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David Chipperfield, man of culture

David Chipperfield was on good form at the Design Museum for a reception hosted by theHepworth Wakefield gallery, whose building is being designed by Chipperfield’s practice

It will be the largest purpose-built art gallery outside London when it opens in May 2011, and will contain the work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth.

Describing the construction essence of the project as ‘in situ mud’, Chipperfield noted that most architectural projects are a form of creative chaos, and it is better to acknowledge this than pretend otherwise. His main point, however, was the ambivalence of the British to cultural projects.

We now have to justify the creation of cultural buildings on the grounds that they will regenerate a particular area or will be good for tourism. The Hepworth project is being undertaken because of a belief in culture itself, he declared. No bad thing to tell it how it is.

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