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Probably the best advice I was given about one of my university projects was from Peter Salter.

Salter’s the type of architect who has only been commissioned to design a handful of buildings due to his unconventional approach to design and construction, besides his general awesomeness. On this occasion, he was invited to come and evaluate our studio’s final projects during and as I was an admirer of his work, I particularly wanted to hear his feedback.

Unfortunately he was quite unconvinced by my proposal to the point of saying “I just don’t get what you’re trying to achieve here”. Some architecture tutors, at this point, would leave to for a coffee or cigarette without explaining what they didn’t understand but to his credit, Peter continued ripping my scheme apart for a good half hour.

I think the best part of the discussion was that while it’s important to be emotionally attached to the building you’re designing, it was probably the first time I really felt a building actually change in my mind during a review, rather than in the studio afterwards. Previously, I had been too precious about my designs, despite knowing that an architecture school environment is aimed at developing your talents, not just being an arena to show them off.

Salter didn’t redesign my building for me, and the final design changed considerably from the scheme he saw, but it was a grounding experience that has honed way I question my designs ever since.

Building Design have just featured a brief summary of one of his lectures from 1991 (together with Chris Macdonald) and it reminded me how little press he receives compared to how much he rightly deserves.

There’s also some beautiful images by archidose of his work here.
Light monitor

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It seems a strange time  for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to be building a new stadium. However, the depths of recession clearly pale into insignificance when you’re riding high in 4th place in the Premier League.

The main opposition arrises in that the new stadium in Harringey, London would sit on 15 historically listed buildings. Spurs are arguing that their 434 new homes, club museum and adjacent hotel will more than compensate the local population but complaints have already been made by Save Britain’s Heritage who have drawn up their alternative vision of the site.

Grade II listed buildings can currently only be altered under strict planning restraints so it will be interesting to see how this scheme fares at the planning stage over the next few weeks. I can’t see it sailing through but maybe the roof’s “NAMING RIGHTS” should read “WATCH THIS SPACE”.