IT HAS BEEN ENORMOUSLY REWARDING TO SERVE SUCH AN ENGAGED READERSHIP
This is my final editorial after 11 years on the AJ.
In an age in which websites and magazines come and go overnight, it has been a great privilege - and responsibility - to be the custodian of a journal with such a long proud history and such a committed and hugely talented team.
It has also, of course, been enormously rewarding to serve such an engaged and loyal readership. It is hard to imagine another magazine where a change in direction like the one the AJ has been through would be met with such an eloquent and passionate response.
And there have been enormous changes, not just in the AJ but in architecture as a whole.
When I joined the AJ as buildings editor, fresh out of Part 2, it felt like something of a triumph simply to have found employment which paid.
But now, thanks to a decade without recession, and to the building bonanza of the Lottery years, architects are beginning to enjoy some of the dignity and financial security they deserve.
Millennial extravagance has given way to a more considered approach and British architecture, at its best, is intelligent, idiosyncratic, and sustainable in every sense - but as readers sometimes point out, there is a fine line between considered restraint and banality. And while the AJ has championed the good ordinary, it has, perhaps irresponsibly, tried to turn a blind eye to the ceaseless march of mediocre development projects that are overlooked by the media but which rob our cities of their identity and our countryside of its charm.
I am leaving to become the design director of HAB, a new development company established by Kevin McCloud with the specific aim of creating provincial and suburban communities that are successful, sustainable and enjoyable to live in. Doubtless I am soon to discover that, while it is easy to write about the dearth of decent architecture, it is rather more difficult to see that it gets built.