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Consultative architecture’s supreme dignity

Firms like Carmody Groarke and Theis and Khan speak a moving language of restraint and quiet beauty

This week in the AJ we find two emerging practices dealing with spirituality and representation in London.

Carmody Groarke’s proposal for the 7 July memorial in Hyde Park, and the remarkable conversion of Lumen United Reformed Church by Theis and Khan, are examples of a careful, consultative architecture committed to the fulfilment of a brief, but with a firm designer’s hand making distinctive and architectural proposals.

We all know this work goes on, and that it has never gone out of fashion. But seeing it in our pages this week, it feels like a new, modest and laconic architecture is emerging that somehow captures a new mood.

If there is any justice, it will be this kind of architecture that emerges strongest from our current economic difficulties. Surely the bombast of iconic, emirate-friendly architecture is finished, inappropriate to a chastened global economic climate.

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