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Create local icons, new CABE chief demands

CABE chair John Sorrell has called on architects to create buildings that 'local communities feel have been designed and built for them'.

Sorrell made the request this morning at an event to mark the launch of CABE's latest annual report.

Sorrell said he was throwing his weight behind the importance of local buildings representing 'a belief or an idea' as opposed to '[taking] little account of the fact that architecture serves an end other than itself'.

The design boss continued: 'A building like Lubetkin's Finsbury Health Centre clearly represented a belief in progress and a better life for people in what was then an overcrowded and unhealthy neighbourhood - it remains in popular use today.

'Lubetkin used to say 'nothing is too good for ordinary people'.

'If we can create beautiful places which result in more satisfied users, then perhaps it could be Lubetkin's 'ordinary people' who will help us make the case to other constituencies we sometimes find it so hard to convince, from Whitehall to the boardroom', Sorrell added.

The new report also reveals that more than four out of five new housing schemes completed in the south-east of England between 2001 and 2003 were rated as 'mediocre' by the watchdog's housing audit.

by Rob Sharp

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