Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Architectural Design

Thanks to Leo for lending me several issues of Architectural Design from the early 1960s.

The tone of the commentary is slightly grating and there are acres of mind numbing building description (an unbroken tradition in architectural journalism to this day), but there are also some nuggets, such as this chastening intro' to a (favorable) review of Gillespie Kidd & Coia's St Brides Church in East Midlothian;

'The fortifications wave in the UK has not at all spent itself.  We have probably, many years in front of us of castellated parapets, slit windows, battered bases and doubtless even a moat or two before we are through.  It is true that the farther north one goes, the more tolerant one becomes of this quaint insular taste of ours.'

Coia won the Riba Bronze Medal for this church, by the way, and the bell tower was pulled down not all that long ago because, allegedly, this was two hundred quid cheaper than re-pointing it.

Elsewhere we are informed that the new Crown Office building at Ruislip represents...

'...a good rhythmical background type of architecture which unrecognized maestros might contemplate as an alternative to ego-building, eye catching (and damaging) architectural eruptions which now pustulate too many sites.'

whilst Riverwalk House (pictured below)  is ' ...another addition to the Thames and to that school of thought which finds horizontal emphasis too horizontal and vertical too vertical.'


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