Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Gove clearly has issues with architecture. Last year he told a free-schools conference, "We won't be getting Richard Rogers to design your school. We won't be getting any award-winning architects to design it, because no one in this room is here to make architects richer." Never mind what works for children or teachers. Or the fact that architects, especially award-winning ones, are generally quite good at designing buildings. Or the fact that the day before this outburst, Gove had been praising Hackney's Mossbourne Community Academy – designed by, er, Richard Rogers.

In Gove's mind, good architecture seems to be indelibly associated with New Labour and the 1990s. And nothing signified that era of moral and aesthetic decay so much as the curve. Look how it sprang up in the pods and blobs of Will Alsop! Look how Norman Foster besmirched the City with his curvaceous Gherkin, then built a spherical City Hall in London for the new (New Labour) mayor (and his lickspittle architectural advisor, Richard Rogers). Curves were everywhere: Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim, the London Eye, the Eden Project, the Scottish parliament, the Millennium Dome (New Labour and Rogers again, ugh!), Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ives' iMac, the Ford Ka, the sun, the moon, Kylie Minogue's bum. It must have been 10 years of wonky hell for Gove.

So now he's literally putting things straight. Perhaps this is the first step towards a square new coalition utopia – a world entirely designed by Lego, Rubik, Mondrian and David Chipperfield. Although that sounds a bit colourful. Perhaps colour should go too. Who needs it, after all?

Curves or no curves, the sentiment for practical, low-cost, functional school buildings is one all architects can get behind. Think of Alison and Peter Smithson's seminal, scrupulously rectilinear Hunstanton School – a shining example of postwar modernist architecture. Or the standardised, prefabricated school design Oscar Niemeyer produced for Brazil's education department in the 1980s. This was so successful, 508 schools were built to it, each customised to local needs. Why couldn't a similar thing happen here? Oh yes, because Niemeyer's design had curves in it. ------------------------------------------------

Just when you thought things couldn't get nuttier, now all British school architecture must look like show boxes, without the lid.

1 posted on 12/17/2012 8:59:05 AM PST by Cvengr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies ]


To: Cvengr

Just my opinion but once the novelty wore off Gehry’s creations it became apparent there’s nothing really worth while under the chrome.


2 posted on 12/17/2012 9:05:35 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

so the guy wants low cost, low maintenance public buildings. he should be celebrated. if someone wants a hugely expensive taj mahal. let them build it with their own monies. as for public funds, they need to be spent wisely, for public purposes, not for self aggrandizement.


3 posted on 12/17/2012 9:09:03 AM PST by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

“One rule fits all” just doesn’t work. Especially one government rule. How about just applying a little common sense? Choose sensible architects, choose simplicity, and choose low costs—within reason.

For instance, lower maintenance costs down the line, as well as lower initial costs. A brick school makes sense if it saves having to prep and paint it every couple of years. And stone or brick or concrete makes sense if you want to cut down on fire risks.

There’s something to be said for functional modern architecture. But anything build modern for the sake of modern is usually pretty ugly.

Common sense. It’s in short supply. But it’s what the guys who make the decisions need most.


6 posted on 12/17/2012 9:35:43 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

Ya’ll need some Soviet in your public building style?


27 posted on 12/17/2012 11:04:24 AM PST by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

This article is making a design specification sound like a ban. I’d rather see a demand for a density ratio or something like that, but I suspect Gove is suspecting monkey business with anything less than clear demands.


29 posted on 12/17/2012 11:15:19 AM PST by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

BFL


34 posted on 12/17/2012 11:31:15 AM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

The reason and the answer lies in the book...Fountianhead


39 posted on 12/17/2012 2:20:15 PM PST by Breto (The Establishment party is killing our country)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cvengr

Buildings should look like bacon. A perfect balance of curve and rectangle.


44 posted on 12/17/2012 7:09:49 PM PST by Yardstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article


FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson