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BSF Thread, Continuity of Service before/during BSF in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by PiqueABoo I've had a fair amount of contact with this world via t'other half whose first career ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    I've had a fair amount of contact with this world via t'other half whose first career as an "Interior Architect" was to try and make innovative artistic statements usable by real people. Thing is, although most architects get sentenced to a life of loft-conversions, a large part of it simply *is* about the art and artistic statements are what they are essentially trained to do.
    I can see they want to do lots of artistic things cos it's what they were trained in and enjoy doing but there has to be some praticality in it somewhere - I know of primary schools being built with so much glass without opening windows or air con they they had to close the school to be redone just after opening - I'm sure lots of people do want fancy stuff but at time a brick box with windows that open will do nicely too.

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    When I was Chair of Governors at a wave 1 BSF school, we had many discussions with wave after wave of architects & consultants. It became clear that the 'brief' from the client (ie the LA & DFES as it was then) was that the building "had to have impact, make a statement, demonstrate to parents & visitors how wonderful the new school looked". The architects were very keen on this aspect of the design as they saw it as an opportunity to make their mark and possibly gain some industry award for their design capabilities.

    There was little direction provided for things like usability, fit for purpose, sustainability etc. Form was to take priority over function.

    Being 'green' was ok too as long as it was not too expensive. (hence the reason the rainwater capture idea for use in toilets etc was soon abandoned).

    I remember during discussions with the architects that the concept of a 'shed' like building was floated by the school, with internally reconfigurable walls & partitions to increase/reduce teaching space size as the curriculum needs changed. The architects were very dismissive, saying nobody ever got an award for designing a shed!

    In the future, people will be able to look at secondary school buildings & identify which were BSF schools by their style, their lofty atria, and their miserable working environment. Also,they will be falling to bits after 25 years, as that is how long they will be built to last for under PFI.

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    Oh my! People designing non opening windowed glass walled buildings.... I bet these people that design them never have to work them in when the air con breaks down.



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