Richard Murphy's housing scheme at Cramond is fine and Murphy is a competent architect, but to make wild comments, as he did at the RIAS convention, that his new design 'might change the face of British suburban housing at a stroke' is comical if not ridiculous (AJ 24.5.01).
In density and orientation the building is not that different from the post-war council flats one sees around Britain. The only thing that prevents them from being in the revolutionary realm of great housing is a lack of care and maintenance. Given those same conditions, Murphy's housing will be as good or as bad; let's hope he has rich enough tenants to fulfil his dream and sustain the buildings. The best thing going for it, like any building, is its location.
To revolutionize suburbia?
He is speculating that people do not walk around Cramond - a gentle walk down by the River Almond will surely tell you that you can't really do anything radical there since it already exists.
Gunther Pelsi, by e-mail