Simpson. They were invited to tender for the World Trade Centre.
Many people in Liverpool are pissed off at central government interfering.
Hopefully, the developer will re-submitted with slight amendments, and then
it will get through. I think a slim hope though.
I have to say the same for the city. Good for them.
Why not pick someone who has to buy his eggs where the citizens do? The
rhetoric in the article looks like the a play on the civic insecurities of
the locals, and IMHO, that's quite self-serving. Confidence in one's own
judgment is a prerequisite to avoiding becoming the victim of the traveling
architectural all-stars, and any other hucksters out to make a buck and a
name for themselves.
Ian Simpson, doesn't have anything to prove at all, and I agree with him,
and I am a local he is not. He reach semi final for the replacement World
Trade centre Towers in NY.
"Architecture of great quality can bring hope to a city and lift the
spirits - that was what we were trying to do. But obviously the client has
decided that because the city council has said they want to see something
less contentious and of a much lower scale and deliberately non-iconic, that
is what they will create."
A bland anywhere stumpy block will emerge on the site. Architects have more
constructive things to do than put together designs that they know will
never materialise. A top architect turning his back on a city gives a
blinking, lit up sign saying "Keep Clear Danger, Take Detour". A downward
spiral for the city.
The view in the city, rightly or wrongly, is that Simpson became a problem
when he went public with his frustrations on the dilly-dallying of the city
and the developers. A big no, no in Liverpool if you are seeking planning
approval. There are a lot of embarrassed faces in the city, for firstly
rejecting the tower twice (poorly party political, as all the Liberals said
no and all the Labour said yes) and then the politicos came around and
warmed to the idea with a new leader.
They didn't do themselves any favours at the shambles of clearing out the
existing tenants in the old converted warehouses. I would never blame
Simpson as he was understandably angry at the lack of progress, as we all
are here. Other cities are much smoother with planning, while Liverpool hums
and arhs a lot. Swathes of the city are a World Heritage Site so more
consideration has to be taken, however it is laborious and some developers
will not look at the city, as matters take years rather than months and each
time the planners feel they have to lop floors off a building, as with
Peli's building, or downscale just to justify their existence. Their ruling
rarely adds any value at all.
Let's hope we do get a super tower. I doubt it will be iconic or even tall
enough, more anywhere architecture. There is needless overt conservatism
curtailing advancement in a city which invented the modern skyscraper - the
world's first modern building, the first metal framed glass curtain walled
building, Oriel Chambers, 1864, Water St, Liverpool. 16 Cook St a year or so
That is in contention. Liverpool had the first elevated electric railway in
the late 1800s - it was superb. It ran the whole length of Liverpool Docks.
One end was actually underground. It was two levels with a goods rail line
underneath. There is talk of reintroducing a short section - probably a
The red and white building to the right is the White Star Line offices (they
owned the Titanic and others)
The rejected tower. Brunswick Quay on the menu:
We've seen the link to what scant documentation there is on this thing
earlier in the thread.
I live in a city with a few tall mistakes, and been to others with them, so
I'm sensitive to the issues of tall buildings where they meet grade. I
haven't seen anything but 3d renderings from great distances, and they don't
convince me of anything important.
The governments chief architect said the site was ideal for a tall building.
On a bend in a river, near where an escarpment falls away, water on two
sides - the river and the docks. It "is" a very good site indeed for a
tall - if you walked around the site you would see why. The more iconic the
tower the better. A golden opportunity lost.
The site is on reclaimed flat land. The Liverpool dock estate was built into
the river, not cut into the land.
The red lines are around three infilled docks - Toxteth, Harrington and
Herculaneum. The parallel sheds are old transit sheds that were on the
quays, the docks have been filled in creating a large land mass between the
sheds. The triangular white shed to the north of the red line is the site,
near the river locks. To the south of the site is the infilled Toxteth Dock.
To the north of the red line is Brunswick Dock which is filled with water.
The site will have water around it on three sides. It think it meets grade
very well. Some of the sheds were scheduled for demolition.
I'm not asking you to make a case for the project, and I don't want to be
the voice of opposition to it, but a satellite photo doesn't make the case
for the building any better that does a 3d montage from a mile away, IMHO.
When reclaiming abandoned, formerly industrial, wastelands there is often a
contingent that will argue that 'anything is better than what's there now".
This is not the forward thinking that you need to build cities. This is
Each large building affect everything that comes after it, and if you make a
really big mistake, it'll take generations to correct it. I'm not sure you
understand what I mean about the relation to grade, and I'm not sure I
understand what is so important about the first tall building going up in
this area having to be 'iconic' (whatever that means.) Successful cities are
made primarily of successful 'fabric'- individual bits of building that
share numerous values and attitudes towards the public realm. Within that
fabric, opportunism exist to make building that are special, either because
of the site, the purpose, or the vision of the designer, or any combination
of these. To try to start out making icons might set in motion a 'higher,
louder, faster' dynamic which has ruined a number of young North American
cities. You don't want to live in wall-to-wall special.
From what I've seen there is nothing particularly 'iconic' about that
design. It's *big*. Is that it? It's office space for rent. That can't be
it. At the urban scale, as a piece of sculpture, I've seen worse, but this
is only a very small piece of the puzzle. It doesn't seem to possess any
detail that can't be rendered at 1:500.
What, for example, are they finely texture brownish blocks to the right of
the red rectangle? Are those rowhouses? I hope not. That big blank podium of
this design would require some serious transitional elements not to complete
dominate that fabric.
Another question: Is there a published plan for the redevelopment of the
area including massing? How does this project fit into that plan? How good
*is* that plan? If someone is now prepared to pile that many floors on one
site, it may be that a patient attitude to the pace of development would be
prudent, as there will surely be others who might do a more sensitive
reading of the spirit of the place. Have you got any direct stake in this
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