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Golding frustrated by lack of 'good' historic new-builds

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The UK has a paucity of well-designed buildings that fit into their historic environment. The gloomy conclusion came last week from Francis Golding at the launch of his Building in Context:

New Development in Historic Areas.

The EH/CABE publication includes 15 positive case studies of contemporary buildings in historic settings (AJ 17.1.02). Following glowing reports on the profession and the document from arts minister Baroness Blackstone and CABE boss Sir Stuart Lipton, Golding poured cold water on the launch by expressing his disappointment at the lack of good examples he could choose from.

He was also frustrated at the case studies available, as they all come from 'nice upmarket places', and not more challenging deprived areas.

'I only had about double the number of examples that went into the document, ' said Golding.

He said he had hoped that he would have to make difficult decisions about what examples to exclude. 'But there was not a tremendous abundance of projects. Even from the appeal in the AJ, I got next to nothing, ' he said.

He blamed the education system and planning problems, but added that the publication did show there is good work being produced in the UK by small practices, 'despite all the drawbacks and without access to millions of pounds of Lottery cash'.

The report is available from 0870 333 1181 or e-mail enquiries@cabe. org. uk

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