Sir Terry Farrell in Edinburgh

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Sir Terry Farrell in Edinburgh

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:34 pm

So what exactly is his role going to be? Cheerleader for Edinburgh architecture?

http://scotland.archiseek.com/news/2004/000013.html
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Postby alan d » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:46 pm

Terry's the man all right, to sort out auld reekie..........oooooooooooooooo suits you sir.
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Postby sw101 » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:32 am

design champion? scots are weird
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:42 am

aye, wha's like us, eh?

......though to be fair, Edinburgh isn't really Scotland.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:53 am

........in fact there are more people up themselves per square metre in Auld Reekie than in any other city in Europe.

Farrell's an obvious choice. Safe modernism, never rude.
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Postby space_invader » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:10 pm

What are anyone's thoughts on the appointment of a 'Design Tsar' to champion 'good architecture'?

Shouldn't we be shifting away from prescribed solutions dependent on good taste?

What about nature's model? That would entail exploring niche possibilities and exploring and exploiting those possibilities once detected.

This is the way to go for brownfield and urban development - I'm thinking parasitic structures which cling to existing structures, sit on top of them or occupy the sites that 'normal buidings' are afraid of. This seems an appropriate response to the medieval section of the city at least.

Edinburgh was building skyscrapers when New York was still a forest and swamp - I'm wary that good taste may ruin the place and stagnate innovation.

I doubt it would encourage the 'parasitic' approach which has served the city so well in the past.

Jeez - Malcolm Fraser said in the Scotsman, 'remember, we are designing tomorrow's world heritage site' - now I realise he may simply be saying: 'Take care when you design a building. It's not just for Christmas....' but I do worry that it could be misinterpreted by small brains who may want to turn the city into a 'heritage experience'.

So, my feelings regarding this are ambivalent: One side says: 'Nah - this is all wrong: rather than appoint a design guru we should be training up a planning workforce that has a rich understanding of urban development, is au fait with architectural issues and is generally pragmatic when it comes to the interplay between economics and the built environment.’ My fear is that deference will encourage stagnation, lesser players will fail to learn or rather reject learning because they've got a genius upstairs to sort it all out and the standard of urban design strategies will regress.

On the other hand, a design guru may inspire confidence and creativity and the urge to learn among the design community in Edinburgh and beyond. That's be great, eh?! But I have a feeling that Scotland is currently a little starstruck just now and feels the best way to engender confidence in the nation is by developing a celebrity culture which encompasses everything from TV to planning regs. It's a sign of depression, a sign of, 'How the fuck do we get out of this mess', a sign of, 'we're not good at stuff anymore', a sign of:

help. we've not got a fuckin clue.

Welcome to the sad future of architecture in this country - Wallpaper chic may well become compulsory.

I have a feeling that 'Urban Designer' is set to become the trendy profession of the early 21st century.

Sorry everyone - had to get that oot ma system.

So anyway - Design Tsar - good idea or not?
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Postby FIN » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:37 pm

interesting points. i am going to say yes..it's a good idea generally. as long as he doesn't become stagnant.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:59 pm

I agree FIN, interesting points.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, much like Florence in my view.

There are though, as you know S.I.. architects in Edinburgh whose whole "pitch" is sensitive additions to the historic fabric, weaving together pieces of old town with a mixture of old and new and could not start a new building without some including reference to history or immediate context.

That way you can convince yourself that you are still living in a forward looking city and still not offend the rampant traditionalists and conservation groups.
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Postby FIN » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:14 pm

do you all think the shopping mall under princes street will get the go ahead now if he takes charge? there would be no need for the conservationalists to complain really. and he might push this through as modern design within the curtilage of the city centre.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:58 pm

I think some conservationists would rather Princes Street died on its feet than accept a shopping mall underneath, although I think the concept has real merit and it could be very innovative.

If it were open to a real competition we may have received some very interesting proposals

The problem with the alternative of re using existing buildings is that the drawings shown are less than inspiring and the designs do not capture the imagination. Yaaaaawwwwwnnn
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:05 pm

Sorry FIN the penny has just dropped.

I thought you were refering to the underground scheme done by Allan Murray, won in a limited competition or Malcolm Fraser's alternative.

When you said "he" I did not realise you were thinking about Farrell. I don't think Farrell could move this scheme on at all, frankly.
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Postby space_invader » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:15 pm

dunno. what i do know though, is that at least one of the finalists for the mall competition was relieved his practice didn't win in the end.

Halfway through they realised what a nigtmare the job was going to be.

What i don't get about Edinburgh is the fright concerning 'the new' and I'm worried that the successssss of Malcom-fraser-alikes will dominate the new presciption: modern but sensitive, conteporary but respectful: boring but boring (most of the time). Edinburgh needs the opposite of that. And it needs people in charge who can reinterpret the past in imahginative ways. Look at the castle: to me, that is hi-tech, not heritage. But then that's why I'd probably never get near the job.

look at Graz, Austria - another historically important, jewel-like city, but also home to three of the most radical, odd architectural statements in the world.

The steel basket that sits in the river (perhaps the first true structure which is born of bendy computer generated form-making), archigram's friendly alien (zoomorphic ultra-statement) and a shadow structure, made entirely from black steel that sits just inches behind the town's most famous landmark - a clocktower that overlooks the city.

We also forget in Britain that much of the traditional architecture within our towns and cities were actually radical, strange and daring when they were built.

See, I'm from Helensburgh and nothing ever happens there cos of the NIMBY nobs who despise........ everything new. What they don't get is that Greek T and Charles Mack, both of who have buildings in the town, were cutting edge nutters when they were cutting a dash all those years ago.

So, Design Tsar - only if he's got balls.

Perhaps Zaha Hadid would've been a better choice.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:25 pm

If they quoted pay had been more than the equivolent of three stone of monkey nuts and a years supply of Irn Bru...... maybe she would have.

Graz is an excellent example
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Postby space_invader » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:32 pm

pay is shit but you get free entry to the castle n that.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:50 pm

......... though they had take back the offer of a courtesy pass to the Edinburgh New Year celebrations.

Putting the wind up too many people so they were forced to withdraw early, I heard
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Postby FIN » Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:16 pm

lol..very good...and don't forget the army thing that happens during the summer..can't remember it'sname either..jeeez i am crap at names...he would get into that aswell...
yeah i was talking about the alan murray one but didn't dee the alternative. that design showed some of the potential and the most exciting thing that could happen there because of the old historic building that they seem to fight to keep the exact same.
and the new town was visionary at it's own time. just like mac was in his time. i would hope that maybe terry farrell would spark a new interest in this idea and as u say open it to more of a cmpetition and maybe segment it to different firms. just because it's underground doesn't mean it can't be seperate designs constrained by the masterplan.
sw101 i don't know why they freak when new is proposed beside old either. it's been happening for centuries as u say and works well and graz is a perfect example.
and i would have done it for just the bru!!!!!!
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