Tuesday, 30 June 2009


It's very difficult for the uneducated observer to understand what the jazzily named DV8 ("We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, down to earth, supportive and competant [sic] service") is doing, spatially, with this building from their 2D elevation rendering.
Helpfully, they provided the section below to explain the scheme better, so we can really understand the 3-dimensional complexity of the proposal, feel the play of light and sound, and have evoked for us the intricate mix of programmes that make this into so much more than a D&B leisure centre.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Look at how the dance studio is evoked in this section as a place ideally suited to the joyous expression of the human body. And how the staff are given the best space in the building, dignifying their important role as guardians of the community's health and fitness.
1st year student... my mum can draw better... worst section I've ever seen... etc...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Oh Aedas, you make really bad architecture quite a lot of the time. Here is a quite monumentally ordinary building for the police on a business park in Manchester. What I like about it most is how it marks the corner entrance with a full-height void, a big glass atrium and one spindly column sticking up. And what does this sculptural corner, wherein all the architecture of this building is contained, face? A roundabout.
They could have at least make it convenient for the cops, who, arriving by car and parking presumably at the back of this building, will have to walk all the way around it to get inside. People driving by won't care anyway. They'll be too busy crashing after belly laughing at the pathetic piece of public art that occupies the centre of this roundabout. I wonder if Aedas designed that, too?

Thursday, 4 June 2009


A VBIED is a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. A car bomb. When you absolutely, positively need to keep fundamentalist terrorists or ecosocialist nutters from carbombing your shrubbery, you can deploy the Quick Link Lite barrier system like this...

at the impressive rate of 30 metres of barrier per hour with 'minimum disruption'.
This is the architectural expression of how the government has allowed the police, through terror legislation (specifically in this case Lord West's terrorism strategy CONTEST2) to militarise our public realm unabashedly and completely. The top picture looks like a checkpoint along the Berlin wall, and I think it's really interesting how the photographer has tried to give it the maximum intimadation factor by taking the picture from down low.
Quick Link Lite was first used at the G20 summit in London in April, and is coming soon to a perfectly legal and peaceful demonstration near you...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


The picture above is of the bleeding edge of the British construction industry, the technology that will solve the crisis in British housebuilding in terms of environmental sustainability, build quality and aesthetics. Behold, the House Pod.
There was a time when the future looked like the future, and so on and so forth, but now all the future aspires to be is profitable. And that means shite like this. We've seen this before on this blog.
They're weird, though. The roofline on this terrace alternates high gables and dormer windows to try to give the impression that these are triple fronted detached houses, when noone could make that mistake thanks to the oversized porch canopies (with flashings and wheelie bins in syncopated rhythms along the street).
These houses will be substantially built off site in a factory. We've heard this before (almost every six months. The biggest noise I remember is Yorkon and its Murray Grove flats in London. Yorkon seems to have given up on resi now, by the looks of its website), and it hasn't transformed the supply chain yet.
Listen, though, there will be 'no compromise on quality' in this factory-made future, according to the press release, because 'The House Pod is building regulation compliant'. Well, that's a relief! The future of mass-manufactured sustainable housing will keep the rain out. The text also describes how the pod 'can currently meet levels 3, 4 and 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.' So you can choose how slowly you want your modular development to kill the planet.
Naked, the House Pod looks like this, which is, to my mind, an improvement, although there are DDA issues with the front door.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


You know how architects always tell their clients that the proposed timber cladding will 'weather down' into a shimmering grey colour? Well, they're lying. In this case it's Hunters' sweet chestnut cladding on a special needs school in Leicestershire, looking pretty ropey a few months after opening. Click on the picture for the close-up horror.
This school is sustainable. So sustainable, in fact, that trees grow inside the building!
This might be my first example on this blog of something that's so bad, it's good.