Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Regular readers will be aware of what I consider to be just about the most prolific bad architect in the UK. Step forward Archial, the conglomerate that will be shitting out something awful in your neighbourhood very soon. I've had reason to think that they read this blog before, but now I know they do. Imagine the scene.
"Lads, we have a 300-home masterplan to do in Scotland, but we're shite at masterplanning. What shall we do?"
"I can't remember where I saw it, but whoever it is who made those great drawings of the Leyland Bus site has got real talent - we should hire him/her."
And they obviously did. This masterplan is much, much worse, though, with an even bigger array of Brookside Close moments, and a truly flagrant disregard for any existing geographical or architectural features of the place. Councils! You can have better than this! Just commission a good architect (there are other websites with some of those on them) rather than an utterly shit one who will transplant an urban and architectural language from out of their arse into your town.
One helpful rule of thumb, from Nairn to you. When someone presents a masterplan with a perimeter of a line of trees, it means they're trying to hide something. Do not trust these people.

And the housing itself? Mush. Just mush.


  1. From BD Carbuncle Cup nominations discussion:

    "Veritas 21 July, 2009
    elephant, the problem is that some won't ever listen. So naming and shaming the bad (see the Bad British Architecture blogspot for more!) is possibly the only way we, the chattering masses, can vent our spleens regarding what is foisted upon us. The Missoni is possibly also a worthy contender for the Scottish Plook on the Plinth Award, as I agree, Allan Murray Architects is turning Edinburgh into somewhere which is offensive to the eye and the soul. Haymarket Metro is also grim, and if the Mucky Angel is to be relocated for this monster that's bad too. However, we could go on naming forever, too many stinkers of buildings for a Hall of Shame. So many architects crow about being 'award winning', possibly a Carbuncle Cup will in future be cited with pride."

  2. I know I shouldn't laugh, because actually this isn't really funny. But...other way is there to maintain sanity when faced with these monstrous behemoths of nastiness? Most of us only see the results when they are unveiled with a flourish, and dignitaries applaud. And then we must avert our eyes.

  3. what would you rather was done on that site?
    the scheme is inkeeping with the local area, architects basically have to do what local authorities say or schemes won't get approval! if you go to most authorities with a well designed scheme, they will complain because it is not inkeeping the poorly designed exisitng areas!

  4. You can always complain before they get built. If enough people campaign against something they will sit up and listen. Especially if you take more pro-active campaigning.

    If you can afford it buy some shares in the firms building the properties. Then turn up at shareholder meetings and bollock them. Better still, get the shareholders to hold a vote against the building's style/etc.

  5. I would like to nominate two recently built office-monsters in London's Mayfair. The first is on the corner of Hannover Square and St George Street which completely crushes the Queen Anne houses on either side of it. I can only imagined that while the architect was designing it someone must have borrowed his brain.

    The second is just being finished and is about 100 yards from the first on the corner of St George and Madox Streets where the new side elevation of a Queen Anne house restoration crushes all the other buildings in what would be a rather attractive London Street. This building is mat black (yes!) and oversails the narrow street by about 4 feet so as to break up the street line. I don't really blame the architect who is probably mentally subnormal but what the hell are the planning authorities doing in allowing it?

  6. In a city such as Edinburgh, there is so much fighting to stop progress to turn us into a world class destination, not just for tourism, but for business and commerce. We can't keep fighting against construction - how else will we leave our legacy to future generations or are we happy with just copying the old styles to fit in with the old?