Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Co-Architect 2

Our nearest little town built a new library a couple of years ago.
It has lots of good books, records, magazines etc & very helpful staff, so we are very pleased to have it.

The architecture always struck me as odd, with wavy roof-line & uneven pink/orange paint, but I can accept that those are matters of taste.
At least it is not boring.
They seem to have got the steps & wheelchair access right too.

Less good is the sharp concrete wall next to the first parking space, which is just too low to be seen by drivers & just high enough to gouge bodywork instead of nudging tyres when you fail to see it, which lots of paying customers have obviously done already.

Then this door – aren't you supposed to think what is on both sides of a door when you design it?

If I decided to hide untidy-looking parked bicycles from easily-shocked eyes (and I wouldn't, because that provides cover for thieves & vandals) then I certainly would not choose a shoulder-high, flame-cut, unfinished, rusty wall of boiler-plate.
Would you?

At first, I thought it was a temporary emergency measure, but then I saw they had used the same technique as a hand-rail for adjacent steps & it is still there 2 years later.
The architect must have wanted it like that.

How can I trust his judgment on anything else?
This is just an insult to customers who may rub their hands & clothes on the rough, rusty surface, quite apart from making the new building look derelict already.

I can't imagine what they were thinking of when they designed the bottom corner of the building here.

The overhung wedge of earth is totally unusable & ungrowable & just catches wind-blown debris.
Why is it there?

This is the main entrance lobby.
It has a big radiator just behind the door to keep it warm.

But no automatic closing spring on the door.
There has been a notice on the door all winter, asking customers to kindly shut it.
Most of them do, but this is a library for small children too…
I never saw a door like that without a closing device.

They needed a co-architect & a check list.

Parting thot: "People think computers will keep them from making mistakes. They're wrong. With computers you make mistakes faster." - Adam Osborne

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