Cutty Sark director defends ship's design

By Louisa Emery on September 18, 2012 1:32 PM |

cuttysarknew1.JPGThe Cutty Sark Trust's director Richard Doughty has spoken out against claims by The Victorian Society that the ship's eye catching makeover did not have the historic clipper's best interests at its heart.

The six year, £50million restoration project which raised the vessel almost three metres into the air and encased the lower portion in glass, was awarded Building Design Online's Carbuncle Cup for "tragically defiling the thing it set out to save," coinciding with a damning reaction from The Victorian Society's director Chris Costelloe.

Mr Costelloe stated that the Cutty Sark trust had made the lucrative hospitality market a priority.

He said: "It's a pity that commercial motives were placed above heritage interests.

"The new design has obscured the Cutty Sark's distinctive shape at the quay side. Even the part of the ship we can still see includes an obtrusive lift tower looming over the deck."

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Defending the unique architectural design, Mr Doughty said it was the only way to save the ship.

"Without raising her we would have lost the most significant thing about the Cutty Sark, what made it a legend and what allowed it to set work records and capture the publics imagination - the unique hull. We've been able to achieve our vision, raise the ship and give her a future."

He said the Victorian Society had been consulted during the design process and proved supportive, further rubbishing the director's argument.

"The Victorian Society's director is new and I doubt he has even been to see it," said Mr Doughty. "It has got a wow factor and all our exit surveys with visitors show the vast majority of the public has been mesmerised and would recommend it to friends and family."

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