Saturday, 21 March 2009

Recession Depression

It's been a little while since I posted anything here. This may in part be down to me feeling rather unenthusiastic about my chosen career. Everything I'm seeing at work and reading in the press, is telling me that the whole architecture/landscape architecture/development industry in the UK is on the brink of meltdown.

According to the oracle that is Building Design, 1,290 fully qualified architects were signing on in February 2009; an increase of 760% from the same period last year. Workwise, the projects we still have on, seem to be stopping and starting with little pattern. Right now, everyone I work with seems to be crossing things, praying to whatever Gods they have and basically hoping like hell, that things improve in the new financial year. If it doesn't, we're all fucked.

Still it's nice to know that in such difficult times our professional organisation is still in good shape, right? Nope, the Landscape Institute is in pretty dire financial trouble too. The reasons seem to be pretty much the standard mix of over-optimism and straightforward incompetance. However, the result is that the LI appears to be in genuine danger of going bankrupt.

To this end, the Institute has asked it's members if it can lend them money (really), or come up with schemes to help raise funds. I'm imagining lots of people have suggested selling LI ties, pens and paper weights. Maybe one or two have come up with 'green' or sustainable schemes too.

But it's my opinion that only middle England can save the Landscape Institute now. I propose we mobilise the WI and have a nationwide programme of village fetes, with a concerted campaign of raffles and tombolas, to raise funds. Right, I'm off to write to the Daily Mail post-haste!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Loughborough Wharf

Having a bit of a nose through the image library at work, I spotted these recent photographs of Loughborough Wharf.

Apologies for the obvious nepotism. The public realm was designed by my colleague at Munro + Whitten, Lee Syacamore, with buildings by Metz Architects. I really do think it's an outstanding job and very tightly detailed.

The Wharf

Public Art in the main Plaza


More steps, but beautifully detailed ones.

The water's edge

Some nice paving!