Reply To: Great Modern Architecture!

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TG is right on the money!

As an architect that “moved over” to being a developer I now understand why most commercial architecture is a cock-up.

It works like this; The architect is paid by the client, so, he who pays calls the shots. The client is taking risks with his cash, (he has got to face the wrath of residents groups and ever mounting planning hurdles etc.), so he wants a “safe pair of hands”. Most clients are also pretty ignorant from a design and architectural perspective and the “building game” is an economic equation where “design” is a negative factor – in other words it is no more than a necessary evil. Architects that speak a developers language, i.e. “£ per sq.m.”, “avoiding planning pitfalls”, “mitigating the level of objections from locals” are the ones that are generally commissioned by larger developers.

These issues are real from a developers perspective and I personally have been surprised at interviews with top quality design architects fail miserably their inability to deal with these issues. Other crass design guys sound so convincing.

An enlightened client with a good architect is the way to go, but look at the list of top 20 developers in this city and you will struggle to find one developer with any architectural policy or real “product quality” focus.

On Busarus, Scott drove the show. His client knew little of the development process and from what I have read Scott’s personality ensured his ideas were not diluted. Also given the war situation at the time, focus on budget and time was not critical, it was a stop start construction process…….plenty of time to incorporate the artists input.

Good architects should take real estate economic classes and developers should go to art appreciation classes!

The city authorities should realize that urban centers in Ireland need to grow and be pro-active rather than re-active. In the case of Dublin, hosing needs to grow by 50% and office accommodation by 30% during the next ten years. By leaving all the work up to developers to secure permits and planning for this, the city is increasing the developers risk, which increases the developers need for more return…. i.e.profit. It would make far more sense for the city authorities to create the “planning template” for all of this development, in other words obtain “outline” permission, out in the utilities, provide the social housing component and let developers get on with their piece of the action. In Ireland, through a total lack of professional city management, nearly all of this is left up to private developers……it is not their job. If developers know with certainty what they could do, they would be able to focus on the “product” rather than “outmaneuvering the obstacles in the process”

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