It is a distortion of history to say that the Holocaust was enacted by a democratically elected government. Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor by President Hindenburg at a time when his party held a relatively small number of seats in the Reichtag. He did not have a democratic mandate from the German people as we understand the term. Once in power, violence consolidated his position, and led to the removal of many of his rivals. Notwithstanding that, the project is the right one in the wrong location with the wrong design. London must try again.
The sensible and balanced decision of the Inspector, as reported, restores one's faith in the planning system. Whatever one may think about the highly self-conscious artifice brought to the built scheme, this in no way justifies demolition of the building. Islington's actions in this matter smack of subjective taste, and this has no place in planning terms in a city such as London.
Alan Power - Alan Power Architects Ltd
Comment on: AA cost-cutting moves face a global backlash
The AA Files is one of the finest architectural publications in the world. It has consistently produced extraordinary work, unearthing little known architects and buildings that would not find a voice anywhere else, as well as illuminating the lives and work of some of our best designers and educators. The recent articles on Patrick Hodgkinson and Dalibor Vesely (my old tutor from Unit 1) are exemplars of this achievement. Where else would you find, in Dalibor’s case, an article about somebody’s book collection, and a series of photographs of their apartment? Yet the article has added to our knowledge of one of the most original architectural thinkers of the modern era.
No doubt there are issues of financial governance and probity to consider, but the Council must stay any decision that affects AA Files, and they must seek some way of funding it going forward, if necessary consulting with members and alumni. Many years ago, under Mohsen Mostafavi’s directorship, I and many others made modest but regular monthly contributions to the AA to help it with the purchase of the lease at Bedford Square. I would be more than happy to reinstate my direct debit, on the understanding that it is used to save the AA Files.
Alan Power AADipl RIBA
It is clearly understood by everyone that the reason that architects have been marginalised in terms of procurement, and why more traditional forms of contract are no longer in vogue, is cost. The construction industry has sold the mantra to clients, and clients have accepted the argument, that D&B gives ‘best value’ and ‘cost certainty’, because there is a single source for the procurement, controlling the whole process. But the focus is only on the construction project itself. It is time to look at ‘cost-in-use’, starting with the schools in Edinburgh, and of course Grenfell Tower, and many other towers across the country that have now been found to be sub-standard.
For the Edinburgh schools, how convincing is the ‘best value’ mantra looking now?
And for Grenfell Tower, once all the costs have been added up, including the cost of re-housing the tenants, the cost of the police investigation, the cost of the public inquiry, the cost of demolishing the tower and replacing it with housing elsewhere, when all this is added up, it is completely insignificant when one considers the heart-breaking human cost.
Alan Power Architects Ltd
In an age when so much building is dumbed down D&B, this building deserves an award just for the sheer quality of its execution, and the level of craftsmanship involved, even if the faint-hearted neo-modernist jurors who looked at it couldn't summon enough of the smelling salts to give it an award for its exceptional styling. Alan Power