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SUNDAY 21 DECEMBER 2014

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Brompton Crystal, London, United Kingdom

Tuesday 26 May 2009
 

Not so Crystal clear

 
 
 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 3

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03/06/09 WAN, London
Many thanks for your comments on this issue. To read the full speech by Prince Charles at the RIBA follow <a href="http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.commentview&comment_id=138">this link</a>
02/06/09 Temoor Ahmad, Madrid
Yeah, I wish I laughed. But instead I found my heart getting a wee bit heavier. <p>

The visualisations are poor (stylised which means masking a world of sins and shows no confidence in the proposal's impact on the context). If you are going to go "wacky" (technical term) then go full steam, those windows at 1st and 2nd (or 3rd) floor are nothing (60's housing estate proportions), why not just use the same proportions as per the adjacent windows for their "normal" ones.<p>

Make need to have a look at the Fred and Ginger Building in Vienna by Frank Gehry. That's how you do wacky in an established / conservative area (I don't even like the wilfulness of Gehry's manner but he is spot on there).
<p>
This design just looks like someone doing salsa classes concentrating on his neighbour's feet trying to follow but only getting 50% of it right i.e. a poor man's Libeskind Spiral.<p>

And one more comment to WAN, please do not misquote what Prince Charles said (I am no fan of his by the way), it makes you look like a tabloid rag - did you even hear or read his speech? He wasn't concerned with aesthetics (he may PREFER the traditional look) but was concerned with wilful form-making. To his credit he spoke highly of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art by I.M. Pei which I have also been to and is absolutely stunning. So let's get our facts right please.
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02/06/09 Roger Emmerson, Edinburgh
Levity? Damn right. We laughed when we saw it.
 

Editorial

Controversy surrounds Chelsea planning approval 

Ken Shuttleworth’s MAKE architects won planning permission on Thursday night for what is being touted by the planning committee as the most controversial modern design approval since that of Daniel Libeskind's Spiral for the Victoria and Albert Museum. To be situated in the quiet end of Knightsbridge, the Mansour Namaki commission, dubbed the Brompton Crystal, will be neighbour to Libeskind's project in Chelsea.

The controversy stems not only from the project's design for nine luxury flats over shops, but it's location in a conservation area. Replacing a 1960’s modern box amid Georgian and Victoria terraces, the building has a contextual masonry base as a setting for a facetted and triangulated upper section. The crystal approach enables a bigger building to appear less bulky by the carving of facets and setting back of the surfaces. Together the two elements are supposed to provide a sense both of gravity and of levity.

Objectors called for a more traditional approach and were against the extensive use of glass, whereas the Council’s design champion, Councillor Daniel Moylan, thought the design so good that it was a risk worth taking. Despite planning officers leaving the committee members with an open verdict, they advised that the Brompton Crystal could be a listed building of the future. The decision appears to be an early test case of modern versus traditional hot on the heels of the HRH Prince of Wales’s plea for more traditional architecture. More surprising was that it took place in a London authority most known for its conservative approach to architecture.

MAKE Architects worked together with Richard Coleman who advised the project on historic townscape matters. The pair previously worked together with Norman Foster on conceiving London's most famous modern tower, the Gherkin.

Key Facts

Status Planning approved
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Make Architects
www.makearchitects.com

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