3W and DDDA Press Release

3W and DDDA Press Release

Postby sfdonohue » Wed Oct 15, 2003 6:12 pm

PRESS STATEMENT
14.10.03

3W AND THE DUBLIN DOCKLANDS U2 LANDMARK TOWER COMPETITION

To put an end to the speculation on the U2 tower competition, 3W and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority have agreed to issue this joint statement which outlines the facts.

Up and coming modern architectural practice 3W Architects of London, UK were the designers of a building, which, although disqualified, had been considered as a potential winner by the competition jury.

The Authority has confirmed that an entry for the competition was received from 3W. The entry was disqualified by the Competition Registrar under the Competition Regulations because no entry form was found with the entry. The 3W entry was erroneously given to the jury for consideration and the jury were collectively very impressed by the work. However, as the entry was disqualified, it could not be selected or commended.

3W Partner Andrew Wells says: "We triple checked our entry to ensure that it was complete in every respect before sending it in, and were absolutely distraught to discover that our entry had found favour with the jury -- but was disqualified. A building such as this would have launched a practice like 3W into a different league and all at the office are very saddened that their skill and talent has not been fulfilled".

The Authority commented that "while 3W Architects dispute the facts upon which the disqualification was made nevertheless they have accepted that the Regulations provide that the Registrar's decision on such matters is final'".

The competition jury was chaired by Dr. Arthur Gibney, a past president of the Royal Institution of Architects of Ireland, and included Adam Clayton of U2 fame, James Barrett the Dublin City Architect and two board members of the Authority, Donal Curtin and Joan O'Connor (also a past president of the RIAI).

3W Partner Stuart Walker adds: "Unfortunately, nothing can be proved either way, but 3W would like the Authority and the architectural community to recognise that their scheme could have been the winner. 3W would also like to congratulate the recently announced winner and feel desperately sorry that this situation has taken away some of the shine from this win".

Peter Coyne, Chief Executive of the Authority, said " That the work of 3W was put to the jury was our mistake but this did not affect the outcome of the competition. There is no doubt that 3W's design is a most impressive piece of work which merits notice. However, BDA/Craig Henry Architects are the only winners of the competition and I would not want this matter to take anything away from that. The Authority is delighted with the jury recommendation and we are now working to bring the concept design forward into a reality."

END
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Postby shadow » Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:15 pm

Is this real?
I wonder what deal has been done.

The exhibition is inconsistent, wide variation of approaches, some lacking discipline (even architecture), a number highly inflenced by contemporary issues, a few surprises (even duds), some very intriguing, some better than the commended and "winning" entry. It is all a mystery to me.
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Postby trace » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:19 pm

One thing's clear. The losing winner is on board. War is over. Anything else is just shouting against the wind. Let it be.
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EXACTMUNDO

Postby pepe » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:17 pm

What?

nail
head
hit
on

I Could not say exactly what went on during that meeting.

But for 3W to be happy with the decision and accept that the registrars decision is final is very strange.

There are lots of altenatives for settling all this.

As mentioned earlier.

2 months to develop each scheme further: re-presentation:
public vote on the two schemes

True winner announced:

To be honest after all this I think 3W might have made the right decision.

Who in their right minds would want to have anything to do with the DDDA after all the lies and deceit. deceit and lies.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
NO BODY CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

I still think there should be a full and public enquiry.
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THE FINAL WORD (FROM THE TIMES)

Postby pepe » Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:06 am

October 19, 2003
Comment: Michael Ross

Last Monday the chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Peter Coyne, travelled to London to meet architects from the unfortunate 3W practice, whose design won the competition for the U2 docklands tower, only to be discarded in secrecy when the development body was unable to identify the entrant.

In their meeting, Coyne acknowledged that 3W’s entry was indeed the initial choice of the competition jury. He maintained the DDDA line that the entry had been invalid and so had to be discarded. 3W, for its part, had a receipt to prove its payment of the entry fee and maintained that its paperwork was checked several times before it was submitted. Nevertheless, a détente of sorts was reached.

A joint statement from the DDDA and 3W later acknowledged that the firm’s entry, “although disqualified, had been considered as a potential winner by the competition jury.” Andrew Wells, a 3W partner, said the practice was “absolutely distraught to discover that our entry had found favour with the jury but was disqualified”.

There the matter rests, with 3W and the DDDA agreeing to differ on the salient facts. 3W, veterans of architecture competitions, know that there is no hope of having BDA/Craig Henry, the eventual winners, deposed.

Were it to sue the DDDA, 3W would run the risk of damaging its good name. Having lost the U2 tower through no apparent fault of its own, it could end up losing even more by getting a reputation as troublesome and litigious. Better to acknowledge graciously the worth of the competition winner, as it has, and to maintain good terms with the DDDA.

The DDDA emerges from the matter, however, with its reputation in shreds. Even the agreed statement is laden with the mendacity and dissimulation that have characterised the authority’s behaviour in relation to the U2 tower controversy. It is more than merely misleading to maintain that 3W’s entry “although disqualified, had been considered as a potential winner by the competition jury”. The entry was the jury’s choice as winner. Only when its authors could not be identified, and when a hurried and ham-fisted investigation added to the chaos, was it discarded.

The DDDA’s economical approach to the truth was reinforced in the weeks that Culture’s architecture critic, Shane O’Toole, spent working on his exposé of the U2 tower competition, published three weeks ago. Even up until the last moment before the piece went to press, the DDDA maintained its line that we had got the story wrong. Only when we stood our ground did it finally acknowledge the truth, and the not until last week.

Had the DDDA, instead of seeking to obfuscate the chaos of the competition, come clean at the outset about the problems with the winner, Dublin might now be faced not with BDA’s interesting twisted tower but 3W's more inclusive building, a landmark which would not just look good but would, particularly because of its daringly elevated observation deck, draw people to the Grand Canal Basin. Instead, the DDDA’s sustained dissimulation made — and continues to make — a bad situation worse.
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Postby notjim » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:37 pm

nicely put by the times. so, again, leaving aside the whole long and stupid story, what do people think of the relative merits of the two towers, my own view is that i was happy enough when i saw the winner, but the 3w is far better again.
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Postby sw101 » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:48 pm

3w design seems so elegant. The sketches and presentation really highlight the good things about the scheme. Sensitive to the site, good massing, a decent lanmark in my mind.

The winning entry lacks sophistication. The renders, materials, assorted rhetoric included, its still just an awkward contorted geometric shape. In practice it will be difficult to build, its finished look will no doubt fall short of what is being shown at the moment, and the geometry and expression will lack expression on the interior, rendering it pretty characterless. Just another liberty hall with a twist as has been said already. One thing i cant appreciate is how they thought a double-height glass box 60 metres off the ground could ever function as a practical recording studio. The acoustics! Oh the horror. Be prepared for a dramatic change in u2's signature sound from crummy to tinny
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Tue Oct 21, 2003 8:14 am

"Were it to sue the DDDA, 3W would run the risk of damaging its good name" Quoate from the Times.

It's a sad day when Goliath get's patched up because the legal scenarios suggest bad behaviour if action is taken. What ever happened to fairness and rights!....sorry that's a bit old fashioned I suppose and naive ........but reflects on a comminuity as a whole.
WEll, if that's it then, good luck you chaps in Dublin............. you have some real fun people running your town!
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Postby what? » Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:15 pm

i hear what your saying dragons-fire and it is a sad situation.
this is the damage that one group of lazy and incompetent fools can do to an entire community. this was such an internationally significant competition that was allowed be run by people who either, didnt have the ability or didnt give a f**k. now the irish architiectural community is blasted back into the realms of amatuers, in the eyes of the international community. Grafton architects and heneghan peng go and win internatinal competitions and the DDDA go and do this.

i really hope that those foreign people reading these threads dont tar all irish architecture with the same brush that should be liberally plastered upon the DDDA for their utterly pathetic performance.

we have many very professional and extremely interesting practicioners of architecture on this island. the levels of thought, insight and sophistication i have seen in irish work can easily rival much of the work that is being produced in europe and should get due recognition for this.

its just a pity that the major international recognition that we do get is negative, due to the complacent and irressponsible 'old boys' who were allowed run this competition and the shameful way in which they attempted to conceal their blunder for so long.

shame on the DDDA for damaging the image of irish architecture.
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Irish Architecture

Postby pepe » Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:12 am

I dont think that the international community has viewed this fiasco as a slant on irish architects design abilities at all.

Its clear to see that this whole issue was not dealt with by people who care about the built environment.

However I would say that the apparent lack of interest by RAIA members and the lack of pressure for a full public enquiry from those in ireland is dissapointing.

And this says more about the organisation of proffessional bodies and people acting purely in self interests.

3W should have (and maybe did) spoken to the RIBA before meeting the DDDA, as it should be for the RIBA to represent its members on this issue.

I believe 3W are mistaken in the fact that investigating legal action would tarnish their good name. Had anyone heard of them before this revelation. Would anyone think that they were being unreasonable in demanding to know exactly what happened.

They claim they triple checked the whole entry.
And have a receipt for the entry fee.

So whilst the DDDA still claim that they did not lose any entry forms or fees. Is this really the case. And if so then the decision of the Registrar is marred or unduely affected by the incompetence of thos people handling the entries.

I have conclusive evidence (which might not stand up in court) but should be enough to cinveince many people that 3W were on the list of competitors that were e mailed by the DDDA so a record of their entry must have been logged somewhere, otherwise why were they on the list?

I think that their acceptance of whatever (compensation) might have been offered has tarnished their name more than any requests for the truth would have done.

And i would say that reputations of Craig Henry and Burdonne Dunne currently hang in the balance and in their conscience's.

Would you really go ahead and sign a contract if you knew you were not the first choice?

Sure its worth a lot of money.

But is it worth your "good" or otherwise reputation.
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PROOF?

Postby pepe » Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:41 am

Excert from word document of entrant email addresses.

3W appear at no 125 on a list of 236.

their email adress appears between these two (other entrants.

hamilton-assoc.com, swalker@3w.org, P.A.Hadfield

attached is screen shot showing that the date the document was created was

Wed, May 7,2003, 4:40pm

If anyone else has a copy of the original email from the DDDA they will be able to corroborate this evidence more conclusively.

so if the DDDA had the email address, but there was no entry form, where did the email address come from????
Attachments
u2entrant.jpg
u2entrant.jpg (35.6 KiB) Viewed 1063 times
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:53 am

If anybody remembers, the entry form asked only for a telephone number. Price Waterhouse Coopers then telephoned all (or most or some!) asking for data to be sent by e-mail. From my understanding that is it. DDDA did not contact any entrant directly until after the results. PWC had the e-mail addresses.
But what the hell! it's all the same at the end..........a total fowl-up which is at the expense of the Architectural community....nothing new there I'd say! What a gullable lot Architects are........and as stated way before eccentricity drives Competitions.....BUT likewise institutes who perport to provide stable and up-right attitudes should look again at their trousers and see if there are any stains.
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:54 am

If anybody remembers, the entry form asked only for a telephone number. Price Waterhouse Coopers then telephoned all (or most or some!) asking for data to be sent by e-mail. From my understanding that is it. DDDA did not contact any entrant directly until after the results. PWC had the e-mail addresses.
But what the hell! it's all the same at the end..........a total fowl-up which is at the expense of the Architectural community....nothing new there I'd say! What a gullible lot Architects are........and as stated way before, eccentricity drives Competitions.....BUT likewise institutes who perport to provide stable and up-right attitudes should look again at their trousers and see if there are any stains.
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DDDA

Postby pepe » Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:54 pm

Dogsonfire:
I am afraid that you are misinformed regarding the DDDA contacting entrants directly.

There was a mail out i received after the deadline which was cc'd to approx 1/3 of the entrants. Informing them of the web adrdess where news regarding the publication of results would be found.

This simple fact not only indicates that the anonymity of entrants was not maintained by the DDDA but also indicates that 3W were on the mailing list.

as far as the entry form goes.

It required the name of the architect/practice their address and telephone number as well as details of the contents enclosed.
And it seems that many people added their email addresses to this information.

(Maybe only 236 of the entrants) but one of them was 3W

Something still smells fishy to me
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Postby DogsonFire-2 » Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:04 pm

Well, I guess you guys were more informed than we were! but pretty dumb of DDDA to do such a thing, but in retrospect, in keeping with all other issues surrounding this competition!
I would agree generally that soemthing does not "smell" good here but infortunately it is only those with an interest and appetite who can help here. Question: who should be interested?; well certainly these chappies from London who clearly got taken to the cleaners ! But it looks like they took the money rather than open the box...... which is borne out by this "statement". What a terrible shame ! but knowing the legal scenarios DDDA might have spun for 3W "commercial decisions" often prevail over those of the emotional nature unless of course you are well hung financially in which case you can feed those lawyers till you get the result you want.
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Postby b.ray » Wed Oct 22, 2003 6:25 pm

so why don't they (ddda) have any of this posted on their website....what good is a press release if it is not released?

that would have been a negotiating point if I were 3W - I
guess that assumes there was some sort of negotiation.
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