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Vaizey: 'I'm not prejudiced against Modernist buildings'

New architecture minister Ed Vaizey has spoken about his passion for Modern architecture at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Design Museum’s new home in Kensington

An ‘absolutely thrilled’ Vaizey replaced John Penrose in the role earlier this month following the cabinet reshuffle.

Among the last decisions Penrose made before his departure was to reject a bid to list London’s Brutalist Southbank Centre - ignoring recommendations by English Heritage to give the Thameside complex heritage protection (see AJ 04.07.2012)

Speaking yesterday, Vaizey told the AJ: ‘Let’s just say I don’t come from a position of prejudice against modernist buildings.

‘I am a great fan of Modern architecture - though this does not mean automatic listing. I hope to take a look at each listing decision on its own merits. It’s a quasi-judicial decision, and I want to follow correct procedures.’

He added: ‘I have a passion for architecture. This country has some great buildings and I hope to be a strong voice for good architecture.’

When reminded of his long-standing pledge to abolish the ARB, Vaizey refused to comment on the organisation’s future, saying: ‘It’s something I need to look at again. It falls under the Department for Communities and Local Government and is not a decision I can make alone.’

Vaizey’s past pledges on the ARB

September 2009
As shadow minister for culture in 2009, Vaizey told a meeting of the AJ100 breakfast club that he would save CABE from a Tory ‘bonfire of the quangos’ but kill off the ARB.

September 2011
Speaking at the launch of the Open House London weekend the minister admitted he was ‘amazed’ the government had failed to abolish ARB, two years after promising he would scrap the register.Asked why this policy failed to materialise, the minister said: ‘I’m amazed ARB is still standing, but it wasn’t my department.’

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