7 Jan 2012

Kevin Mccloud's got the wrong end of the stick...

For all of you that got to see 'Kevin's Grand Design' on channel 4 on Thursday night, what did you think??

For me, fair enough, he was trying to solve a social housing problem, something that has been tried unsuccessfully all over the country.. but i cant bring myself to say that his attempt was any better. If anything the recession that prevented him from selling the 4 bedroom houses privately did him a favour as I don't think anyone would have bought the houses anyway!

Understandably, we do only get to see what is shown on the television, but clearly there were huge issues with management and planning, specification, and basic design... and this is what I'm going to have a rant about now!

First the colours.. and them chimneys. What on earth was he thinking? The houses are going to look so outdated in 5 years!

I did like the central triangle and feel the masterplan of the site does work well. It encourages interaction and in no way limits dwelling numbers.. it is a shame the idea of parking in the rear garden couldn't materialise.. because of an idiot architect that specifies doors with a handle on one side!! I mean really?? And when this issue came up, why on earth did they not change the door rather than re-landscaping the entire site to include parking at the front of the properties??!

However, my biggest bugbear.. was that the houses were static and could in no way be adapted for change. They can't be extended at the back, the front nor in to the loft space... in fact there was no loft space, not even for storage! All them young families he moved in will no doubt be growing over the next few years resulting in a need for more space.. which their new house cannot offer in anyway. They will have to move.. Not very sustainable if you ask me. A HUGE mistake with the development.

This short video shows how architecture can be adapted for growing and shrinking families.


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