New Generation Architecture
by Deyan Sudjic
There is a continuing and apparently powerful, if somewhat perverse, urge to write architecture off as dead. In fact the evidence points rather to the contrary.
Charles Jencks, the critic who defined Postmodemism, a style that must itself be just on the edge of an irony-soaked rediscovery, used to confine himself to proclaiming the demise of Modernism. It was an event that he claimed to have detected in the dynamiting of that famous block of award-winning but unloved social housing, the Pruitt Igoe development in St. Louis, Missouri, back in the 1970s.
The fact that so many architects carried on as if nothing had happened afterwards — "like so many headless chickens", as he put it — could be counted as one of the wonders of the age.
There are no such tortured defining moments for the newly emerging architectural voices in New Architects 2. They belong to a fortunate generation had began to practice at a time when the Bilbao Guggenheim in Spain and the wave of lottery-funded millennium projects in Britain transformed the public appetite for architecture.
These twenty and thirty-somethings started out working against the backdrop of a government with a relatively sophisticated approach to making architectural policy. You take it for granted as soon as it's there.
This article is excerpted from New Architects 2 by the Architecture Foundation, with permission of the publisher, Merrell. >>>
Fingal County Hall, Dublin, by Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Belfast.
Photo: Michael Morans
The Nook, Eel Pie Island, Twickenham, by Boyarsky Murphy Architects, London.
Photo: Helene Binet
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