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Style and Auhenticity - TrustNews Jun 18

Kate Mackintosh responds to Robert Adam ’s letter in March's TrustNews

l am in full agreement (as I am sure most people will be) with Robert Adam’s arguments that context and local influence should be respected in all new urban interventions, though l don't quite follow his mention of Christmas and weddings or “high-style architecture".

What is so depressing is the general shallow genuflection towards the so-called “traditional aesthetic" exhibited with tedious repetition by all the major volume house builders, from John-o-Groats to Lands End, several examples of which are being constructed in Winchester as l write, which pay absolutely no regard to local tradition or the particularities of a given site, other that the minimum requited by planning.

There are plenty of talented creative architects who could offer better options. To quote Alison Brooks (joint winner of the 2008 Stirling prize with Fielden Clegg Bradley, for the Accordia development, Cambridge): “l represent a generation that operated in the transition between the high Modernism of the 20th century through Post-modernism and Post-post-modernism and all the other isms. We realised that we can have diversity and influences from history without being historicist."

She has also collaborated with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, architects for Station Approach, who fit very much into this mould. l am therefore con?dent, that we shall see a development on this site, which enhances our great city, provided their advice is followed and they are not restricted by an excess of pre-conditions.

Let us also hope that the Central Winchester Regeneration area attracts architects of a like calibre.

Kate Macintosh MBE RIBA