Is it me, or is the penny finally beginning to drop? One side-effect of the credit crunch seems to be a dawning realisation that buildings don’t have to be big, complicated and expensive to work.
When money is tight, the budget doesn’t necessarily stretch to architectural extravagance, or technical gymnastics, so the current crop of major projects are tending to the less eye-catching and more pragmatic. And guess what? Compact and simple buildings can be inherently elegant too.
I guess I’m biased, but when I look out of the window and see the emerging form of the London 2012 Stadium, I see a very neat architectural and engineering solution to a challenging brief. It may not have the bravado of the Bird’s Nest, but it will do the job it has to do, without fuss (we hope!) and without costing the earth – in either cash or resources.
I sense that the general public is embracing the same principles – flashing cash is out, going green is in. Let’s hope it’s not a short-term trend but the start of the step-change we need to make a difference.
Tanya Ross, associate director and project director, L2012 Stadium, Buro Happold
Building Sustainable Design