...AN EXPRESSION OF ELITIST MODERNISM...
As one of the 40 Under 40 in 1985, it was interesting to observe the lack of diversity in the current selection. The 2005 40 is a 'right-on' collection of mainstream Moderns of a kind beloved by elderly professionals, but not much loved by anyone else (see Mary Hotham's letter (AJ 02.06.05)). In 1985 there were several traditional architects, today there are none. I know traditional architects made submissions this time, so why were none included?
It would be too easy (and simply incorrect) to say that they were rejected solely on the lack of quality. So what does this tell us? Firstly, the selection of the jury can produce predictable results. Secondly, it shows a growing intolerance at the top end of the profession (see also Rogers' intervention in Chelsea). Thirdly, it shows the conformity of many younger architects. It seems that the radical alternative is now in the popular traditions of the wider community, rather than the elitist traditions of Modernism.
Robert Adam, Robert Adam Architects, Winchester