Postby pepe » Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:56 am

ok
so I guess the "original" winner (if they are infact 3W) need to get their national proffessional body.

THE RIBA. to represent them!

TO be honest I dont think this should become a showdown with proffessional bodies making claims to represent anyone.


On a legal level.

ok

but this is not about legality.

This is about design.


The DDDA need to publish the "original entry" in full. On a website and at the exhibition.

Confirm or Deny whether it is the design featured in the Times.

At this point what do we have.
"a nod from someone close to the jury!"

This needs complete clarification on all counts.

What if its not 3W design?

then there is still somebody out there who lost out.

In any event.

I think what should happen is that when the original winner is identified.

They should move on to a newly organised stage 2:

Run by the RAIA (or anyone else whos interested) or U2 themselves

Give the two teams a couple of grand and a month to develop their designs further.

With no restrictions on presentation material.

Animations etc allowed

Have public presntations with question and answer sessions.

Then have a complete and open public vote on which one people want to get built.

Or maybe just rerun the whole competition from start to finish.

There was a competition about 4 months ago run by the UIA for a logo.
All entrants payed $10 and th initial judging was done by the entrants themselves.

The 50 or 100 with the most votes from their peers went through to the second round with the judges.

The judges also got to select any ones they really liked.

But as we have seen this leads to complications and accusations even with a "anonymous" competition

SO say its completely open to those people who entered.

Round 1 selects the top 100 then round 2 cuts it down to 10 then there is daily voting and one gets chopped every 24 hours.

aka "pop idol" could do a tv show "POP architect"

now that ideas my copyright so if there are any tv execs from endemol then get in touch

If Paul could get all the entries online then we havve a starting point.

I am sure the UIA would be interested in re-using their web voting technology.

and all entries should be accepted.
Even those that were disqualified.

The DDDA were approx 4 months late with their decision.

Some people not finding out the status of their entries till six months later.

only to find out that they were 1 second or 1 minute or 10 minutes late. Or there was a queue when they handed in the submissin. Or the DDDA's clock was wrong and that they were disqualified.

"No period of Grace Allowed"

Which is apparently "sticking to the rules"

but I ask what other rules have the DDDA adhered to?

a) all of them
b) not many
c) none


We need some solidarity within the architectural community.

Print you T-shirts and get the exhibition opening.

12 noon 9th of October
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:48 pm

Ok.............I go along with the issue that RIAI ( or any other "body") not not be sent forward as the champion for the cause and yes it's about quality of design and decision making . BUT....... if such organisations even exist what then is their mantra supposed to be? Sit around ! Should they not have a "profesional" opinion... after all that's what they are always barking on about in support of themselves. Why pay membership to any "professional" body if that body is a stiff one! Don't get me wrong ,I'm not against represenstation as that's what I'm suggesting here is the issue. .well OK.........history shows that "issues" are not changed by the "establishment" but the "people" and therefore it is the "people" ( in large numbers though) who will change the issue.
Speculation at this level either gravitates to inertia or comes to the boil......... I guess we're waiting for the great cloaked dons of the DDDA to come out of Noddy Town and make a declaration. Clearly the lawyers fees are rising and whatever is made said by DDDA will be very gaurded and aggressive. Or they are waiting for the hot-dogs and beer to run out and the crowd to disperse! Therefore "people", decide........... make a formal lobby, crash the gates and gain access or go home to tea and crumpets!
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Postby pepe » Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:40 pm

Why pay membership to any "professional" body if that body is a stiff one!

DONT
IF THEY ARE STIFF
EITHER

DEMAND A CHANGE
if this doesnt work
RUN FOR OFFICE
if this doesnt work
DEMAND A REFUND
if this doesnt work
REVOKE YOUR MEMBERSHIP

you can get stuff built anywhere wihout an raia or any other proffessional member involved in the project.

jesus i'm not even half way qualified and i have built stuff!
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Postby James » Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:35 pm

I hav'nt really followed this one as diligintly as most of you - probably because the whole 'Big Bildins' thing is'nt really my cup of Earl Grey -

That said - I really liked the 3W images (a whole lot more than the winners) which I thought were very subtle and well composed.

What really interests me though is the RIAI's role - true it was'nt their competition However two of the adjudicators were 'distinguished' members of that body namely Jimbo and Arfur.

I'm a RIBA member myself but if their code of practise and conduct is anything like ours surely this pair can be called in by the RIAI, firstly to explain their presence on the jury of an unapproved competition

and secondly to verify to the professional body regulating the architectural profession in this country that they were'nt mainly there to put 'lipstick on the Gorilla'!!.

By the way in the past the RIAI have made a point of circulating members of unapproved compo's warning them off particularly where Design and Build has been involved and more than one Local Authority has fallen foul of this. Presumably the same would apply to their members being involved in the organising or adjudication of such affairs?????
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:46 am

Maybe I should sent a few questions to John Graby.
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A few

Postby pepe » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:35 pm

I believe there are more than a "few" questions
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:49 pm

from the RIBA World newsletter

RIBA WORLD ISSUE 288 - OCTOBER 7 2003

DUBLIN: The original winner of a design competition for the U2 Landmark Tower has still not been traced, though one architectural website thinks it might know which practice it was, and criticises the use of competition auditors.

http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2003/000250.html
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Postby sw101 » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:50 pm

Who were the two RIAI members involved? Jimbo and arthur i mean
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Postby what? » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:54 pm

jimbo= jim barrett

arfur=arthur gibney
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:08 pm

Don't forget Joan O'Connor
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Postby sw101 » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:09 pm

Is that jim barrett of the city architect? why am i labouring the point?

If it can be proven that the decision was compromised or contrived in any way by mistakes or oversights, then justice has to prevail. 3w's proposal looks like a winner in my eyes
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It might not be 3W

Postby pepe » Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:11 pm

Dont put all the eggs in one basket.

There were over 40 entries that were disqualified for various reasons.

It could be any one of these.

Chances are they have not been contacted by the DDDA

And Were no contacted by PWHC

The only way for this to get resolved is for the DDDA to admit there was another initial winner.

And to publish details of it on their website.

That way everyone will know where they stand and wont have to waste time on lawyers fees for something that might turn out to be a wild goose chase.
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Postby b.ray » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:28 pm

can't one of those losers involved in the selection process get up the nerve to publish an image of what they believed in- the true winner.....what would be the harm in that?

Wasn't it written in one of the articles that a couple of jurors were going to resign over this- well here's your chance to get your spine back and rectify the situation.

post it - I dare you!
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:46 am

Unless there is a "real" threat to DDDA they will remain, i think, silent on this matter. They have no "formal" obligations beyond what they have already said and done. For those not in touch with the modern world "morals" do not come into business at some levels and this is one of those levels. To have real objection there is a requirement to have real teeth with which to make the first bite. It is for this reason that "establishments" like RIAI exist, but as has been determined thus far this organisation are not likely to initiate an action without some formal prompting from its membership. But more emphatic would be a legal writ....but who has the balls and money to engage in that, unless key parties come forward to give expert witness statements!
Clearly an uprising by the "people" which simply dwarfs the DDDA by shear numbers would also necesitate action. Well the only gentlemen likely to be able to stir and give voice to those people are part of the establishment now unfortunately ( i.e. U2) .
It is indeed shameful that this has come to this point, as the opportunity for the "win-win" scenarion is surely lost.
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ESTABLISHMENT

Postby pepe » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:36 am

It truly is a sad day when those who were previously "revolutionary" become ingratiated by business interests (their own or others). And whilst they may meet presidents and petition against global injustices they are not willing to take a look in their own back yard and indeed on their own front door step or within their own house and deal with the problems at hand.

We all know that a certain band would have enough money to buy the land, select their own choice of architect from all the schemes, and build a tower that dublin deserves. The question is whether the other organisation would sell the land in the first place. And whether they would block a planning application.

U2 spokesman:BD Feb 14th 2003

"i'm sure you can appreciate that the members of U2 operate as individuals"

oh really.

I can see them doing that right now.

SHAME ON YOU . ALL OF YOU. SHAME ON YOU
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Postby notjim » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:12 am

so what we need now is a tv programme featuring and explaining the two designs along with a recounting of the whole sorry saga and personal recommendations by the great and the good and then a vote by the public. it would be great fun.
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