REGENCY ENDURES, BUT ECO-FRIENDLY MAY STRUGGLE
Regarding your editorial (AJ 20.07.06). In a consumer housing market, society is not served by energy-efficient, ugly buildings that will be rejected by a discerning public. We should recognise that many of us choose cars not because of their low fuel consumption but by their appearance. There is no reason to assume a society told to be more discerning in design decisions should park its sensibilities when looking at the largest investment of its life.
We have to make being green a mainstream concern that can be delivered in an attractive package. Buildings that can happily serve two centuries of housing demand, such as the London examples of Regency and neo-Regency housing, albeit without the lowest energy rating possible, must stand on an equal footing with poorly designed housing meeting ambitious energy targets, which may be demolished and rebuilt many times over in two centuries unless they meet the test of consumer attractiveness.
This is not a vindication of reactionary architecture, but can we guarantee to provide dwellings on a par with the best of what the housing market was providing in 1820?
Tony Edwards, EDCO Wimbledon