By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Design duet


An excellent lecture by Sandy and Clare Wright at the RIBA was a reminder that thoughtful 'slow-cook' architecture is alive and well, as opposed to what Sandy Wilson calls 'freak buildings' or 'stunt architecture'. Not that they are opposed to the idea of the iconic, just that it should be 'particular'.

Clare and Sandy (Wright) operate by a series of maxims in relation to context, coherence ('don't have people flapping around like moths looking for an entrance'); a rational relationship between interior and exterior ('don't let it all hang out'); and about the process of actually building a building, and the way that different ones come together.

A series of case studies showed a pleasing variety of buildings and solutions, not least in relation to two projects dealing with heritage from William Wilkins (Downing and Corpus Christi colleges, Cambridge), and a new theatre for the Hull Truck company. Work on the latter involved a trip to Scarborough to see Alan Ayckbourn's favoured theatre, where the green room 'is the Rialto Bridge of the diagram'.

The key to their approach was the idea of the thick wall, often providing the envelope for a building within. Check out their work on the RIBA/V&A drawings collections about to open; it looks both useful and fine.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters