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Well, is Will Alsop all he is cracked up to be?

  • Yes - he is a true modern visionary for the new age

    Votes: 9 16.7%
  • Yes - but he needs to lay off the drugs a little

    Votes: 11 20.4%
  • No - he is a bit of a shyster isn't he?

    Votes: 13 24.1%
  • No - he doesn't know his fat hairy arse from Uranus

    Votes: 21 38.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
YOU DECIDE!!!!!
 

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There was a discussion some time ago in the Construction section about Will Alsops ideas. Gothic was very anti but me and a few other people were sticking up for Alsop and the way he approaches architecture, daring to think differently. Opinions are very divided though, I guess it depends on what you think architecture should be.
 

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i am very anti yes. his ideas are basically, lets do a blob here, another blob there, now lets link them up by a massive road. i HATE modernism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
His sense of urban aesthetics is certainly pretty skewed, that's putting it rather politely.

There seems to be a distinct whiff of "let's be audacious and make everything incongruous and disharmonious purely for the sake of it shall we?" in just about every proposal he comes up with. That fourth "grace" should NEVER have left his drawing board (assuming he uses one that is - for all we know it could be a large cocaine wrap).

It makes his detractors quite rightfully view all his ideas with deep suspicion.
 

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You've got to wonder what middlesbrough council and tees valley regeneration were thinking of when they practically allowed him to design an entire new city at Middlehaven. He had buildings designed to replicate a giant toaster, a space invader, a champagne glass and various other wierd blobby heaps. One alsop building is enough, but to place £300m of faith in him is just pure fucking stupidity.

 

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*Sigh*

I would say he has made architecture fun again. At least he has somethin g interesting to say with his work, unlike the endless glass and steel (and generally bland) identikit architecture that's popping up across the world.

His renderings are mad, his buildings ARE crazy, but you cannot deny that in the flesh his buildings work. Peckham library works, North Greenwich Tbe station works, Heron Quays DLR station works and Palestra is shaping up to be quite a cult building.

At least he is pushing the envelope and getting architecture back on people's minds. Fair enough that giant tedddy bear or toaster ideas are a bit mad, but then I'm sure someone would have said a giant gherkin or a wedge shaped skyscraper would have been 'too crazy' for a city. His use of colour is a breath of fresh air in London especially with its grey skies, and I would say he has a real passion in being quite visionary and thinking outside of the usual thought process. He might need to tone down the unreadable renderings, but at least his flair and originality come across to everyone.
 

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DarJoLe said:
*Sigh*

I would say he has made architecture fun again. At least he has somethin g interesting to say with his work, unlike the endless glass and steel (and generally bland) identikit architecture that's popping up across the world.
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It isn't necessary to choose. The glass and steel is horrible and so is Alsop's work. We've had a hundred years of architect's pretentiously looking for something "to say" instead of designing attractive buildings and it's been a global aesthetic catastrophe.
 

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I would say his renderings & intial ideas & thoughts are ...lets just say a little abstract but when his buildings are actually built they are generally quite good- some good ones & some a little too out there.

As mentioned Palestra is looknig good as are his transport designs, N Greenwhich, Heron Quay & his designs for Blackfriars bridge look good.
 

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I think what he does is he over-designs project more than he actually intends them to be.

However, he knows that what's on the drawing board is never the finished product. So, he knows that a client would want a building that, say, a '3' on the wierdness scale. He then goes for a 12 on that same scale knowing full well that he'll never get away with it. However, it then forces the client to try and compromise. So, in the end you get a building that's a 6 or 7 on the 'uniqueness' scale.

Palastra is a good example - compare the early rendorings with what's happening now - it's basically the same building but it's been much more toned down. It'll be interesting to see what his original North Greenwich and Heron Quay rendors were like to see how they compare.
 

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I think his tamest work is some of his best. Palestra is quite a quiet effort for him and I think it's starting to look realy quite good.
 

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Against ID Cards
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He just needs to be a bit less abstract and I would like him alot more. At least he uses colour, which more buildings should do.
 

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i looked over this thread again and i realised something - whenever i slag off alsop its actually his masterplan. when he designs more than one building i utterly hate what he produces, but as people have said palestra and peckham library are both great. the problem is when they let him onto other things than a single project, then he goes a bit nuts and over designs.
 

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His northen masterplan was a bit crazy, skyscrapers randomly dotted along motorways just sounds like hell. However it was never intended to be a seirous proposal, just a collection of ideas about how to rejuvinate the north (unfortunately many of those ideas were bollocks.

I wouldn't mind one of his buildings in Leeds. The key word in that sentence is one though ;)
 

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gothicform said:
i looked over this thread again and i realised something - whenever i slag off alsop its actually his masterplan. when he designs more than one building i utterly hate what he produces, but as people have said palestra and peckham library are both great. the problem is when they let him onto other things than a single project, then he goes a bit nuts and over designs.

Id agree with that- his architecture is often decentish - his sense of urban design is appalling. If youve ever heard him interviewed on his views on cars and roads you can understand why.
 

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dronkula said:
It'll be interesting to see what his original North Greenwich and Heron Quay rendors were like to see how they compare.
North Greenwich was basically the same but he didn't want the roof, he wanted people to be able to see the inner workings of the station and see the trains underground from above so to speak. LU said though it needed to be an enclosed space and he reluctantly roofed it over. But remember the actual street level station was designed by Foster - I'd have liked to have seen this is Alsop had designed it.

Not sure about Heron Quays, but check out his designs for the North Quay Bridge at Canary Wharf on his website - certainly something Canary Wharf needs to brighten up the area...
 

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Wil Also is currently redeveloping Middlesbrough'd docks both with the masterplan, and now with all the architecture. There is NO consideration of the principles of urban design which were rediscovered in the light of the failure of almost all major developments based on purely an architects vision. 'Middlehaven' has been dubbed an architects playground, as though thats an amazing thing. However it is just a load of cubes and blobs set in a vast park. Looks amazing as a pice of art in glorious CGI tecnicolour, but in reality? God knows. This is not town building, its object plonking - so says the well known comment on Alsop
 

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I would say he is somewhat misunderstood.

He tends to talk and render in abstract concepts but he tends to build robust, successful and much loved buildings.

He prepared the strategic framework for New Islington in Manchester and has designed one of the buildings there which is now under construction. Its just plain lazy to dismiss him as the proponent of "blobs". My reservation with Alsop, as Rigadon, is his sense of urban design.
 
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