Saturday, 17 August 2013

Halliday Fraser Munro triumph again!

Halliday Fraser Munro (with Snøhetta) - New Maggie's Centre in Aberdeen
You know, I was absolutely delighted to see that Halliday Fraser Munro, one of the top architectural practices in Scotland - if not in the world - and certainly one of my all time favourites, have completed their new Maggie's Centre in Aberdeen.  Apparently they got this job in association with a Norwegian outfit called Snøhetta. For the ignorant among you, Snøhetta is a mountain in the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park in Norway.

Now it's fascinating to see the way this collaboration has turned out.  You can see the trademark style of Halliday Fraser Munro in the ordinary bits of the building - the bits that actually work - and I assume Snøhetta did the white snow-drift thing round the outside - well snow is all they know after all.  But it's silly isn't it? And it obscures the best bits of the building in my expert planner's view.  It should have been refused planning permission on this basis alone!  What's the point of having all these windows and then blocking the view with a big shapeless white thing that looks like a snow-drift?  It all seems a bit of a joke to me but I'm not going to push this as I'm well aware of the sensitivity attached to the provision of cancer care and the important role these buildings play.

I think Snøhetta should just have left all the design work to Halliday Fraser Munro.  It's as simple as that.  We would have ended up with a much better building.  Anyway, my hearty congratulations to Halliday Fraser Munro on this worthwhile facility - they've certainly shown Norwegian designers a thing or two.

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