Richard Rogers has described the government’s plans to ‘beef-up’ the architecture portfolio as ‘good news’ but has taken a swipe at the DCLG and Quinlan Terry and Rogers Scruton in the process
Last week it emerged that the coalition government was looking to strengthen the architecture brief by moving it from the Departure for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) into the more powerful Department for Communities and Local Government.
The AJ understands an announcement will be made later this week about shifting the ministerial oversight of architecture from the DCMS - the brief currently looked after by Ed Vaizey - to sit alongside housing, planning and sustainability.
Responding to the news, Rogers said: ‘Anything that gives architecture and urban design more prominence in Whitehall is good news, as is strengthening links between design, housing and planning.
‘But it’s hard to be optimistic about putting architecture policy in a department that considers Quinlan Terry and Rogers Scruton the right people to advise on housing design.’
In December classicist Terry and philosopher Scruton were named alongside Terry Farrell on a new government-backed design panel to ‘set the bar on housing design across the country.’
However questions were raised about the make-up of the new watchdog almost as soon as it was announced by prime minister David Cameron with Jonathan Ellis-Miller of EllisMiller Architects commenting: ‘Would it be too much to ask if there were a token architect who was less than 65 on the panel? Or is this for Tory supporters with a country estate only?’