GOOD, SOLID BUILDING STUDIES WILL ALWAYS BE THE MAINSTAY OF THE AJ
Now that the dust has settled, responses to the new AJ have graduated from the knee-jerk 'wonderful', 'inspired' or 'absolutely dire', and become a little more considered. There isn't much we can do to appease the, thankfully very few, readers who simply hate the whole look and feel of the new AJ. But it would be both foolish and cavalier to ignore those who have more considered criticisms to make.
Perhaps the most worrying is the erroneous but understandable perception that we have abandoned the Building Studies which, as Andrew Beard puts it on this week's letters page, 'many of us used to turn to once a week for our essential nourishment'.
Although we are delighted to be showcasing the 78 buildings that have been recognised in this year's RIBA awards, the timing of the announcement, immediately after our AJ Corus 40 Under 40 issue, is far from ideal. Running two bumper portmanteau issues in quick succession so soon after the relaunch may give the (entirely false) impression that we have opted for bulk and showiness for the relaunched AJ, and that we are moving towards a catalogue format, with the emphasis on definitive lists and captions as opposed to more in-depth articles.
Normality, albeit a new and extremely beautifully designed normality, will resume with the next issue. We will be returning to a more modest number of pages. And those who have a sneaking suspicion that we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater can rest assured.
We will continue to provide the technical information that the AJ has always prided itself on. A run of Building Studies will kick off next week, with the emphasis not only on just-finished projects but also on buildings that are either currently under construction or already in use.
Good, solid Building Studies, complete with working details when appropriate, are still - and will always be - the mainstay of the AJ.