On Good Mourning Scotland and then repeated by Reporting Scotland, one of ‘Scotland’s best-known architects’, Malcolm Fraser said, based presumably on his years of training and practice in the design of large complex buildings, that the new Southern General is not ‘a happy building’ and that bigger places tend to ‘cut corners’. In my own four years as very junior laddie in an architect’s office, we’d all have laughed our heads of at that ‘happy building’ waffle and reflected on the corner-cutting we’d seen in virtually all contracts of any size at all.
Then, revealing awesome insight, he said ‘In this case it appears to be an issue with the mechanical ventilation and a gap that’s been left that pigeons can get in.’ Oooh, wish I’d thought of that.
He then said that hospitals tend to be built with mechanical ventilation, but that it was possible to design them with natural ventilation. Is he saying natural ventilation wouldn’t have gaps where pigeons can get in? What as in cathedrals and castles? No birds inside those.
When you read that stuff, alarm bells ring about Fraser. Is he a credible expert for the BBC to use? Did they approach someone who had built a giant hospital elsewhere? Did they approach a ventilation engineer, expert in such systems? Why just Malcolm?
You’ll see above that Fraser’s business collapsed in 2015. According to his own website, He doesn’t seem to have built anything at all of note since the quite modest ‘Scottish Story Telling Centre’ in 2006. He appears to have been recognised for designs for the quite large Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow but seems not to actually won the contract. There’s no evidence of him having designed or managed the construction of anything remotely as big or a complex as the ‘monster hospital’.
So, BBC Scotland, why him? Another pet ‘expert’? In September 2018, on the GSA fire, he told the Guardian:
‘Malcolm Fraser, one of Scotland’s leading architects, accused the school of prioritising “flashy new buildings” ahead of “the jewel at the heart of its estate”, in a combative hearing of evidence from invited experts on Thursday morning.’
‘Flashy new buildings?’ You can’t buy that kind of expertise.
Footnote: Is Malcolm Fraser another cog in that scary anti-independence, multi-tentacled, crime syndicate involving Douglas, Murdo, the Fraser of Allander Institute, the late House of Fraser, the late Mad Frankie Fraser and Putin? See this for more: