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Farrell's houses sure don't court peasants


Farrell's court houses are fascinating; and not least for their conscious reference to precedent (AJ 4.12.03).

The comparison of humane, post-war austerity intelligence - seen in Utzon's lovely courtyard clusters - with these pavilions 'with a guide price' of £4 million sure takes the breath away.

I suspect it might be a slightly unsure conscience which forces discussion to a 100m 2court house. As well as to counter, as you say, 'the suggestion that large floorplates are a prerequisite'; but prerequisite for what you do not suggest; is it a civilised life?

No suggestion is made of how these 'prototype' units might cluster or be orientated. But perhaps a glance at an even earlier post-war austerity example could be instructive: contrast Farrell's with Walter Segal's even smaller, but surely more habitable, court houses at the core (and on the endpapers) of his Home & Environment of 1948.

And Farrell doesn't even offer his 21st-century peasants a downstairs loo.

(PS: Regarding your quote on page 14 of the same issue, Robbie Williams' take on Sinatra standards is miles better than John Simpson's 'ghastly phone box'. ) John McKean, Brighton

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