Re: carlisle pier

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The Carlisle Pier competition is a DEVELOPMENT competition as opposed to a purely architectural one. The winning scheme will have to be financially viable while giving an income stream to the harbour authority as well as keeping the public happy – I exclude Richard Boyd Barrett and his mates from ‘the public’ as they wont be happy unless a shrine to marxist ideology is placed on the pier.

Here are a few issues worthy of debate above and beyond the aesthetic ping-pong that this board loves indulging in…

the SOM scheme appears to be twice as dense as the others. Do the supporters of this scheme want to write a blank cheque to the developers? We might get a funky rooftop walkway but it looks like the developers get about 300 apartments which would likely retail for half a mil each – you do the math…

has anyone noticed that the Liebeskind scheme extends way beyond the development ‘red line’ and is nearly twice as wide as the other schemes? Remember, the reason for the baths debacle was as a result of the winning scheme ignoring the site boundary hence allowing the losing shemes to threaten legal actions. Also, is it a coincidence that this is the only scheme without a contractor on board? Landmarks are great except when you have to pay for them (Scottish Parliament for eg) and the harbour company need to be really really sure that the scheme can be built for the budget proposed. Finally, can anyone see a ‘diaspora museum’ attracting sufficient numbers to be self financing? Again the harbour company want a viable cultural attraction, not an albatross around their necks.

The STW scheme is indeed boring but you can bet your last euro that its eminently ‘buildable’. The development mix seems appropriate also.

The HP scheme also has a sensible development mix and is a more attractive building than the STW scheme although i think the design needs some more development. I like the permeability of the scheme – its the only one that allows the pier to remain a pier.

just to re-iterate, the Liebeskind and SOM schemes (and to a lesser extent HP’s design) will no doubt appeal visually to the people visiting the exhibition but he decision is not going to be based principally on design. The current public consultation is potentially cosmetic to a large extent as the assessors will be making a decision based on commercial considerations in the main. If Im right its a straight decision between the STW and HP schemes and if all other things are equal the HP design will win out cos its more attractive.

The real world is a harsh place…..

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