I read with interest Neil Parkyn's review of Modern Ulster Architecture in AJ 22.02.07. In his review he describes Ulster Architect magazine as an excellent home-grown publication - a comment which we at the magazine greatly appreciate, especially coming from an impartial reviewer.
While he groups Ulster Architect with another locally produced journal, the Ulster Architect is unique as the only independent, commercially produced monthly journal accredited by a cross-section poll of the construction industry as the most widely-read architectural journal. It was founded in 1984 and has covered all aspects of architecture and construction since then.
While I appreciate Neil Parkyn's comments that the architecture of Ulster has rarely garnered international acclaim, I would like to point out that Ulster Architect magazine was a trailblazer for the architectural profession in bringing it not only to the attention of a Northern Irish and Irish readership, but to international attention at a time when architecture in Northern Ireland, and its culture generally, fought for attention with bombs and bullets. I refer you to www. culturenorthernireland. com which outlines in greater depth the role that the magazine has played in bringing features about architecture, whether Northern Irish, Irish, British or international, to our readers.
During the 1990s the magazine organised and ran the Ulster Architect Building of the Year Award, the winners of which were featured in the Guardian, The Times and the Financial Times - the first time contemporary architecture in Northern Ireland reached a national readership.
Over the years we have invited Martin Pawley, Colin Amery, Charles Knevitt and the magnificent triumvirate of Sir Hugh Casson, Michael Scott and Liam McCormack and others to judge the awards in Belfast.
Neil Parkyn's review of Modern Ulster Architecture is a generous and welcome appraisal of the book. However, by its very nature the book will not reach the readership that Ulster Architect has reached geographically throughout its existence.
Anne Davey Orr, editor, Ulster Architect