Comment on: Obituary: Dalibor Vesely (1934 – 2015)
Shrewd Zeus Laughed
Comment on: Courtyard housing by Patel Taylor
Nice to see Owen Pritchard so praising of this Patel Taylor housing typology which is so refreshing to see in the AJ. Sane and sensible and modest. The fact that the house form and clustering is almost exactly that of Utzon sixty years ago is only to Patel Taylor's credit. The prototypes were called 'the most humane 20thC housing in Scandinavia," and my experience of frequently visiting friends in one only echoes that praise; well done Patel Taylor and Barking & Dagenham for revitalising a classic. Why, however, your review illustrates as precedent the irrelevant if lovely Harvey Court rather than Utzon (or a traditional almshouse or Scandinavian farmstead etc), is incomprehensible.
As Tony Blair said to Nick Robinson on Radio 4 this week, people are just not interested in stuff about participation and decision making and such nonsense, they just want to feel safe and prosperous. (Or words to that effect) And as the Tories jumped this afternoon when the English archbishops both said the coalition was not interested in reducing inequality (or words to that effect), keep politics out of it! Out of the church, the workplace, out of architecture. Obviously no-one wants well-meaning Ralph Erskines to have a site office at Byker - or ASSIST in Glasgow or Giancarlo De Carlo in Terni - or the thousands in the 40 years since, listening to difficult moaning locals and wasting valuable time. And the more you ask them the less they know what they want anyway and they'll only complain whatever you give them.
Comment on: Dark-itecture by Sophia Bannert
Interesting musings on the blacked-out experience which, with your Pallasmaa and Eagleman quotes, feed much thought. But it immediately led me back to a very different musing - the haptic horrors in Jay Rayner's experience of the same place (The Guardian 26 May 2006); an intriguing comparison.
Comment on: Crafting architecture by Toby Lewis
That's a lovely, timeless essay, Toby. Thank you. (PS it might be even quieter if the e e cummings hadn't started with a Capital letter)