Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Lord Foster is 'only human' after all

  • Comment
Letters

I suppose for the lesser mortals among us, there must inevitably be a little schadenfreude about Lord Foster's difficulties with his bridge. Perhaps, too, there should also be a sense of humility and feeling that 'there, but for the grace of God, go I.' After all, I believe that the designer of the Tacoma Narrows bridge had to be restrained from committing suicide.

It is surely an incontrovertible fact of professional life that architects will make mistakes. I know I make enough myself, and I look back at each of my own jobs knowing that something or other could have been done differently or better. I once admitted as much to my RIBAexternal examiner: he failed me and said I lacked conviction about decisions!

Nevertheless, I make sure my PIIis up to date. It was with some astonishment, therefore, that I listened to Terry Farrell on Radio 4's Front Row the other evening telling his interviewer that his memorable mistake was getting the red 'wrong' on one of his buildings. His client, fortunately, liked it.

I mention this only in a comradely spirit of frustrated professional envy and jealousy!

Where on earth do the 'big boys' get those enlightened and forgiving clients who permit their architects a free hand to innovate and experiment and win all the accolades! Wasn't it Denys Lasdun who said 'give the client not what he wanted, but what he thought he could never have!'

Joe Hayward Stanmore, Middlesex

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.