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Squire and Partners in Lambeth

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by ricbake, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Well spotted. I guess if people tire of the electrical lightning-effect inside the glass at night we could launch a campaign to have the dome restored!
     
    editor likes this.
  2. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm not convinced it needed removing at all, but I guess everything has to make way for their show-off vanity dome.
     
  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I just took a bit of a look inside and it has to be said there's been no expense spared in the refurbishment. There's even a little courtyard on the ground floor.
     
  4. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    Can anyone come in for a look, or is it by permission only?
     
  5. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Permission only at the moment. I wasn't exactly there in an 'official' capacity so took no pics.
     
    T & P likes this.
  6. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member


    It's a really nice pub to spend time in with all those booths and the bright rear area
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  7. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    Surely the 'storefront' of a business that specialises in luxury development is going to reflect that in terms of the finishes and fittings
     
  8. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It certainly does that. It's lovely to see such a beautiful building being restored. I just wish it was for all of us.

    I've grown to really dislike that glass dome, by the way. it doesn't fit with the landscape at all and just seems like showing off.
     
  9. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    Was it ever a public building? It used to be a department store but those are really only freely accessible to people who have money to spend there.
     
  10. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Well, just about anyone can walk around a department store without feeling compelled to buy anything.
     
  11. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    I'd imagine if it was re-developed as a shopping centre in this day and age, it would be much more 'Selfridges' than 'Morleys'..

    Hopefully at some point Squires will do something that benefits the community in some way..
     
  12. Reiabuzz

    Reiabuzz Well-Known Member

    I think we should allow people to walk around their offices because that's what companies do. That's community spirit.
     
    urbanspaceman and Mr Retro like this.
  13. Reiabuzz

    Reiabuzz Well-Known Member

    This is a top architectural practice, doing amazing work across london. And we're bitching? This isn't foxton's taking over a building ffs.
     
  14. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    I'm not bitching, I think it is great they are moving to Brixton.

    I worked many many years ago in a big design business in Kings Cross that had its own restaurant and bar, we still spent money in local businesses.
     
  15. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    They've done such a good job on the renovation of the exterior of the building that I'm happy enough to enjoy that without feeling that I should be entitled to inspect the interior of a private building at will. It's a positive contribution to the street scene and for an example of a negative contribution you only have to look at what Travelodge have done (I've probably already made this point on this tread).
     
    urbanspaceman likes this.
  16. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The current portfolio includes some very high end luxury developments for the super rich right across the globe, so I'm sure they can afford it! They must be making a mint.

    Some of their stuff looks quite nice but this is awful - a real eyesore. Totally inappropriate for Kensington, IMO.

    [​IMG]

    It does that 'burrowing' thing that is so popular with the stinking rich:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    That is one fugly building
     
    editor likes this.
  18. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    They have been very helpful to the Friends of Windmill Gardens and our new education/community building - working pro bono and going over and above the call of duty.
    I guess they can do this type of work by also doing high end stuff for people who can afford it
    I operate on the same basis for my work..... :)
     
  19. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Love Lambeth

    Brixton Windmill Education Centre
     
  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Not having a go at Squires in particular here. But the question I ask is why is it up to the largesse of big business to do this? Back in 60s and ,70s architects , employed by Councils, were designing community facilities. Councils were building them. Take the flats by Imperial War Museum. Designed by Finch. With community hall built in. Now gone. Back then post war society had seen redistribution of wealth and power to the working class. Post Thatcher and it's back to the largesse and philanthropy of the well off if one gets things like this.

    Doing the windmill is good PR. I don't believe they do high end work do so they can do community projects. I'm not criticising Windmill charity for getting Squires in. But let's not get carried away. Squires are a business. If Windmill charity can get something out of them all well and good. But let's not be to grateful.
     
    editor likes this.
  21. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Take your point - but unfortunately we are now in a neo-Victorian era like when the Tates and Carnegies had libraries built.

    You might have heard of "The Sage Gateshead" which is a culture centre in Gateshead with concert hall, theatre etc presumably paid for by Sage - the accounting software company.

    What pisses me off is how Lambeth Council have completely botched the libraries. Almost like pissing on Andrew Carnegie's grave (not that he was a nice man though).
     
    sparkybird and Gramsci like this.
  22. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's all about PR. Throw a relatively microscopic bit of cash around to cash-strapped local concerns - and make sure your name is mentioned in dispatches - and let the positive PR roll in.

    I'm glad that a handful of local charities are benefiting, but they're a long, long way from being a company that really gives a shit about the area and all its problems.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  23. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    I've been involved in a fair few corporate sponsorships (not at the windmill) when I worked in the voluntary sector. Some expected huge amounts of PR in return for very little cash. I don't think Squire's even come close. If I hadn't mentioned it, would you have known?
    And their input has saved thousands of pounds for this charity.

    They seem open to suggestions, so maybe they could be approached for other projects? What could they do to 'give a shit'?
     
  24. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Squires very likely do the Windmill because they enjoy it as well as because it's a good turn. It is probably more interesting than doing yet another expensive private housing block. Many or most architects are not primarily motivated by making cash. They would rather do interesting (and/or socially useful) jobs that pay OK than boring jobs that pay better. As Gramsci points out there are not as many of the former type around as there once were. Stuff like social housing is no longer done by councils in house and what there is tends to be done on design and build contracts with budgets cut to the bone. I don't know anything about the bosses of Squires but I imagine they might prefer doing libraries and social housing if there was enough of that kind of work about, and if there was scope in the fees to put proper time into it and have genuine control over the outcome.

    This is why making Squires a target is a bit unfair. Yes they do high end work and yes the directors probably do rather well out of it. The bulk of the employees will not be on extravagant salaries. The company has chosen to invest heavily in their building, which means those employees get a good working environment. They are also getting criticism for running annual jollies abroad. Again this seems like something that is done for the benefit of employees. Money that otherwise could go into the bosses' pockets. They appear to be a company who treat their workers fairly well, and who've made a positive contribution to Brixton's street environment.
     
  25. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    What they should have done is not to have engaged at all with any charities, or do or say anything whatsoever that might suggest they might want to be involved in any way with the local community. That way they can be sure they would never be seen as cynical or doing good deeds only as a PR exercise.

    I suspect other businesses thinking of moving into Brixton might come across discussions such as that in this thread and decide it is really not worth the bother to try to engage with the local community at all, given the likely response they might receive for it.
     
    alex_, teuchter and Winot like this.
  26. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    It's a top architecture practice in turnover perhaps but had never had a strong reputation for design
     
  27. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's got a big eight page feature on their own website - plus another page pointing out that their work was in the RIBA Journal - which of course also helps showcase more of their skills to potential clients.
    And Lambeth ran a feature on it too, so they've enjoyed no shortage of positive PR.

    Brixton Windmill Education Centre
    RIBA Journal: Brixton Windmill, Education Centre | Squire and Partners
    Love Lambeth

    I've got nothing against Squire per se - they're just another wealthy company employing modern PR techniques - but I'm not still buying their claim that their presence contributes anything to Brixton's (ahem) vibrancy.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  28. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    Well the only mention of the pro bono work was in Lambeth's own publication.....
    Unfortunately charities couldn't survive without this type of help
     
    DietCokeGirl likes this.
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    You are making a lot of assumptions here. You may be right or wrong.

    Could be that some architects like working for wealthy clients. Zaha Hadids successor made some pretty disparaging comments about social housing not so long ago.

    Big clients have the money for big projects. I can see its sexy doing big projects. There is something rather invigorating about the ruthless way capitalism works. Creative Destruction that I can see could appeal to architects. Its one of the ways that it works.

    Im looking at realistic appraisal of how capitalism works. It could be that Squires get the same kick out of big time capitalist projects as they do small time charity work.

    What Ive bern saying in my recent posts is not that unreasonable. That charities should look at all avenues to get funding.

    What Im saying that people shouldn't fall into trap of thinking that they should be grateful for charity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    editor likes this.
  30. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I've not made a lot of "assumptions" - what I say is from direct knowledge.

    I've also not claimed that no architects like working for wealthy clients. Absolutely some do and some like high end work and seek it out and would rather do that even if other work was as well paid.

    Patrick Shuhmacher's political views are exceptional for the profession overall - again I tell you this from an informed position.

    Nor have I said anything about being grateful for charity. What I object to is the presumption that Squires are only helping out with the Windmill out of cynical self interest. I don't think that's fair. And the idea that they will bring a bunch of employees on fat salaries is fallacious.
     
    DietCokeGirl likes this.

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