The week ends with our correspondents sharing their views on the shortlisted designs for the Dundee V&A, supermarkets at loggerheads and a change of political allegiance.
In agreement with Jim’s gem of a pick
Sir,-It is only occasionally that I agree with the viewpoint of Jim Crumley. However, his remarks regarding his first choice of the V&A building should carefully be considered and given as much backing as possible.
I like many others have visited the exhibition and was impressed with the layout of it and the surroundings in which it was encased.
Having never had the occasion to visit Bell Street for many years I was astounded at the development to Abertay University. Having had it in my mind that it was still Bell Street technical college, albeit with a change of name, my narrow viewpoint and perception has rapidly been altered.
The library, in which the exhibition is housed, is an impressive building along with the Students’ Union building on the opposite side of the street. Taking into account the substantial extensions taking place around these buildings you then realise how much this seat of learning has expanded and is still expanding.
However, to return to the exhibition and Mr Crumley’s choice, I would certainly agree with his first and last choice. It is certainly disappointing to note the only Scottish entry is in our joint opinion the most uninspiring of the six.
Although beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, this entry by Sutherland Hussey to me is reminiscent of the Chancelot Mills flour building in Leith and to anyone familiar with it I am confident they wouldn’t wish to view it anywhere near the heart of a city.
It does cause me to reflect that when the Earl Grey Hotel was constructed it was considered by the majority of the public, despite a good interior, a cell-blockish, severe type of building that did nothing to enhance the waterfront.
I fear that if this entry, along with that of Steven Hall, were chosen they in their square type of design would be a blight on the Tay and would not stand the test of time.
Jim Crumley’s first choice is that of Rex or as the architects inspired name, A Scottish Bluebell, is also that of mine.
My impression of the building I would liken more, with its cut glass and its reflective features, to that of a beautifully-cut gemstone; adiamond set in a moving silver band. For anyone who has flown over the river on a sunny day, it truly is in reality a silver band.
This choice would also enhance and complement the Discovery Point centre, which is in itself a building erected with imagination and beauty installed in it.
Rex is also a building which is very observant of a carbon footprint in that its base, which narrows, is small for what is contained above and full use is made of the glass and reflective panels in respect of heating and air conditioning.
David C. Metcalf,Bridge Street,Broughty Ferry.
That sounds like a plan
Sir,-I see that Tesco are objecting to Asda’s proposed development on the Kingsway. Tesco wants Asda to occupy their previous site at the Stack in Lochee.
I hold no favour for either company but it is my observation that this is no bad idea. If Asda occupied the Stack site it would help regenerate the area, it would provide jobs locally and there are already ample car parking spaces available.
As they say in modern parlance, it is a no-brainer.
The council should be looking to regenerate existing areas without seeking to build even more developments for out-of-town retailers.
Brian Millar,Blackness Avenue,Dundee.
Preparing for oblivion?
Sir,-A few years ago David Steel earnestly adjured the Liberals to “go home and prepare for government.” Now it is something of a paradox when the Lib Dems are, at least partially, in power that the message before the next general election may be “go home and prepare for oblivion.”
During George Osborne’s Budget speech we had the unedifying sight of Nick Clegg nodding approval of measures he had fought tooth and nail against just weeks before.
More recently we have been told by the uninspiring Danny Alexander how close he is to George Osborne and last week on BBC’s Question Time we witnessed the erstwhile Labourite, now Tory supporter Vince Cable, being deservedly challenged and savaged by members of the audience for all his broken promises.
All my adult life I have voted for the Liberal Party but no longer can I support a party whose leadership puts power before principles.
Which begs the question, for whom do I vote next time round? The Tories, and have my ancestors spinning in their graves; Labour, whose new novice leader has just ruined, or at least delayed, his more experienced brother’s political career; or the SNP no comment!
To paraphrase Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, a plague on all their houses.
John R. Murdoch,4 Aldour Gardens, Pitlochry.