David Farmery's comments
The more voices the better in this conversation? Hopefully the Csar, Apparatchiks and his Capo di Capo are taking notes! (And I’m not an architect, so don’t tar me with that brush!)
Having attended many planning meetings, what is needed is a School of Architecture; for the people on the Clapham omnibus, whoever they are. Not to indoctrinate, but enable them to make a constructive contribution.
It is impossible to please all the people all the time, especially as the world changes even faster. We will never complete the project, but I’ve enjoyed having a go for 50 years. A few of you might have used my buildings travelling to Milton Keynes or Calais, or living in Docklands? And sometimes they are beautiful, at least in the eye of this beholder.
So how about an Architectural Summer School, with Roger Scruton and a few MPs in the front row?! And learn by doing, before you tell others where to go.
Sorry Cadell you are an arse too!! Go back to school with Prince Charles and this Scruton person, and look around you. UK architects are respected all over the world, as much for the changes to society we have brought about as for the buildings themselves. As I said earlier, we are not perfect, but willing to work hard and learn.
This is getting very boring. Time for lunch anyone?
And Scruton should go back to the dreaming spires and actually do some more background reading. He’s only 72. Try Pinker, for a start. Then Harare? A great American Anglophile. Drawing and painting are both very enjoyable pastimes, and might teach him something too?
Cultures and civilisations move at a broad interlinked pace. Modern medecine and space travel. Darwin and Dawkins. Central heating and a living wage. You can rarely have one without the other. The internet and iPhones. The way we have it now works, with the odd glitch. Onwards and upwards?!
And it needs more than Robert Wakeham and I to talk this guy out of town. Cesare Bednarski? Piers Taylor? To name but 2 who comment in this forum. I’m sure we all like classical architecture, but taken to the next levels and beyond. Modern or Modernist, call it as you like?!
This fellow calls himself a philosopher and intellectual. Has he designed or built anything? What does his own house look like? I haven’t the time to read his pretentious drivel. He should spend some time in a good architects office, on site, at a community consultation meeting. He will find that Architecture is a collaboration, and always has been. Wren needed Hawksmoor, a good builder, an understanding client with a lot of money, and Grinling Gibbons and then Capability Brown for the landscaping.
Perhaps visit a Grand Design and talk to the client? Also a developer and a fund manager? He might learn something. Let’s hope he’s never given any real power in some sort of Government Advisory Committee!
Architects aren’t perfect, just human, and doing their best in multi faceted times? Some buildings and environments are amazing: some work, some are awful.
Now we recognise Piers Taylor?! The architect’s architect, with the jaws of a cavalry subaltan, leading the charge, with the President’s Men of the RIBA in the van?!
Your magic marker sketches and persuasive comments for young clients are so seductive. If only every job was a small house commission with BBC scale fees! With a co ordinator like this we can win? I hope the market will call the shots, the “beautifully inept” politicians keep out of the way, and we can welcome our talented worldwide friends to the party.
Stay cool, and new opportunities will open up as the dust settles. We will be able to work for the benefit of Africa and South America. Help Europe change for the better, and even teach Trump a lesson?
No pressure then! Keep dancing? And well done Piers.
Great that the Brits and friends are still involved in the ex Crown Colony! A liberalising influence in tricky times there for democracy? And it looks like a combination of silver grey Chep Lap Kok and the bronze mahogany Kuala Lumpur Airport with it’s tapered concrete columns? Very well judged. Of course I will need a site visit with a weekend stay at the Oriental.
What’s next for the Venice of the East? A connection to the new road/rail link to Vien and beyond, with a stop at Yangon? Mahjong round a smoking Barbie to deter the mosquitos? A new Kowloon Cricket Club? Russia v China in the T20 final? Croquet is ideal when the humidity is 90%? Will we ever be as fluent in Madarin or Hokkien as Carrie Gracie?
Gin and Tonic sundowners wearing a solar topee, the ladies in white cotton dresses after a hard day on the stock exchange?
Looks great guys! And sensible too? No ground breaking “look at me” materials and aesthetics. A nice place to live, and get on with life. And all without the help of Prince Charles or Roger Scruton! Could this set a pattern for the 2020s? 250,000/year?
Homes fit for post Brexit heroes?!
Will the Prince really stop interfering in areas where he knows so little after he becomes King? Like many of his subjects he has never had an architectural education. High Grove is nice, and he has the most useful qualification for a client: Pots of money. He does like the Mound Stand at Lord’s, so he has some valid opinions. The National Gallery though was an utter shambles.
He is more informed about the natural environment, gardening and global warming, so he might perform a useful role there. And it will be the most important issue during the next 10 years and beyond?
Like all of us he has made mistakes, and is aging at the same pace. He lucked out eventually with Camilla and the boys, not to mention their wives and his grandchildren.
Happy birthday mate. Look after Windsor, and bugger Bognor?!
Great! I too worked on PFI schools. New build and London Board School modernisations, including one in Whitechapel that my grandmother attended from 1895-1900!
I had worked on Design Build, Building the Channel Tunnel at Folkestone, that worked as long as you were making money for the builders? It went pear shaped when you lost their trust! Wimpeys were great for Eurotunnel. Skanska not so for Oak Park School, Redbridge. BDP carried more weight than WGI? The client/planners/LA can help or hinder too.
Every design contract has its flaws! GOSH was rewarding but flawed, T5 at Heathrow had it’s moments?! I built my current house with a Portuguese builder and no contract, and we are still friends. It would be interesting to meet and compare notes, if only to help future progress on what we face now. Housing crisis. Brexit. Parliament rebuild. Global warming. The last 45 years will seem a doddle?!
I am open to any communications by anyone. By email? David
This string of comments illustrates so much about what is right and wrong with intellectual discourse in the age of the Internet. It is so easy to make a derisory or cynical comment without a real understanding, a la Trump.
It would be interesting to hear what Professor Scruton has to say without taking his many words out of context, and if he has anything helpful to contribute. He should be free to say what he thinks, even if it is unfashionable. Architects do not know everything? And MPs are not stupid. Do other countries organise organise these things better?
The environmental organisations involved need finessing to be more effective. But who is qualified to carry this out? A committee? A Czar? A Professor? A builder? Art historian? Or just get on with it?! Well known or Anonymous.