THERE IS A TREND FOR BUILDING UGLY FLATS ALONGSIDE THE RAIL LINE THAT RUNS PARALLEL WITH THE A77.
In my Ugly New Flats post I analysed flats opposite the McDonald’s and Cuthbertson Street. I suggested that the biggest crime was the planners’ rigid adherence to “The building Line”. Now lets move a little closer to the city — a few metres north and there is another new block of flats, completed just a few months later.
Look at the picture, the ugly new flats opposite Cuthbertson Street are still visible in the middle-left. The green boarding is what was once Wylie’s Ford Dealership (still showing on the Google Map is the white Deco frontage of the dealership’s main showroom and offices), now cleared away for more ugly flats with bars at the windows, graffiti and a “penthouse” with shite views!
These flats, in this picture, obscure St. Ninian’s — and they offer a view of the railway but also of a Kwik Fit repair shop! But these flats are set back with balconies so that the owners can wave to people on the double decker buses! The balconies do not get much sun, and again, it seems incredible that they built so close to the pavement on such a busy road. Oh, if only architects were free to build freely again! Then again, there are a few things about this building that are design flaws — so what a shame for the lovely people who have to actually live there.
For a start, look at the stupidity of the design of the controlled entry — you are supposed to stand out in the rain on a noisy, busy main road. You press the button and listen for the voice coming from the wee speaker — then you speak into the microphone. Then the person indoors releases the door lock — and you have to dash a metre and a half to get in through the door before the lock comes on again! Madness!
Surely they could have made a small vestibule or just put the buzzers nearer the door!
- And did you notice the drainpipe? A Big black pipe that comes out of the building’s wall, turns again, but at 45 degrees, turns again at 45 degrees and then 90 degrees back into the building. What the hell is that all about?No doubt some strange new regulation.
If we turn about and look north toward the city centre, the contrast with St. Ninian’s church is all the more striking. As the building that connected to the church has recently been demolished, things are not looking good for this wee church. I do hope they don’t knock it down too!
The church and the Tramway (and surrounding tenements) have been around for a hundred years, I wonder how long these ugly flats will survive — not long if build quality is anything to go by. Look at the rendering on the corner — the main façade that catches the sun and presents the building to the traffic — it’s got a ridiculous number of brick vent cassettes poking through the render — and these are at all sorts of depths and angles. Damned planning department and new stupid regulations. These vents spoil the whole point of a smooth render — they would have been far less noticeable in the mortar between the bricks. And what’s with the bars at the windows — one would have thought that bars would have been more likely on lower floors to prevent burglary — please don’t tell me that there is some regulation that now insists on bars for safety reasons on higher floors; that would be too much!
And, hey, no matter what the architect thought his or her block of flats would look like — people come along, move in and up go the satellite dishes! Predictable at that — but very very ugly! It would have been nice to have made some design provision for this sort of thing, from communal/ shared dishes to some roof space allocation, but the planning department of the council would not allow for any dishes, so the architect cannot take them into account.
The picture is of that stupid controlled entry and the ugly black pipe — but it also shows the detergent seeping out of the blockwork mortar as white staining. Poor build quality indeed. The picture of the right shows the low building standard — a bit shoddy and roughly done.
Oh, and can anyone explain the dropped kerb at the Bus Lane with the double yellow lines?
Yes, I am afraid that, in this case, the problems do not seem confined to the planners — the design and build seem to me to be at fault too. If the council departments are supposed to protect occupants and owners from this, then they have clearly failed here. If they exist to preserve architectural heritage, maintain the locale or make things better, then in that they have also failed. I am just amazed that they passed, that they were signed off as complete, and that they comply with all regulations and recommendations!
Of course, in the present housing shortage, these flats will be snapped up — people will make the best of what they can get (they always do), I just wonder why we have to make it so hard for them!