Month: September 2020

The painful birth of Part L

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…And easy ones

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Local slate for local houses

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Halting a project: Breaking up is hard to do

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Foster Fathers

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first_img“I don't really like the buildings my dad designs. They're all so boring - made of glass and steel and that's it. I'd prefer it if this was a normal house like the one over the road. When I'm in the mood I say, ‘Dad, tell me about architecture.’ There's not a lot to it. You've just got to get a piece of paper and a pencil. He wants me to grow up to be an architect, but I don't. It's boring. I want to be in something like the police force, something exciting.” So spoke a young Jay Foster, son of Norman, back in 1996. As well as being decidedly unfazed by the totemic success of his father, Jay it seems has no intention of following in his professional footsteps. But there are many other architects’ sons who have taken the opposite view. Why? Is there something about the role of architect that inspires filial emulation from their offspring? Is an architect’s son (or daughter) more likely to follow in their parents’ footsteps than a lawyer, a doctor or a policeman?Probably not. Any vocation by its very nature must be deeply personal undertaking and requires a level of commitment that genealogy alone is unlikely to provide. All intense professional careers must inevitably cast an aura over family life but there is little evidence to support a claim that this impact is particularly intensified in architecture. In fact, if any profession bears the hallmarks of dynastic succession then it is not architecture but politics - the Kennedys, Bushes and even Millibands of the world are testament to that.Nevertheless, the idea that architecture emits some kind of magnetic, hallucinogenic draw upon its progeny is undoubtedly seductive. It is a suspicion invariably strengthened by the fact that for much of the lay general public, architecture remains a profession shrouded in mystery and anonymity. Obeisant sons being secretly indoctrinated into a Masonic architectural circle certainly appeals to an outlandish pulp-fictional narrative.And of course the hereditary theory is backed up by lots of anecdotal evidence. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance there was a strong cultural tradition of craftsmanship being passed on from father to son. So whether it is fate or coincidence, we take a look at some of the more famous examples of sons following their fathers into architecture below...Edwin and Robert LutyensEdwin Lutyens was one of the most influential English architects of the early 20th century, spearheading a modern brand of monumental, vernacular classicism that spread from the City of London to New Delhi. Robert Lutyens built less but did give us the sleek Art Deco facade of the Pantheon M&S on the eastern half of London’s Oxford Street. Poetically, Dad had already built an even bigger retail block on the western half, now gregariously occupied by Primark.George Dance the Elder and YoungerThis urbane Palladian duo pretty much had the City of London sewn up between them. Dad served as the City’s chief surveyor for much of the mid-18th century and was thereby able to award himself plum commissions such as Mansion House and St. Leonard’s Church Shoreditch. Son was even more prolific and designed the neo-Gothic porch on the City’s Guildhall as well as the masterplan featuring the crescent where Bloomsbury’s Building Centre sits. Eliel and Eero SaarinenOf this Finnish-American pair, it is son Eero who is by far the better known. His graceful and dynamic Modernism redefined aviation in the 1960s and gave us magnificent terminals at JFK and Washington Dulles. Unfortunately it also gave us London’s American Embassy. Few realise that his father was also an architect, whose early works were heavily influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement.Albert Speer and Albert Speer Jnr.When poor Albert Speer Jnr. unveiled his Olympic masterplan proposals for the Beijing 2008 Games, it was perhaps inevitable that his axial and monumental style of urbanism was unfavourably compared to that of his father’s. The fact that technically Speer Jnr. is a town planner and not an architect made little difference. Despite having Hitler as his boss, Speer Snr. was actually a remarkably gifted and talented young architect. However, history will forever taint his spectacular neo-classical designs with the pungent pall of fascism. Sir George Gilbert Scott, Giles Gilbert Scott and Richard Gilbert Scott The Scotts are the greatest architect dynasty Britain has ever produced. Head of the family was Sir George Gilbert Scott, a titan of the Victorian age who was dexterous enough to produce romantic Gothic (St. Pancras Stn.) or palatial classicsm (Foreign Office) depending on his client's wishes. His grandson Giles Gilbert Scott also left an astonishing body of work which includes Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, Tate Modern, Waterloo Bridge and the iconic red K2 telephone box. His son Richard Gilbert Scott designed Modernist and post-modern additions to London’s Guildhall in the 1970s and 1990s respectively. There were others too, including Art Deco Elizabeth Scott, probably England’s first prominent female architect. Incredibly, the Scotts have been active in every style and generation of British architecture since the early 19th century. Jacques V and Ange-Jacques Gabriel The Gabriels were integral to French 18th century classical architecture. Father Jaques was a disciple of French Baroque icon Jules Hardouin-Mansart and embellished Hardouin-Mansart’s Versailles with lavish Rococo interiors. Later, his son Ange-Jaques applied sumptuous neo-classicism to his designs for Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon and Paris’s magnificent Place de la Concorde. Richard and John SeifertRichard Seifert changed London’s skyline more than any architect since Wren. With almost 600 buildings under his belt in London alone, including iconic landmarks such as Centre Point and the former NatWest Tower, he transformed post-war urban Britain and virtually single-handedly introduced the commercial tower block into the British architectural lexicon. His son John took over his vast practice in 1984 and ran it from offices in Bloomsbury up until its closure last year.last_img

PFI doesn’t have to be ‘poor value’

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Third party funding: A third wheel?

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first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img

Join the conversation

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first_imgLooking back on 2017, perhaps the kindest thing we can say about it was that it was underwhelming. The initial optimism of the year’s beginning petered out and, in terms of construction output at least, it turned out that January was actually a high point. While the last 12 months were not without cheer – infrastructure projects getting off the ground and a serious focus on housing – the news was dominated by the disaster at Grenfell Tower, an incident that will have very long-lasting implications for construction. The inquiries into the Grenfell tragedy that were set in train this year will continue to run their course throughout 2018, and construction, manufacturing, design and regulations will come under the microscope for all the wrong reasons. The judicial process will play out and the specific technical, structural and operational questions will be answered, and conclusions drawn. Construction companies, the government and regulators will need to be ready to carve out a detailed way forward – but only once the facts are clear. So far, the industry’s response has been to hide behind a veil of silence. And it really isn’t good enough. Anyone who thinks this is a case of simply getting out of the way of the inquiries’ firing line, appointing some lawyers and carrying on as usual, should think again. The ramifications of Grenfell will entail wholesale cultural and operational changes in the way we work and our industry is going to need to influence how this is done. Let’s consider some of the possible consequences. Imagine a whole new system of regulatory supervision focused on fire management. The culture and role of approved building inspectors changing fundamentally, perhaps putting them under the overarching governance of local authorities. Beefed up roles for government bodies supervising projects – think HSE site inspections with sharper teeth. Design scrutinised much more for operationality and usability than for buildability or aesthetics. It means everyone having to do things differently. The way buildings are designed and built in residential and commercial sectors will change. Likewise the way that products are produced, selected, signed off and used. This isn’t going to be just about residential towers; this is going to be about process, practice, culture and supervision. If you thought you were comfortable with the existing compliance frameworks, you’re likely to have to get to understand them all over again when change comes.So expect a systemic overhaul that will drill down to individual companies, and the people within those companies. The risk of fire is transforming everything and we all need to be questioning what we do. And of course cost is going to be an issue, too. Specifically, it’s likely going to be about the responsibility that clients, contractors, architects and their quantity surveying partners have when going about assessing their risks with insurers when choosing procurement routes and products. It may sound obvious, but there’s likely to be a whole new level of supervision in everyone’s operational decision making that hasn’t been seen before. So how should folk react?So far the reaction has been muted. But look ahead. It’s time for the companies, directors, CEOs, manufacturers, regulators, local authorities and, most importantly, the bodies representing the professions, to show leadership. To talk about the implications. To talk about the challenges. To air the problems. To find the solutions. To provide the transparency. This week we learned that the Grenfell Tower public inquiry will not publish its first report in Easter as had been hoped. Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the judge leading the inquiry, pointed to the scale of the task as the reason for the delay. But while we wait for the inquiries’ interim reports, are we supposed to just sit on our hands? Surely we can begin to talk more generally about best practice and how we should be responding to what occurred? We at Building want to encourage that conversation. What should happen? How should the professions react? How can we start to do better? Speak up, air the issues, explore a positive way forward.Email me your views at tom.broughton@ubm.com and we’ll be sure to present the resulting issues in a fair manner in 2018. In the meantime, have a restful Christmas break – but keep half an eye on building.co.uk to keep up with all the news.last_img

Modern methods and the law

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first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img

New additions for Derrick Offshore

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first_imgStephen Sorby joins from Clarksons Dubai where he worked as a shipbroker specialising in the Middle East and Indian markets.Jonathan Lints, a qualified lawyer, joins from McGrigors LLP solicitors, where he specialised in corporate law as well as oil and gas law. Lints will be based in Aberdeen where his legal knowledge of the oil and gas industry will complement the existing team of Fraser Ralley and Michael Braid.Sean Harvey, managing director of Derrick Offshore, a leading independent international broker specialising in the offshore oil and gas, renewable energy and submarine cable industries, said: "We are delighted that Stephen and Jonathan are joining us. These latest additions to our team provide us with the resources required to meet the demands and challenges of our continued growth in the renewable energy sector."Formed in 1976, the company specialises in providing shipping services to the offshore gas and oil as well as the sub-sea cable industries.last_img