Tuesday, 25 August 2009


You might have to click on this one to see it properly, but it is a quite remarkable drawing of possibly the ugliest sports hall you'll ever see. What's really, really bad about Archial is that they can't just accept they're rubbish. They feel a pressing need to 'do design', making funky (as in 'offensively malodorous') windows as in the right-hand side of the north elevation, and bizarre supergraphics.
The supergraphic totally confused me to begin with, until I realised it's a cack-handed version of an Otl Aicher pictogram. It's someone curling, of course. Although it looks at best like an Edwardian rugby player, and at worst someone readying themselves for a painful shafting.
OK, a little competition with this post. Can you make head or tail of Archial director Charles Smith?
From the press release: Charles Smith, director at Archial Architects, said, “The general design features of the building reflect the intentions for a world class facility. The elevational treatment of the building is suitably distinctive and will enhance the site’s sense of identity and linkages to the adjacent rural character, using natural, sustainable materials such as timber cladding within the scheme, which creates a horizontal emphasis to the building."
Hm, OK. I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean.
“The use of different materials externally relates directly to the internal composition, therefore linking the internal space arrangements with the external appearance which, in turn, relates to the site and its origins."
Sorry, Charles, you've lost me there.
“Whilst the development is to become an integral part of one of Kinross-shire’s main settlements, the palette chosen specifically reflects the rural setting, enhancing the natural materials and complementing the landscaped setting.”
Yep. Absolutely no idea what you're getting at. Good luck with the planning application, though. The committee should be like a Beckett play if he carries on like that. Might be worth sitting in...


  1. Love the quotes.

    Really reflects the rural setting well I think.

  2. Just baffled, me. Totally, like, not a clue of what they are rabbitting about.

  3. I think they're trying to say that the building has bits of tree on it. Just like the landscape ?

    All I can glean from the press release is that the inside will look as bad as the outside.

  4. Also, why is there a silhouette of Alberta on the north side?

  5. How about:

    "We've used stuff inside, and stuff on the walls, that's like the stuff outside. The stuff is also natural looking and therefore probably be good for the environment."

  6. Architects have to be the best bullshitters in the world. They haven't fooled us of course, but what does that matter. They're got their client and the planners lapping it up. Job done!

    When will people learn that material plagiarism does not equal contextual sensitivity. There's bits of tree on the walls cause there's bits of tree on the site...? If it's a curling centre, then by that logic they should have built it on a frozen lake.

  7. all the rural buildings where i live have slanted rooves and curtain walls.

  8. Hello

    I'm new around here but I think it's very unfair to criticise Archial who are after all one of the top design companies in Scotland - along with Keppies and 3D Reid that is. As the man says - "world class".


  9. "Top design companies" and "world class" according to whom and by what measures/standards?

    I think its very fair to criticise them and I wouldn't take what the man says to be true or of any merit whatsoever.

  10. I don't think its fair to criticize them . its someones creative ideas and we all don't think alike. i give them credit . i think i've learnt alot from there design. just focus on the positive part . this men have greet minds and ideas. more also every design isn't 100% perfect.