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When more is less

Outsiders puzzle at the fact that, despite their Pritzker prize and honours from every conceivable direction, ground-breaking books and lectures, the Venturis have never made the RIBA gold medal final list. Is this down to a cadre of sour old Modernists at Portland Place? Very probably.

Whatever, a reader, knowing my appreciation of their unique contribution to architecture, suggested I take a look at their revamped site . Well, let's not talk about the architecture beyond saying that it's always quite difficult for anyone to keep up more than a token of the early radical stance when faced in old age with big budget buildings whose developers say plain repetitive facades please. The website is a mixture of conventional structure, with a home page deploying san-serif type of varying sizes and colours plus a layout which makes you think a little bit of the late 1930s. Heavy and crammed anyway. There is also an ever-changing group of building images. Click on one and up come the details and a slideshow.

Slideshows are (a) patronising and (b) when the slide-to-slide time is not exactly spot on, likely to be clicked off in search of another more imaginative site. Control freak is fine when administering the spec. Not on a website. It's all surprisingly laborious, lugubrious layouts, slow image loading, those un-controllable slideshows and quite often not very interesting. And please, what is VSBA? Voluntary Service for Bloomin Architects? Vicarious Spirituality for Benighted Artisans? No. It's Venturi,Scott Brown and Associates. Why not say it?

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