Director of The Regeneration Practice
Riba approved schools are not training enough of technical skills and architects are akin to fashion designers as a result. It’s blindingly obvious to me that the cladding burning off misunderstands the Venturi effect. The multiple gaps where fire stopping met steel supports combined with hot gasses entering the cavity would pull the fire upwards flaring through the gaps like a blow lamp. The thing was a fire bomb awaiting a fuse. Those who lost their lives in this appalling tragedy are in all our hearts now and there must be justice. That should also point at all modernist fashion designer architects and the training system for architects as much as it does those individuals in the firing line.
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.