The heritage, listed Bute Parks are being subjected to pressures from all fronts: if it isn’t the big money lure of sporting events, it’s a local authority that thinks status and political short-termism is more important that what we leave for our children. One of the organisations that borders Bute Park itself is the RWCMD with a building of extreme ugliness albeit linking to a sensitive restoration of the stables that nestle into the edges of the Castle’s back door. Now – Shock Horror! – they want to cover what little space there is on the site with more buildings and even – Horror on Horrors! – ask the Council for a bit of the Park to cover in concrete!
And you know what? I’m all for it! I doubt that the governors and chief executive actually need my ringing endorsement to get their planning application through .. but hey, it’s great not be cheer leading the moaners and nimbies (as described in the past) for once.
Firstly: we were invited weeks ago to a very select presentation (their try out it turned out) at RWCMD to hear from the chief executive Hilary Boulding (the horse’s mouth, as it were) about the creation of the scheme and its impact. There was no hiding the effect the scheme would have. Nor of the necessity to acquire part of Bute Park (a scrubby bit of unused land of no value in the grand scheme of things for the Park).
Secondly: this is ambitious, both for the college and the city. We need it.
Thirdly: it’s pretty damn good architecture – adding to the vistas you’ll see from the Park. Unremittingly modern (no Prince Charles pastiche, thank goodness). If anything, they need to raise the optimum amount of money so that finishes and public spaces can be even more adventurous.
So there we have it: talk to people and explain (Eisteddfod passim, note). Be bold. Employ good architects and really know what you are doing, and don’t stint on the ambition (Glamorgan Cricket Club passim).
Exciting, relevant and a potential asset for the future. What more do need. It’s on my “if I win the Lottery list”….
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