Thursday, 23 July 2009

Liverpool One-RIBA Cronyism Six

Liverpool-One or Grosvenor-pool has been nominated for a Stirling Prize for its master plan. Those Chumley Backslappers Anonymous at RIBA are apparently attempting to 'award themselves' a prize, as it is the scheme containing the most of its nominees.
Pic Chavasse Park This is the site of the old Customs House.
I should be proud of this achievement and be flagging up the fact. But I am not, this is a recent BD magazine letter after I reviewed the book Liverpool One
and subsequent reply from the Chief Architect which I think sums it up.

Liverpool One is an intriguing inclusion, which probably got its place for being the masterplan with most RIBA members involved in it. There are great things about it: finally you can walk from the city to Albert Dock (a route with overbearing shopping opportunities) in relative comfort, which is a big improvement, and it tries hard to knit into the city fabric around it. But it’s a monocultural, privately regulated streetscape, filled with high-street multiples and providing little variation in grain. Also, the monumental public space closest to the water is one of the strangest made in recent years, with a big residential tower bookending an elevated, over-manicured green space.
The problem with this Stirling Prize shortlist is that it has nothing to do with good architecture, and everything to do with the jury being given a bit of everything. So we have a health building, a masterplan, an office and an art museum, plus the two superstar typologies of Maggie’s Centre and winery. Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ health centre is another message sent - like the practice’s Westminster Academy in the context of new schools, Kentish Town Health Centre is the best primary care building of a wave of quite mediocre ones.
Well a Precinct could be up for a Stirling Prize! Is this the sad state of British Architecture apparent? I know we have been credit crunched but if this is the overall standard of this years architecture it is not the best of years.
For what Grosvenor have done to Chavasse Lawn and how it has helped to destroy the WORLD HERITAGE SITE, is very bad.....They promised us world class architecture a Cesar Pelli...and give us a Cesar Salad. And now they, at RIBA have nominated themselves for a prize for it.
BD magazine wrote:
and I quote:Can they really celebrate the masterplan while ignoring the fact that some of the buildings within it — indeed, whisper it, some of the BDP buildings within it — are pretty grisly?

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