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Finch hits back at TAG bias claim

Design Council CABE chair and Architects Journal editorial director Paul Finch has issued a stinging rebuke to claims he has a stylistic preference against traditional architecture

Finch was ‘disappointed’ that the Traditional Architecture Group (TAG) failed to acknowledge ‘you leave your stylistic preferences at the door’ when undertaking design review.

He said: ‘I challenge the TAG to name a single occasion when I have unfairly criticised a building on the grounds of its style.’

The TAG wrote to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt last week demanding Finch apologise for comments he made in this magazine celebrating the selection of Modernist architects to design London 2012 Olympic buildings (AJ 14.07.10).

TAG also asked communities secretary Eric Pickles to instruct councils to ignore all CABE design reviews on the grounds of ‘clear and unacceptable bias’.

Finch said ‘Far from apologising to this self-selecting group of polemicists, I suggest that they issue an apology to me for their intemperate language and inappropriate demands, best described as bad manners.’

 

Finch’s comments in full

It is traditional, if you object to something someone has written in a magazine, to write to the editor and perhaps the author setting out your objection or complaint.

It is not traditional to write letters full of bluster and threat to ministers of the crown, suggesting that they sack someone with whom they have no formal relationship.

It is disappointing that the ‘Traditional’ Architecture Group seems incapable of understanding that when you conduct design review, you leave your stylistic preferences at the door and assess honestly what is presented to you.

I challenge the TAG to name a single occasion when I have unfairly criticised a building on behalf of CABE (or indeed anyone else) on the grounds of its particular style.

Far from apologizing to this self-selecting group of polemicists, I suggest that they issue an apology to me for their intemperate language and inappropriate demands, best described as appalling bad manners.

 

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • My opinion is that Paul Finch is a foul mouthed man, with far too much power and a lack of respect.
    I attended an AJ conference in Liverpool where I raised legitimate questions about the risks to Liverpools World Heritage Site to the panel he provided.
    The Architectural Review had done a Liverpool special edition and he lined up Broadway Malyan and all the usual suspects in a fait accompli.
    CABE had supported several schemes such as the Three Black Coffins on Mann Island, which in my opinion have no place in Liverpools WHS.
    These views had been echoed in publications he edited.

    "Stuff Unesco he said what has it got to do with them, send them packing"
    With this level of foul mouthed debate it is little wonder he is in trouble with traditionalists.........and Liverpool with Unesco.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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