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.

Close

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.

Close

Reference points

astragal

It would have been tasteless to propose a vote of thanks to the IRA for making possible two schemes on the shortlist, Ian Ritchie's Dublin Spire and, of course, Swiss Re. There could have been something else to raise a glass to, however: the 1960s.

Most of the shortlisted schemes owed their design thinking to that fabulous decade (whatever Tony Blair thinks). Foster explained to architecture minister Andrew McIntosh how the idea for the 'gherkin' had its origins in the thinking behind the Willis Faber office building in Ipswich, and obviously the Archigram boys are building out what they dreamed 40 years ago (Janet Street-Porter wore a 1965 silver dress in their honour). Dublin's Nelson's Column was destroyed in the '60s, and conceptually the urban design scheme at Coventry relates to that decade, with its public art and big symbolism. The claims made for the City Academy sounded very much like those made for comprehensives in about 1965. Of course, they lacked multi-millionaire 'sponsors'.

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