Comment on: C20 Society makes Hyde Park Barracks listing bid
I have to say 'I do like it' and always have done. But then I'm a fan of the unfashionable Basil Spence. As for Francis Terry's pile 'I don't like it'!
I probably did say what has been reported (and, hey, it has got a response!) but without the circumstances in which it was said, I agree, it doesn't sound correct. Many schemes using standardised house types have never seen an architect. A planning consultant will plan the scheme and obtain the consent (and I can understand why, given the current planning system) using house types which are developed ‘in house’ by the housing developer. I made the comment in relation to this type of scheme. If the developer does not directly employ an architect then none will be used in the process. I also made the same points as Wayne Hemmingway and added that most housing through history has been built without using architects. I looked up the ARB figures to see if it helped inform the the housing debate instigated by the AJ where standardised solutions, whether they be city towers or bland estates built on green field sites are rightfully being questioned. Direct employment of architects may say something about the particular companies. I think the response from Sean Ellis sums up the situation very well and it is interesting that he sees using non standard designs as giving St James and Berkeley Homes a competitive edge. I agree architects have produced some excellent innovative housing schemes for some of these developers however I have also seen many housing ‘estates’ built by those same developers which are bland, unimaginative and which could be anywhere.
I'm with John McAslan on this. I think it should be recreated as it was. It only has any meaning if it is here and it is possible to build designs based on it (or not) elsewhere. After all Mackintosh didn't build it himself so recreating it from his drawings (and other sources) is the same as it was first time around. I don't view this as a lost opportunity. The 100 years of patina are gone and are nothing to do with Mackintosh.
I'd be interested to know if this attitude is the same with engineers and other members of the design team. Given how they are acknowledged as better at running business' it would suggest that this doesn't happen. I rather think it does though.
...and what of the architects? I don't know the circumstances behind this scheme so couldn't say whether it is justified or not but isn't this also a criticism of the architect and not just the developer?