An abomination of a "house". Totally indulgent. Whimsical in the extreme. Built for a cultural elite obsessed with their own self importance and aggrandisement. An insult to the autonomy of architecture. (But I'm glad it got built.)
Comment on: Readers poll: What is your Building of the Year?
Well said sir!
Comment on: Stop moaning, the Garden Bridge is fabulous
In this instance, it would appear Mr Finch is using his platform in the AJ to be gratuitously and deliberately offensive to a small but vociferous gang of what he labels moaners. Why? Because we "moaners" have the sheer temerity to voice an opinion. In a democracy! What does Mr Finch expect? For us all to meekly to roll over, shut up and acquiesce with the good idea of a minor celebrity and the whims of a star designer no matter what? Stuff the fact that a footbridge east of Tower Bridge is needed more than this one. It's designed by Heatherwick for Heaven's sake! We simply must have it. If this country was in any way "fair" such a public proposal would and definitely should have been commissioned by an open competition. Instead we get a fait accompli. Like the Olympics, this project has the influential backing of Establishment figures who have the power to raid taxpayer funds at will, when it suits them with the most dubious of justification. Mr Finch however, insists this view is just a misunderstanding of what public funds are for! He has failed to grasp even the possibility that this project is an example of all that is wrong with the procurement of public buildings and places.
More talk from 'leading commentators' about the housing crisis. It's action that's needed!
If you start from a position which most architects who don't win awards would recognise, that as long as an exclusive club that comprises an elite intelligentsia exists, there will always be an unnecessary distinction between competent designers (which most architects undoubtedly are) and those supposedly having an exceptional design flair. The drive and desire to rise above the rest and join that club, starts in the studio. It is also clear, the higher calibre the school of architecture, the better the credentials become for being admitted to the club. The self-selected Russell Group of universities to which the Bartlett belongs, decidedly set themselves apart and some would say above other universities. Along with other Russell Group universities the Bartlett could be accused of having no interest in "everyday" architecture (even if it is excellent) and every interest in grooming the exceptional. It is not by accident that a guest presentation by a former student was an RIBA Silver Medal winner. Precisely because it is this type of plaudit that sets one person apart from another. Rightly or wrongly it is a fact of life in education and the wider architectural profession. The false assumption, if there is one, is not that everyone can be brilliant at design but that only a fortunate, favoured few are capable of good design. There are a vast number of good architects produced by an excellent education system who never get to exercise their skills to the best of their ability. Due in large part to constraints outside their immediate control or influence. Conditions they have no option other than to work under. Nor does the Architects' Journal appear interested in everyday architecture or the opinions of merely competent architects. (Inconsequential comment boxes excepted.) It would appear opinions are only newsworthy if they come from award winning architects or established personalities. Thereby continuing the virtuous circle that started in the studio.