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  1. Karl_b


    The talk about the new stadium has got me a bit wound up about the acceptance of mediocre architecture in this country. I've been working in an architect's office for 7 months now and what I'm finding is that clients and planning are, generally, in favour of traditional design instead of something new and contemporary. For example I was asked to draw up a scheme for some 'luxury' flats in Peckham and I produced a design that was modern yet hinted towards the local vernacular. We were happy with it but we came back from a meeting with a planning advisor and were told that there was absolutely no way we would get it built, not a chance. I was a bit pissed off but have no choice to accept it. I have now worked the scheme through with input from the planning advisor and what we have ended up with is a horrible looking block that is supposed to look like a 'London Villa'. It doesn't, it looks awful and is further from suiting it's surroundings than the first scheme. The planner has ended up dictating the design of the building, if this is happening then why employ an architect? Just get a builder to do it. Don't get me wrong, I love old buildings as much as I do contemporary ones, it's the constant longing to design something traditional that frustrates me. We live in the 21st century, not the 18th, 19th or 20th. Buildings should be designed to suit modern life and this is happening in other countries, the Dutch being a great example of how to bring good design into the mainstream. Take housing as another example, planners tend to favour duo-pitched roofs over mono-pitch or flat ones. Pitched roofs are a waste of space and money, both in construction and energy bills. The reason traditional houses don't have flat roofs is because they didn't have the building technology to make them water tight and insulated to a high standard. Now we do, but we persist with pitched roof houses, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. Over 80% of new homes fail to reach CABE's (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) standards, and soon a new Michelin-Star style rating system will be brought in to mark the standards of new houses. This is great news and hopefully one that will kick start a new generation of architecture in this country. Anyway, rant over. It would be good to get some of your opinions on the subject as it's one that I am deeply interested and involved in.