I read with interest former RIBA president Maxwell Hutchinson’s Wonders & Blunders (4 June, page 24)
I agree that Farringdon Road is a total disaster as far as architectural niceties are concerned, but I must point out that all of these hideous designs were probably the work of members of the RIBA. Are we not having even worse design rubbish foisted upon us by members of the RIBA as we speak? Who, after all, comes up with the hideous designs and detailing for cladding panels, plain or coloured, plastic, glass or tin? We must ask how long these materials are going to last.
If you do not believe me, then please walk through any town, for example Croydon. Look at Delta Point, that eighties slum building, the sixties Taberner House, the mid-eighties Green Park House (which incidentally has had all of its repulsive green panels changed at great cost even after hundreds of them were skipped during construction - I was there!)
When are architects going to wake up and realise they are being used as commercial whores by developers looking to make a quick buck? This country, in fact Europe as a whole, produces a huge variety of bricks in every colour of the rainbow, we have natural stone in abundance, and all of these materials are cost effective and will last hundreds of years - look at the Pyramids, the Coliseum and the Tower of London! Can any RIBA member check out the carbon footprint over their lifetime?
Many people, including myself, are fed up with the architecture foisted upon us in the name of sustainability and all the other nonsense spouted out. Use our readily available natural materials and stop getting rid of our wet trade artisans. If we carry on at this rate there won’t be any bricklayers or plasterers soon. We will have to import them. (And what about BREEAM then?)
Peter O’Brien, director, Peter O’Brien, Construction Services