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Grand design

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On 14 Oct 2015 at 10:12pm Belladonna wrote:
Heads up - the 'Rust Bucket' at the end of South Street will feature on next week's Grand Designs. Looking forward to seeing the story of the ugly monstrosity that bears no relation to the river, the local townscape, the local history of the area, or the vernacular.
What were they thinking when it was approved by planning ?
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On 14 Oct 2015 at 10:57pm Progressive wrote:
Innovative design not intended to contradict local architectural form?
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On 14 Oct 2015 at 11:06pm Smiler wrote:
I was there last week. Inside it's beautifully designed and made and the view out over the river and railway land from the downstairs living room / kitchen is fantastic.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 12:04am ark wrote:
Reminds me of a boat/ark looks good to me and I think fits in well with lewes and it's many different interesting forms of architecture.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 7:18am Cuban Raft Rider wrote:
We watched a Grand Designs from a few weeks ago, one of our fave programs. The land cost 900k, the build budget was 850k. With no problems or hidden issues the build ran to 2.3 giving a total of 3.1m, that's pounds sterling not dragma's. It's tough how the other 1% live especially when they are tax accountants.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 7:57am Ben wrote:
Seems to be envious undertones in some comments. Sums up the stinking attitude of most of the people in this country. In the USA the attitude is "wow, well done brother you've inspired me to what I could achieve, go for it!"
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 8:05am Cuban Raft Rider wrote:
In America you get plaudits for efficient working of the system, wake up anf smell the coffee (replace with camomile tea as appropriate) tax evasion is a crime
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 8:40am lewes wrote:
That's the good thing about architecture it is shared with all of us. Whether you are a tax accountant or unemployed.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 9:25am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm intrigued to see what it's like inside, but I find the outside of that house singularly unattractive.
I'm biased though, I'm very fond of the pink house that is now obscured by the rust bucket as you enter town, so anything in that location wouldn't have made me happy.
Great spot for a house though, I'm jealous of the location.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 9:35am Blue Circle wrote:
Wrong colour wrong place- it echoes the phoenix ironworks where the cementworks was nearby.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 10:45am Ducatipete wrote:
I've just painted my narrowboat to keep the rust out. The location is wrong to spend all that money to be next to the main road and swamped by 24 hour lighting and the noise. Ok it has a view to the west and along the river but it's not the Test or the Thames. Needs a large magnet!
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 12:07pm Norton Norm wrote:
100% with you Pete. Another pretentious DFL barnacle.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 12:42pm Oldbutintouch wrote:
After initial reservations, l think the finished house looks fantastic. To fit such a large house on such a tiny site shows great imagination - the upper floors look like they are floating on the glass ground floor and the views must be splendid. A worthy replacement for the unmourned Gilmer's Social Club.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 1:00pm Zebedee wrote:
I'm amazed how anyone can find it attractive. It's just an ugly, rusty box! I'm sure it's fine if you are inside it but looking at it from the outside I can find little to recommend it. I think the riverside in Lewes in general is pretty sad (any other town would capitalise on it's river front) but that area particularly is spoilt by the unattractive new developments (and I include the last metal box, the one that looks like a railway tunnel).
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 2:04pm viewer wrote:
Built with a sense of entitlement. The owners are looking out on a lovely view while everyone else has to look at their ugly house dominating same lovely view.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 3:40pm Peasant wrote:
Feel slightly defensive. My 1970s house has a lovely view to the Downs, but it isn't a particularly attractive landscape feature as viewed from the said Downs.
I'm with Annette about the Pink House, which was a very attractive entrance feature for Lewes, and features on loads of old pictures and photographs. Unfortunately some ugly sheds were allowed in front of it, and they provided the excuse for the present Grand Design.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 5:04pm Merlin Milner wrote:
To me the old vista into Lewes has been ruined by this externally dull, boring and oversized building.
The main reason it got permission was that it is not actually with the boundary of Lewes. Also a previously non-rusting building had permission before the SDNP had been set up.
Personally I like colour, proportion, curves and decoration. However they are not in fashion at present.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 5:27pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
I much preferred the previous approved scheme which was streamlined and sort of lozenge shaped on plan, with a green roof, so it looked a bit like a boat. It was a great design but probably horrific build cost which is I imagine why the rusty one happened instead.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 6:20pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who loved to see the Pink House as you enter the town from Southerham. It made such a lovely landmark as the first house you see.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 6:21pm John c wrote:
I've walked past the house many times and whilst I can see that the design might polarise opinion its undoubtably a well crafted and beautifully finished building. Lewes has its fair share of ugly cheaply made modern mass produced houses that are far more deserving of peoples' scorn. For a town that prides itself on its open mindedness and liberal attitudes I'm saddened by the narrow mindedness of many people's comments.
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 6:53pm Belladonna wrote:
Just because an opinion of a new building is deemed negative it doesn't mean it's narrow minded. I'm very open to good new architecture and modernism but the Corten steel cladding seems to be there for the sake of it. Yes the views from the inside looking west over the river will be lovely but I hope they have good sound insulation because the road noise by the tunnel is horrendous. Hardly a peaceful retreat!!!
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On 15 Oct 2015 at 9:18pm John C wrote:
You're right Belladonna, offering a negative opinion doesn't necessarily equate to narrow mindedness. However, your comments seemingly relishing the fact the "rusty house" will be effected by road noise make me think your comments might be driven from a place of bitterness and envy. Let it go and don't worry so much about the design of other peoples' houses.
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On 16 Oct 2015 at 4:37am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
The design of other people's houses affects us all - we have to look at them!
They're going to be there for a very long time, so it matters that they look good and fit in.
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On 16 Oct 2015 at 8:44am lewes wrote:
I think most people welcome this interesting and unusual design and in my opinion a grand design should stir strong emotions in people. You can't please everyone and if you aimed to nothing would be cutting edge.
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On 16 Oct 2015 at 9:00am Tipex wrote:
The owners aren't DFLs - they live in Lewes.
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On 17 Oct 2015 at 5:26pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Lewes you state "most people welcome". Have you done a survey? Are you involved in the constructionn industry?
Everyone I have spoken to has said the opposite. Architecture is difficult area. I personally like the newish pair of buildings in Grange road and don't mind the Clifford Dann building if it had the original windows and had not replaced the Georgian building that was a pair of the one opposite.
For me the building at the bottom of South street is not bold or exciting enough. Granted the cladding is different yet it is there to evoke Lewes' boat building past, yet the boats built in Lewes were wood. The finish is drab and I find the proportions and size not harmonious.
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On 18 Oct 2015 at 1:00pm lewes wrote:
I don't agree at all. I was walking around the railway land yesterday and took some pictures from that angle and found that it looked stunning especially with the cliffs behind and it almost appears to float and blend in with the autumnal leaves on the trees. Thats what I like about lewes there are so many different forms, old and new. Fantastic.
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On 18 Oct 2015 at 1:46pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Fine Lewes. That is your view. Mine is different. However tell me of your survey that said "most people welcome" it??
I agree that the river aspect is better, however the main objection that I have heard is the view when approaching Lewes.
BTW are you involved in this or any other developments in Lewes perchance?
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On 18 Oct 2015 at 5:44pm A View from South Street wrote:
One of the Grand Designs cameramen, when asked his opinion by a neighbour, said he thought it looked like a slaughterhouse. Other comparisons that have repeatedly been made are to public toilets, prison buildings and US correctional facilities.
The view it presents to the street and therefore the community it should connect with is overbearing and heavily fortressed. While I realise this is most likely because of its proximity to the very busy road approaching the entrance to the tunnel, I think that a better architect more in tune with the character of the local community could have addressed this in a less aggressively confrontational and segregated manner.
I think the reason why so many neighbours are offended by this building is that the visual message it appears to present to South St is a big FU to what is a very warm and close community. I think that the same design might work in a different context such as post-industrial stretch of canal surrounded by old warehouses but here, it looks like a set for a zombie apocalypse movie and I half expect to see lumbering reanimated corpses piling up against the windows.
I have less interest in how it appears from the railway land because that is not the view I see every day.
In its position here it sets itself in opposition to and defiance of its surroundings rather than in harmony with its neighbours and thus appears overbearing, arrogant and obnoxious.
Even the planting of the silver birch behind the rusting fence emphasises its defensiveness and separation from the street. It makes a very strong statement of removal that is not conducive to community cohesion.
Because it portrays such insensitivity and ill manners I think it raises very strong negative emotions. The owner and the architect were probably oblivious to its visual statement, but any reasonably competent architect certainly should have been aware of the message it conveys. It seems to me then to be an example of either very bad or very arrogant architecture and this site deserved better.
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On 18 Oct 2015 at 8:28pm Zzz... wrote:
@A view from Southstreet.

I couldn't agree with you more. A building is not at all in harmony with its surroundings and one that, to its neighbours looks like some Borg fortress. I'm sure that for the people who live in it it will great, but for the rest of us it's an ugly, dominating fortress of a building.

It's hard to believe that any architect would have designed that for the Lewes river side and i can only assume that he/she was under pressure from the householders to create a metal-clad statement with no relationship to its surroundings. It's be interesting to see if the architect was proud of it. Anyone know who they were?
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On 18 Oct 2015 at 11:52pm A View from South Street wrote:
Here is the architect's website. The practice is based in Peckham, SE London which might explain his apparent approach in fortifying a house against perceived hostile forces beyond the threshold.

Check it out here »
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 12:01am A View from South St wrote:
And I think this is an article about the owners who commissioned it.

Check it out here »
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 12:16am lewes wrote:
Merlin, my work colleagues and I discussed it along with friends and family and all of them seemed to quite like it. However I don't live right next to it although I actually think I would quite like to. I am not a developer or linked to anything like that as most people seem to suggest I am on this forum which I find quite bizarre! I just seem to have a completely different take on things than most in this forum, perhaps I am younger than the usual demographic or perhaps it's just me. I am the sort of person that has been brought up in lewes and have usually liked most of the changes that have occurred in lewes and I do get quite excited to see my town develop. There have been some bad and others good but I do get quite enthusiastic when I see plans for what I think is a good one.
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 7:40am viewer wrote:
What was the Town Council's attitude to the original planning application Merlin?
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 12:59pm Merlin Milner wrote:
The TC were against it. Mainly by the bulk and the negative change to vista approaching Lewes.
'Lewes' the language used in some of your previous posts sound very similar to that of a current developer on Lewes.
Of course there will those who like the building and I would not object if were somewhere else more appropriate as stated by others.
I have worked with Richard Rogers and other practices over the years and work within the commercial lighting industry. I am not against change or indeed good architecture that understands the context and surroundings.
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 9:12pm LewesSarah wrote:
Just read some of the comments about the new house on South Street. I can't help thinking some of the negative comments are prompted by jealousy "this person has a bigger more expensive house than mine etc". Given some of the very poor quality 1970s and 80's houses along South Street with UPC glazing and doors etc I'm slightly perplexed why so many people object to what is undoubtably a high quality building irrespective of whether the design appeals to ones personal taste. Do people feel as strongly about the new development further along the river? Perhaps its just me but Milner and his mates on the council should be reining in larger scale bland developments with no obvious architectural merit rather than venting his anger at a house at the end of South Street that replaced a dilapidated shed? Just a thought.
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On 19 Oct 2015 at 9:12pm LewesSarah wrote:
Just read some of the comments about the new house on South Street. I can't help thinking some of the negative comments are prompted by jealousy "this person has a bigger more expensive house than mine etc". Given some of the very poor quality 1970s and 80's houses along South Street with UPC glazing and doors etc I'm slightly perplexed why so many people object to what is undoubtably a high quality building irrespective of whether the design appeals to ones personal taste. Do people feel as strongly about the new development further along the river? Perhaps its just me but Milner and his mates on the council should be reining in larger scale bland developments with no obvious architectural merit rather than venting his anger at a house at the end of South Street that replaced a dilapidated shed? Just a thought.
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On 20 Oct 2015 at 3:08am A View from South Street wrote:
Hold your horses here! Sandy Rendel (architect) and Stephen Yeomans & Catherine Webster (owners) have chosen to publicise their new build on the leading (well, let's be honest, the only) programme on new architecture on British TV and you suggest that nobody is meant to voice an opinion unless they love it because otherwise they are just bitter and jealous? Many residents have deliberately refused to comment on film because it would be inhospitable to new neighbours who they have yet to meet. We welcome the couple and their family to South Street and genuinely hope they become part of our community. We wouldn't be commenting on the house if it wasn't being pushed at us as an example of outstanding architecture on prime time television to which we are expected to have a reaction!
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On 20 Oct 2015 at 8:41am lewes wrote:
It will be interesting to watch the programme but if people won't go on film and tell the truth then why come on here and do it. It's not as if the owners don't know about lewes forum. A bit two faced if you ask me


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