Saturday, 30 May 2009

I don't get it!

I said I would post a picture of the new Glasgow Transport Museum being built down by the Clyde. I'm not sure what to say about this except that as usual, some inebriated clown has decided to deface the area with some vile commentary about his wife or girlfriend. I'm not very good with the camera and yes, that is my thumb that you see in the top left corner - the picture is mostly out of focus but it's better than nothing.

You know, architecture isn't my field although I know what I like - and I like what I know. I don't like this building much and it seems to me that the architects, who I believe are some folk from London, don't really know what they are doing. Look at all that steel work twisted into weird shapes - do they think it might fall down? Keppies wouldn't have done that and they are one of Scotland's most innovative companies - true design leaders in the avante guard of world design and one of my favourite architects next to Donald Trump.

It did strike me that this building is going to flood a lot in the next few years and perhaps the steelwork has been used to prevent the building falling over. On the bright side, I'm impressed by the size of the car park - good buildings need big spaces around them - and the access roads to the car park are really nice and wide. In fact they are a safety feature of the area as they stop members of the public from nearby residential areas getting close to the edge of the river and drowning.

I've included a nice shot above of the surrounding area - very spacious and elegant. Below is a shot of some of the nice wee landscaping. In the distance you can see Glasgow Harbour. It's one of Scotland's leading housing projects and a world leader in regeneration and I would give it 10 out of 10 and a gold star.

They say that fools and apprentices shouldn't see things half done but I've made my mind up about the Transport Museum - I just don't get it.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Toffs win new award

You know I'm so angry this week. I had been invited to attend the launch of the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative on Wednesday. I didn't want to go as there was a round of the bowls competition that evening but we had put a lot into doing a submission and were quite proud of the work so I thought it was best to go. Especially if we were to win the top prize.

I can't tell you the name of our architects but they are one of the biggest firms in Scotland - really switched on like Keppies or Archial but bigger and better. We did a true 21st century scheme with tower blocks nestling in our rural landscape, nice big broad roads and sponsored roundabouts. Anyway I met up with them at Greggs in George Square in Glasgow for a pie before we set off for the Lighthouse. Honestly, the place was packed and I felt sure this was my moment to shine. To be acknowledged as one of the best town planners in the country and to springboard myself into consultancy. Nicola Sturgeon (Smart Alex's gorgeous wee assistant) was there and I wondered if she had a boyfriend but then the results were being read out. Even as the tenth successful submission was being announced I was convinced we would win. Guess what - we weren't even mentioned!

My whole body was numb as I looked round the exhibition afterwards and it was all very nice I suppose. But it seemed to me that many of the winners were schemes submitted by toffs - big landowners with green suits - and that seemed to be the way to win the prize. Somebody said to me that the "Tartan Tories have been good to their friends". I didn't know what he meant by that and I was so upset that I didn't stop to chat.

Anyway I'm back in our lovely wee Auchterness now - just having a wee glass of beer and thinking about the state of the world, my lovely wife and the mountain I'll have to climb if I'm to be recognised as a player in regeneration. I'm depressed to be honest.

Oh when I was down in Glasgow, I had a chance to visit the new Transport Museum being constructed next to the fabulous Glasgow Harbour (one of my all-time favourite developments ever) and I've got some snaps of that which I'll post next time.