symptoms of design failure

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Architectural design fix

The fancy new Reading town Grimshaw designed train station is not quite finished. It’s already showing some fundamental design flaws. It’s good looking, if you like big open spaces and an airport foyer feel. But they’ve already had to put in blue plastic barriers to direct the pedestrian traffic boarding and disembarking from the escalators – to avoid too many clashes.  I followed the signs for the washrooms up onto the bridge concourse, but the signs stop there. A temporary design fix (information booth) was placed in the centre of the airport style open bridge concourse. I asked where the nearest washrooms were, On platform 12b.

On platform 12b?!

Almost all the pedestrian traffic goes through the bridge concourse and they didn’t put any washrooms there? How bizarre. The architect doesn’t appear to have thought of the station as a place where humans move in predictable patterns with predictable needs. The retrospective design fixes interrupt the ‘beautiful’ lines of the building.

Design Fail

symptoms of design failure
2 votes rating 5

3 bits of lovely banter on “symptoms of design failure”

  1. Indigo Roth writes:

    Hey Wendy! Well, that sounds rather dim and disappointing. I’m sure the designer will get paid, tho =/ Indigo x



  2. Zed writes:

    I was in Norwich Castle museum today and there’s a new (since I was last there, anyway) exhibit of its time as a prison, something it’s avoided dwelling on in the past. Sir John Soane designed major ‘improvements’ to the prison a couple of hundred years ago – but he got some of it so fundamentally wrong that they had to tear down his alterations within 30 years and start again. Nothing new, hey.



    wendy writes

    Sir John Soane was raised in Reading Town, it all makes sad sense. Sigh.



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