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Trump Clubhouse handed Zit award

December 22 2011

Trump Clubhouse handed Zit award
Donald Trump's Menie Clubhouse has been handed a Zit Award for Scotland's worst building - despite the fact it hasn't even been built yet.

The accolade was bestowed upon the mock gothic design in recognition of its misguided attempt to blend in with the historic MacLeod House.

Michael Rasmussen, architect & fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects, told Urban Realm: “The building was designed by Huntly architects Acanthus df, who in the past have turned out some very fine buildings. If one is to design a pastiche of an historic building then at the very least it needs to be true to the scale, style and proportion of the period – this building is none of those. With the Menie Estate’s location within a landscape of heroic importance, Acanthus have a duty to society, the environment & their profession to produce a building that befits such a wonderful and unique setting.

“By producing this third rate building a golden opportunity has been lost to create a sublimely elegant, understated, contemporary building that could have been a beacon for the best that Scottish Architecture. We have the talent – what a shame it was not utilised in this instance.

“One can reflect that this is most likely a classic example of an architect being “told” what to do by his wealthy and powerful client & in so doing relegating a noble profession to nothing more than a second rate draftsman. What price integrity – when sold out for the might $. Resignation from the commission would have been an honourable solution. Shame on you Acanthus.”

In a separate award Aberdeen City Council’s decision to press ahead with a contentious competition to reshape the city’s Union Terrace Gardens earned the authority a Pock Mark Award for worst planning decision.


richard heggie
#1 Posted by richard heggie on 22 Dec 2011 at 17:25 PM
"a golden opportunity has been lost"......says it all really.
#2 Posted by eh? on 23 Dec 2011 at 09:39 AM
it must be so easy for people that don't have clients and actual projects to meet to comment on others' work.. good on you, richard, just you keep living in that dream world of make-believe projects.. i think this isnt a 'golden oppurtunity missed' but rather 'total disaster skillfully avertsd'.. it's far far better than i'd have expected it knowing trump's taste and demanding nature.. and anyone who's seen aberdeen's landmarks such as aberdeen grammar will actually be able to relate it to more than just plain pastiche..
#3 Posted by Stuart on 23 Dec 2011 at 10:16 AM
Was that the two choices then?
Total Disaster

Phew!.......... lucky Aberdeen
#4 Posted by sg on 23 Dec 2011 at 10:35 AM
comments on these boards annoy me .. before you all 'slag' something off lets see your attempt at a scheme with the exact brief set by trump.
richard heggie
#5 Posted by richard heggie on 23 Dec 2011 at 11:10 AM
I have no doubt that the brief is the problem. That doesn't make the solution any more acceptable.
If the architects had withdrawn from the project, then another firm would quickly have stepped in. Would the result have been any better? Probably not.
#6 Posted by eh? on 23 Dec 2011 at 11:53 AM
richard, would you have genuinely walked away from any project or job just because your client had a different taste or aesthetic preference, really now, be honest.. would you duck!!
#7 Posted by Stuart on 23 Dec 2011 at 12:49 PM
Yes and have done, clearly #6 you would not in which case you have nothing to offer.
richard heggie
#8 Posted by richard heggie on 23 Dec 2011 at 13:03 PM
*6 - Compromising on core principles is not something I'd recommend to anyone. That doesn't always mean refusing to engage with developers who have a different outlook - it's important to try to influence outcomes, rather than just complain from the sidelines.
For me, the client / consultant relationship has to be a two-way street. Otherwise, architects, urban designers and planners play only a technical role.
#9 Posted by dirige on 23 Dec 2011 at 15:27 PM
Terrible clubhouses might be drawn from the original ming-mong '19th hole': the monster that is at St Andrews old course.
brian adams
#10 Posted by brian adams on 23 Dec 2011 at 18:12 PM
Is anyone seriously surprised at the quality of the architecture when you view the gross tastelessness, ego and insensitivity of Trump. Future golfers who frequent this course will simply perpetuate those qualities.
Golf is not an ethical excuse.
Boycott... Avoid...
David Milne
#11 Posted by David Milne on 24 Dec 2011 at 11:12 AM
Sad but in keeping with expectations, do not forget that this project won the pockmark award a few years ago. Consistent if nothing else
#12 Posted by Daryl on 4 Jan 2012 at 20:50 PM
I agree with the article, its not a great design and it doesn't sit well into the landscape (if the artists impression is any indication. I have to agree with most commenters though that it is most likely the breif not the architect that is a fault....still acanthus are big and successful enough to have pulled out had they not been happy with the design or had it been the project been objectionable to them so really they are as much to blame. I agree its better to engage with developers etc to ensure the best comes from what they do but Donald Trump is a whole different species.....I don't imagine anything he is involved with is sympathetic, beautiful or beneficial to anyone but himself. :(
#13 Posted by Sean on 5 Jan 2012 at 20:52 PM
This building strongly reminds me of the victorian poor houses and prisons, in fact it might even be an identical copy.
Walt Disney
#14 Posted by Walt Disney on 11 Jan 2012 at 13:07 PM
A colleague of mine, who is a chartered planner remarked the other day that he thought Architecture was the most self destructive profession that he knew of. Little wonder when you read all of the subjective comment on this website.

Acanthus have wages to pay to staff who have mortgages and bills to pay. In these tough times I'm sure that Donald Trump's money is the exact same color as anybody else's. Well done Acanthus! Let them carp from the sidelines whilst they (over)design their intricate, bespoke kitchen extensions and don't forget that every architect has a few skeletons in the cupboard.
#15 Posted by Goofy on 11 Jan 2012 at 14:57 PM
I have a whole cupboard of Chartered Planners who are still trying to find their way out of the cupboard. I've illustrated what a door is to them on numerous occasions to educate them in design. They still don't get it.

Wages, mortgages & bills should not be the deciding criteria of whether you (over)design mince or not. Acanthus produced mince. Aberdeen planners accepted the mince.
I would pass some on to my Chartered Planners but they are still mumbling away behind that big bit of flat wood with a handle on it. I think they're organising an escape committee, Walt.
Debra Storr
#16 Posted by Debra Storr on 30 Dec 2016 at 17:14 PM
Some planners can recognise decent design and have the guts to reject it, some councillors also have the ability.
But I agree they are few and far between - particularly on the guts front.
Thank you to all those who recognise that the is inappropriate design for this location.

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