Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Bad Architecture part I

The architecture series will comprise of the Toad's judgemental and righteous views on some of Britain's buildings. There will be a Good Architecture series and a Bad Architecture series. Readers are welcome to send in their photos of buildings that they think would make good entries in either the good/bad architecture series.

In reaction to RIBA's member's policy of ignoring public - and therefore "ignorant" - views on their creations, there will be no Right of Reply to the Bad Architecture series, meaning that comments may be struck out even for just providing a counterpoint. It's unfair and it's meant to be.

We kick off the architecture series with Lincoln's favourite eyesore - The Lincoln School of Architecture (ironically).

A chap called Rick Mather is responsible for this gem. From RIBA News* "The University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture moved from Hull to Lincoln last year. The £10m building was designed by internationally renowned architect Rick Mather". What a wonderfully versatile word "renowned" is.
The Toad strongly suspects that Mr. Mather's design was the eleventh hour casualty of a cancellation of a US military contract for an accommodation unit in the Nevada desert. If it wasn't scarring the view in it's present location, readers would be able to see the magnificent medieval cathedral that it so effectively obscures.
Although the photo was taken on a cloudy day, the colour is faithfully off-white and yes, that lower section is bare breeze block. What the camera doesn't show very well is the top section weather-staining. Give it another couple of years and Mr. Mather's creation will blossom into the full-on, Sixties-revivalist icon that I assume it is meant to be.
The Toad has only ever met one man who likes the ghastly aberration and, you guessed it, he was an architect. The balance of respondents to Toad's enquiries (many scores of people), hate it.
However, in a twist of irony - from RIBA news again - : "The RIBA’s decision to relocate its East Midlands regional office to the University of Lincoln - at the heart of regeneration - will help to establish stronger links ....blah, blah..."*. So it would seem that some of RIBA's members will have the soul destroying prospect of having spend their working lives at Moonbase Alpha. There's some justice, at least.

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