We don’t like you any more DCM

21 December, 2007

The looooong awaited DCM Stonehenge Visitor Centre has been scrapped by the UK government.

The UK architecture minister (they have an architecture minister??) said that the scheme as a whole was just becoming too expensive. Apparently it all rested on putting a road underground nearby, to the tune of about £500 million. The building itself was a mere £65 million in comparison.

Now though the government is proposing a temporary visitor centre instead, which seems like a good way to build something shoddy that will not function very well and will probably cost them more in the long run anyway (or hang around for longer than it was ever meant to, like those classrooms in Victorian schools built in the 1950’s that only had a 25 year life-span but are being vainly renovated to this day).

DCM are understandably a little bit peeved.


Another bunch of boxes for the CBD

14 December, 2007

The Age today produced a particularly wonderful piece of journalism, singing the praises of none other than themselves!

The Age render

Yes, they’ve unveiled plans for their new building. They like them so much they’ve written about it twice. Bates Smart are the architects and Grocon will build the thing (according to their media release, they’ve already started).

It will be on the south west corner of Collins and Spencer, with a nice big lawn out the front and some colourful bits (in the render at least) and will be 5 Star, but basically it just looks like yet another collection of intersecting boxes in search of any meaning or contextual relevance.

Perhaps that is a bit harsh, I’ve only seen two renders after all. Unfortunately Bates Smart website doesn’t have any more info though.


Dutch cheese

14 December, 2007

Apparently the Dutch want to build an entire island to relieve over-crowding on their already created land.

And they want to build it IN THE SHAPE OF A TULIP.

It seems all of their much lauded stylish and sleek designers were on holiday when this was announced and it was handed to a politician or a nine year old to design instead.


Eco, schmeco

7 December, 2007

The UK’s new scheme to build a bunch of ‘eco-towns’ is being criticised as being totally stupid. the basic criticism is that you can’t say something is ‘eco’ just because it has lots of insulation, and you especially can’t say it is eco if you have bulldozed a bunch of trees to get at the land to build it on and that land is miles from anywhere else. Der.

An economist pointed out a while ago that the best way for a small town to become ‘green’ was actually to move to London. Because of the density of London, the people that live there emit 40% less GHG than the national average, whilst the inhabitants of the town emit 25% more.

I tried to argue for the benefits of density with a committed Green a while ago, in the wake of protesting against some truly badly designed new development nearby, only to find out that density just didn’t fit with this person’s idea of green. Not enough mud bricks, vegie patches or hemp it seemed.