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Space between

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Reflections on life's prizes formed the basis of Sir Terry Farrell's address to the AJ/Bovis Lend Lease Architecture Awards at the Royal Academy last week. Farrell reflected on five great buildings he had nominated to the Financial Times as his personal favourite buildings of recent vintage: Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim; the Mecanoo library project at Delft's Technical University; Rafael Viñoly's Tokyo Forum; Steven Holl's Seattle Chapel; and Wilkinson Eyre's Gateshead Millennium Bridge - a pretty eclectic choice. Farrell thought it would be instructive to put buildings through a form of psychoanalysis to understand the motives and intentions of their designers, rather than relying on over-simplification inherent in today's mass culture. He liked the spaces in between buildings, and architects whose work falls between categories - Lutyens, Stirling, Loos, Plecnik and Frank Lloyd Wright. His 'space between' award for the past 50 years? The Clean Air Act - invisible in its process but with an extraordinarily far-reaching effect. An unexpected but stimulating thought.

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