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Thread: Dubai Opera House

  1. #16

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    Zaha's Oxford college extension branded 'awkward'

    From www.architectsjournal.co.uk

    Zaha Hadid's proposed extension to the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College in Oxford has been branded 'awkward' and 'in constant competition with its neighbours' by CABE.

    The commission's design review panel said the extension – a curvaceous Corian-clad link between two Victorian buildings – needed to be more 'sophisticated and delicate to relate' to the surrounding North Oxford conservation area.

    Dubbed the Softbridge, the three-storey scheme is intended to house a reading room, library, storage space and a lecture hall.

    However, the proposed internal layout of the project also came in for criticism from the design watchdog.

    The report reads: 'It appears unfortunate to position the archive and reading room behind the large south facing window; we wonder whether full sunlight and overheating could potentially compromise the usability of this space.'

    CABE concludes that the scheme – which it admits is on a difficult site, and succeeds in 'evoking a dramatic landscape' – should be reconsidered before detailed plans are submitted.

    The commission adds: 'We do not think a balance between the new Middle East Centre, the context and the adjacent buildings has yet been reached.

    'While we support the concept in principle, in order for the building to live up to its potential and meet the aspiration of the local authority, the college and the donor, the issues stated above need to be addressed before the planning permission is given.'

    Neither the college nor the architect was available for comment.

  2. #17
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    They made the correct decision, it doesn't look right.

  3. #18

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    Yeah. I hate to utter the word "contextuality" but....

    I really think tha places with ancient layouts / vernacular unity should cluster their imaginative, whacky new builds into new, expanding areas. Everyone benefits, IMHO.

  4. #19

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    Don't really like this one, seems impractical. I mean, what are they going to put in those really long sections? Plus I can't imagine it'd have the greatest acoustics.

    BTW I'm a believer that with tons of money you can buy the arts and by that I don't mean buying the Louvre name like Abu Dhabi did but real home grown stuff.
    Take classical music as an example. Right now Dubai only has one semi professional orchestra (which is probably not that great) and a good few amateur. Now if they want to create say, the Dubai Symphony Orchestra then it wouldn't be too difficult. Classical musicians are generally desperate for finding work and any job with a steady income is a golden opportunity. If they offered a big salary to go with it then you'd probably get 50 auditioning for each place. There's your great orchestra right there.
    Now you need to set up a good music school of good standard like conservatories in Europe, etc. and also loads of small ones. The interest for this stuff is always there, it's usually the funding that's the problem (like in my city) but it needn't be here.

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