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Drummond House

Drummond House Drummond House Drummond House Drummond House Drummond House

A building which extends the architects preoccupation with ‘Place, Programme & Presence’ as a guiding narrative in the creation of new Scottish architecture.

19 Comments

  1. Craig Robb
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Why do so many architects create buidlings which are the spawn of the hideous 60′s cubism revival?

    Practically all new buildings share this theme and it is completely depressing.

    I do not have an architecture or art background but I appreciate good buildings. Not many seen on this site.

    Architects – Stop slapping each other on the back for hideous designs that are appreciated by the minority (yourselves).

    Have we lost the ability to build beautiful?

    • Posted August 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

      Craig. I understand where you are coming from, but I think you may need to brush up on your building typology somewhat. What we have here is no more than a play on the archetypal ‘barn’ form, which is probably the most suited form considering its location. However, I am not saying I ‘love’ this building, but once the landscaping and planting have matured I think that it will sit well in the landscape and certainly be better than any bollocks a volume house builder would erect.

      • Craig Robb
        Posted August 5, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

        Hi Mark

        Points taken and I agree with the mass market house buildings comment. That’s another building related gripe of mine!

        I just don’t understand how on earth this could be considered one of Britians ‘best buildings’. As a lay member of the public I would just think this another industrial unit. I also cannot understand the current fascination for the metal, glass and wood combo. If there is ever an example of why not to do this I suggest people have a look at the Dundee APEX hotel. It looks like a rotting carcass of an adsurd council estate building (Its actually a 4 star hotel)

        Having had a whine, I do like some examples of local modern architecture. The Queen Mother Building at the University of Dundee is superb! Also, Abertay University Library is fantastic and the combination of glass structure and red standstone is striking. A particular favourite is the Maggie’s Centre at Ninewells Hospital.

        It may all be down to personal taste but I believe these buildings are welcoming certainly more human friendly to the eye.

  2. Sheila Krawczyk
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    I fail to understand how planning permission was obtained for this structure. Having tried unsuccessfully for 8 years to obtain planning permission to build a traditional cottage style building in a rural location in Angus I may now try to obtain planning consent for what is visually a tractor shed. I assume consent was given as it was built adjacent to such a shed! Was it listed as an agricultural building on the planning application?
    I think planning officials and architects have a lot to answer for in what is happening in rural areas.

    • Craig Robb
      Posted August 7, 2009 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

      Hi Shiela

      I completely sympathise with your situation. Many planners and architects appear to be in the same little bubble which allows for striking new developments but brush aside traditional, sympathetic builds. I laugh when they start start talking lyrical about creating ‘new dimensions’ and ‘bringing the outside inside’ .

      There was even a green belt (can’t remember which one) where radical new designs were actively sought to ‘enhance’ the architectural heritage of the area. As you know, green belts are hideously hard to build on so your proposal would not even have been looked at. What was built looked like a 2 storey nuclear bunker that had been pushed above ground. Widely applauded and completely environmentally unsustainable. Pathetic.

      Hope you have some luck in your own proposal!

      • Dan
        Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

        As an architect and a lecturer I have to agree that this building is awful, reading some of the comments on this site I think its important to remamber that there are many different facets within architecture.

        Please dont tar us all with the same brush, Buildings should be designed based on history, site specific environmental considerations, sustainability, and aesthetic quality.

        Unfortunatly in recent years there has been a growing trend for crap building designs that bear no relevance to their chosen location and could be situated anywhere. This “off the peg architecture” Is the love of building contractors and planners the world over and the bane of the talented designer.

        Such buildings are condemming the proffession, but please spare a thought for the Architect, who can sometimes have their visions of beautiful buildings destroyed by under educated and talentless planning officials. The changes imposed on a building design in rural areas by over zealous planners can quite often lead to despoilation of areas of natural beauty rather than the enhancement.

        Ultimately appreciation of any creation wil always be objective and so it will always be almost impossible to please everyone, however by learning from a site and responding appropriately, with a good design and planning team, architecture can sometimes get it right.

        • sanity claus
          Posted September 1, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

          Are their any buildings of yours we could review here Dan? I’m interested to see your contribution to Britains Best Buildings as your critique here seems very wide of the mark in relation to this particular building, which seems to me quite site specific, and as far from ‘off the peg’ as one could get.
          The Proffession (sic) is one which should celebrate diversity and recognise quality amongst its peers. Yours is a mean spirited and narrow view, particularly from someone who proffesses (sic).

          • Dan
            Posted September 10, 2009 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

            Yes diversity is essential.
            When I say off the peg i am not reffering to barrat type housing but the material and stylistic trends in architecture that are repeated regardless of location.

            How does it respond to site? I am not blindly obstinate and can change my mind… Does making it look like the steel cattle shed in the background cross-bred with a barn conversion equal “site specific”??

            I have no doubt that the spacial qualities inside will be exceptional but this will be due to the external natural landscape.

            The site looks quite exposed, I would be interested to see how the elemental aspects and weather patterns helped to generate the form and the “local” source of the cladding materials.

            yes my previous comment was a little curt and i apologise, however it would take a lot to convince me that this building is responding to its environment.

            diversity is important, but diversity happens naturally based on location and imposing diversity that is not an evolution based on habitat will lead to conflict.

  3. CRITIC
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I can see both points here as I am familiar with all the buildings mentioned. I am no expert but I try to appreciate the area I live in and the architecture surrounding me. This building is known as the “Shed” and I can see why. It just looks like a modern barn conversion with a twist but I can see it will fit in with the landscape.
    My problem with the Queen Mother Building is although it is different externally, it is not very practical, or nice, inside. It is difficult to furnish a building with curved walls. There are also “pods” inside which are very difficult to make full use of as a lot of floor space is wasted with the sweeping, closing areas required.
    Maggie’s Centre I like as I think it pokes a bit of fun at the norm. Beau Peep’s foreign legion cap sitting on the top of a hill, tickles me.
    Apex, Dundee, hideous. Looks like a kit home gone wrong and the painters forgot to varnish it.
    Abertay Library, agreed great! Fits well in the area with the red sandstone with the glass giving it a modern edge.
    I like Victorian Buildings which I appreciate are difficult to work with but the facades of Ibrox Stadium and Hampden Park appeal to me as they have tried sympathetically, to combine the old and new. I like when when an effort is made to use what is already there instead of ripping everything down and trying to impress others with a carbunkle that clearly doesn’t fit in. I’ve spoken to an architect who has several buildings under his belt. He admitted he went out of his way to get noticed in his early days and was very surprised when his early ideas were taken on. Doesn’t like many of the buildings he does now but has to now follow that vane as it pays his lifestyle.

    • Craig Robb
      Posted August 7, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

      Shocking to hear about your friends early days!

      I have seen this problem at a University. The architecture students (quite rightly) fall over themselves to create an interesting building design. Shame they pretty much all look the same with the expected glass, wood and steel combo. 5 years learning how to emulate their pre-decessors, marvellous!

    • Irene
      Posted August 7, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

      If the remit for this property was to blend in with its surroundings, then its suceeded. I now think I’ve driven past and though it was just another agricultural construction with no architectural merit whatsoever. Maybe in 100 years time someone will convert it into a barn!
      I like the Queen Mother Building exterior, have never been inside to comment on the practicalities of it though. The link between the OMS and Chemistry building at the University of Dundee a few years ago is also worthy of comment. Modern steel and glass between the two old buildings sits well.

  4. cjhanson
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Correctly identified by public opinion as a shed there is nothing playful about this design. When the surrounding landscaping matures we may be lucky and find that it obscures it from view.

    • Craig Robb
      Posted August 7, 2009 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

      Here Here!

  5. Rebelina
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    It looks an eyesore. I shake my head in woe every time I drive past. Particularly as it’s built on a flood plain. This area has been flooded before (I remember it in my lifetime), and the SEPA maps show it is has a high flood risk. Unless I’ve missed something, it really wasn’t a suitable design for an area that floods. See http://tinyurl.com/lwxlpa

    • Ross Drummond
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

      Rebelina,

      This building is clearly not an eyesore ( although I may be slightly biased!!!). It is an innovative piece of architecture which blends with its surroundings, this is why it has been recognised so widely and won so many awards! As for flooding, the ground around the house was raised by a few feet and it is only a small burn that is adjacent to the property. The risk of flooding is minimal to say the least. We love our new home and are very proud of it. I think if you saw it for what it actually is then you would understand why it is a class building. Doing something different is always going to create a reaction and I think the amount of debate on here displays what an unusual and thought provoking building this is!

      Kind Regards,
      Ross Drummond

  6. Lorens Holm
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    In my opinion, this building is about simplicity: simple form, simple ideas, simple relation to its surroundings. In this respect, it responds with sympathy to its landscape, which is elemental. It suggests to me that the stylistic debate (trad vs contemp) is a red herring.

    Lorens Holm

  7. sanity claus
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    The lady who has been unsuccessful securing planning permission in 8 years for a ‘traditional cottage style’ house would have been better employing the architects of this clever design.

    Modern architecture at its best has always been the subject of controversy. Indifference in this case would be far more damning.

  8. sanity clause
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Dan
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 10:31 PM | Permalink
    Yes diversity is essential.
    When I say off the peg i am not reffering to barrat type housing but the material and stylistic trends in architecture that are repeated regardless of location.

    How does it respond to site? I am not blindly obstinate and can change my mind… Does making it look like the steel cattle shed in the background cross-bred with a barn conversion equal “site specific”??

    I have no doubt that the spacial qualities inside will be exceptional but this will be due to the external natural landscape.

    The site looks quite exposed, I would be interested to see how the elemental aspects and weather patterns helped to generate the form and the “local” source of the cladding materials.

    yes my previous comment was a little curt and i apologise, however it would take a lot to convince me that this building is responding to its environment.

    diversity is important, but diversity happens naturally based on location and imposing diversity that is not an evolution based on habitat will lead to conflict.

    REPLY

    Notice there’s a spread on this in the current ‘Homes and Interiors Scotland’ Dan which might (or might not!) assuage your uncertainty. After seeing it I’m more convinced by this design.

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