Director of The Regeneration Practice
This macabre block is wrong headed. The future should hold hope and rebirth not entomb the tragedy for ever in darkness. The city, the community and the politics need the result of the enquiry before any memorial as before healing there is a public account to be settled.
...ok I have reviewed my file on Grenfell which includes screen shots from Studio E architects website before it was taken down. These proudly show the incendiary cladding system and include a partially removed panel which shows the firestops with clear air gaps either side of vertical metal support framing. So my point is, any architect should know the effect of smoke in continuous cavities, an effect accentuated on a warm night by the 'stack effect' due to the differential air pressure at ground level and the top of the tower. So Grenfell was a primed fire bomb awaiting any fire in any flat to go off with catastrophic consequences. If the architects knew of the technical deficencies of the alleged client/cladding contractor system (quoting Berridge), I find it strange they would display it proudly on their website. But I agree, of course no blame can be attached to the architect pending the outcome of the official enquiry.
if Berridge is correct (and he seems to know more than most), it still is not good enough for an architect to allow this incendiary construction to take place. Were letters written to the clients followed by solicitors letters? Given the gravity, (if it WAS understood by the architects) personally, I would have laid down in front of the contractors. The Building Regulations should not be a gold standard for architects detailing full stop.
Truly unbelievable. Not only has this awful tragedy shown up a lack of technical skills in the profession for which the RIBA and approved schools carry a heavy responsibility but now we find the profession is represented by a fraud if the reports are true of his public profile. Martin Moore-Bick should have checked this guy's credentials as well given the weight he was clearly prepared to place on his evidence. The public has as much right to expect trust and expert skills of architects as they do from lawyers and doctors. Fellow architects who dismiss the use of the word architect on here are a discrace. I am sickened by the involvement of my profession any where near the Grenfell refurbishment and sickened by anyone who betrays their profession and public trust in it.
A blinding lack of technical skill apparent in the use if flamable cladding, token fire barriers riddled with air gaps to create a fearsome blowlamp updraught triggered on that dreadful warm night by a simple kitchen fire are matters any Architect should know about and avoid from their training. We are not training architects in practical construction but training a generation with a childish obsession with image and style above all things. The RIBA and the Approved Schools have their hands all over this. Clearly the buildings management, Building Regulations and Regulatory inspection by the local authority all have a part to play but it is the public’s right to a duty of care from a profession which assumes the role if expert which has been badly broken by this terrible tragedy. Calls for sprinklers and second staircases cannot hide that simple fact.