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a life in architecture paul whitehouse

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The chief constable of Sussex, Paul Whitehouse, likes the imaginative reuse of buildings that have outlived their original purpose.

Examples he gives are the transformation of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern, and St Patrick's Church, Hove, where judicious renovation has kept a space for worship at the heart of the building while also providing a thriving centre for the homeless.

He dislikes attempts to replicate old buildings: 'Preserve what is old and beautiful, but if you're going to build new, build new.'

Whitehouse spent 16 of his working years in the Newcastle area and admires Ralph Erskine's Byker Wall (above). 'It fits into its surroundings and generates a sense of community. What were previously run-down terraces are now improved - but the social structures are still intact.'

For Whitehouse, architecture must be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. 'The 18th century Friends'Meeting House in Lewes epitomizes this. It looks good outside and is functional inside.'Malling House, the Sussex Police HQ, also meets these requirements.Built in the 18th century on the site of an earlier dwelling, and restored in the 1990s, it is now the chief constable's power-house.

Whitehouse goes on to mention Lutyens'Castle Drogo, sited dramatically on a granite outcrop at the edge of Dartmoor, and Grimshaw's Waterloo International Terminal.'They didn't simply extend the platforms but planned the terminal properly.'

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