Comment on: The problem with student shows
Jeremy Till is right (much as I hate to admit it). The 'circus' nature of the end of year show in most of the 'best' schools' is apparent and counter productive to the development of real skill in the discipline of architecture. I have been through the system at two different schools (sheffield and LSBU) and I have to agree with him largely. However, much depends on the leadership of the unit / atelier masters. In Peter Allison's atelier at LSBU those who aimed for the 'eye candy' were summarliy chastised by Peter. Throughout my student career I'd always tried to develop real skill and real knowledge in architecture (perhaps because I came from a science background rather than an arts based one), often to the detriment of the resolution of the final model, drawings. I fell foul of this at Sheffield but Peter Allison rewarded me for this at LSBU (where I did my diploma. I believe I'm a more assured, knowledgeable and skilled architect today because of this, if a less flashy one.
Interesting theory. My own theory is that, good as it was, Parry's office for blue chip companies was never going to win during the worst recession in 60 yrs. Protos was really not that fantastic. The way the building worked and the architecture had almost nothing to do with each other. Frettons Fulsang had some nice ideas but suffered from being poorly detailed in places (as opposed to the immaculate detailing of Parry's office). Liverpool One would also have been a politically contentious choice during a recession. This leaves the 2 health care facilities by AHMM and RSHP. RSHP won because it is more avowedly 'architectural' than AHMM's building which thought impressive, seemed overly research and science driven rather than 'authored'. Next year? Fretton, Caruso St John, Chippo? They're all mates aren't they? Chipperifled could have two buildings on the list (Barcelona).
Fuglsang doesn't seem that amazing (D&B procurement, painted brickwork? Then again you've seen it in the flesh). I think Parry's was better This building is all about the elevated glass envelope, which is beautifully detailed. Where the building is clad extensively in that formed solid panel (photos of which are mysteriously absent from your collection), it is much less successful. The interiors are also much more prosaic than you expect looking at the luxurious bomb proof glazed facades (just standard office space)
Comment on: Peter Zumthor speaks to the Architects' Journal
Thanks for this. This is a nice interview. I was also at that lecture, and I would like to qualify the greatness of this architect with one observation - that compromise is as old as architecture itself. I went to see Alvaro Siza a few weeks before, one of the chief beaties about Siza for me is his ability to adapt in this regard. On the one hand, there is his Ibere in Brazil: the best client, craftsman, promoter possible. Then you have public buildings like his sports complex in Barcelona and in Gondomar Portugal. Because Zumthor does not engage with this world (the real world for most of us) he will never be as significant to me as Siza. He'll always be a bit of a luxury. Having said that, it is important that there are people like him, but we can't all be like that. Perhaps the greatest architect who ever lived, Michelangelo, had a career dogged and enhanced by compromise.