Saturday, 6 June 2015

Dumfries set to boom as Ryder engage!

Team Ryder - Becky, Cathy and Jeremy speak from a rockery near Dumfries
Team Ryder - Becky, Cathy and Jeremy speak from a rockery near Dumfries
You know, I'm aware that my fans look forward to my exciting reviews of happenings in the wonderful world of Scottish property development and planning. My reviews come from the coalface of planning itself, steeped in years of knowledge and expertise from an expert planner - myself. When I read on the Urban Realm gossip website that the Crichton Trust had appointed Ryder Architecture to develop a masterplan for their Estate in Dumfries I knew that only good things would happen for that sad town.

Ryder Architecture is one of the top architecture firms in Europe - if not the World! Currently 58th in the UK according to the AJ but that will be rubbish as usual. I would say that they might even rival Keppies or Halliday Fraser Munro in the Pantheon of Superlatives. They oil the wheels of the development industry wherever they go, lubricating, throwing up all manner of buildings and bending right over the drawing board to satisfy the deepest desires of their clients.
Ryder Architecture's stupendous CSI Gartcosh Building
Ryder Architecture's stupendous CSI Gartcosh Building

It's the kind of architecture that goes unnoticed - an architecture that dare not speak its name. But to an expert eye, their triumphs at CSI Gartcosh, Glasgow Harbour and numerous proposals for power stations speckled along the east coast of our lovely wee country mark them out as giants in a field of midgets. A stunning achievement. Penetrating and upright, Ryder has been responsible for some of the biggest erections that have been seen in Scotland and the North East of England - ever. Yet they are modest too - their website informs us that:
" is accepted that we cannot all be excellent in every area so, given baseline ability across the board, our people focus on developing, and playing to their strengths. Whilst reward is essential, and to achieve this we need to generate profits, we are motivated by projects rather than money..."

Reassuring indeed and a beacon of common sense in a field of flabby talk from couture practices that hide behind intellectual justification and produce tosh. So even in circumstances where they can only assemble a team of lightweights, they can still make a profit. That's the mark of a sensible company.

Anyway, this proposal for the former site of a lunatic asylum in the miserable town of Dumfries looks set to be a grand project. You would have to be nuts not to appreciate that! Dumfries is known as a historic town - of that there is no doubt. But that also means that nothing significant has happened there for centuries, hence the title. My colleague Duncan advised me that it was 'too close to England to be good for anything' and I had to remind him that his was an unfair, inaccurate and uncalled for remark. I'm sure Borg leader and STP Chief Officer Prentice will have some solutions for Dumfries but meanwhile it will be up to the dynamic team at Ryder to save the town.

At the moment, details are sketchy but, speaking from a rockery in the Crichton Estate, Architectural Director Jeremy Armitage said that we can expect to see a 'Development and Spatial Framework for the future development of the Crichton Estate' which will 'explore development options and opportunities for new buildings of architectural note appropriate to the setting.' Of course these are just nonsense words to keep the client happy - great isn't it? Ryder will also engage, develop, understand, examine, justify, set out, establish and include various things. That's a huge number of boxes ticked in one sentence! Clearly they are on the ball! In addition, Rob Shaw, Chief Executive of the Crichton Trust said, "This project provides an exciting opportunity to develop a Masterplan for the future growth of the Crichton Estate and to re-energise the Crichton Regeneration Project with a range of ideas and options for the future.” You can read more about it here.

I will certainly be keeping a watching brief on this magnificent project which is bound to be 'up for an Award' as people say these days. The Crichton Trust should be congratulated by everyone involved in Scotland’s built environment for their wise choice in appointing such a fantastic team that is so deeply, deeply rooted in design to develop their Estate, moving forward. May their radiance light up the darkness of Dumfries!

In the meantime, all the best from Auchterness to my thousands of fans. I will write again soon!

1 comment:

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