Is this what the products of the next generation of architects will look like?It is a house in Byron Square, Trumpington, Cambridge, which PRP has refurbished as part of the government’s ‘Retrofit for the future’ initiative. The house, which is a steel-framed system building, has been overclad, and has solar and pv panels on the roof (note the care taken to ensure they look the same), as well as heat recovery, new windows etc.
It will be monitored carefully over the next two years. Exemplars like this should point the way to a mass of work that can be done – and needs to be done. But whereas this house involved a large effort from a large practice (at a large price) the idea will be to come up with a solution that is repeatable and affordable. And will offer a very different shape for architectural practice.
There is a great article by Mary Beard, the world’s wittiest classics don, on the Times website (worth looking at before they lock it all down) about the doors on her new faculty building and the fact that, in attempting to cope with disabled access, they actually become impossible for anybody to use.
She is evidently not an expert in health and safety or building legislation, but that is the point. Unintelligent application of rules will lead to mad solutions like this. Made worse in this case by the fact that the department tried to deal with the need for manifestation by using an appropriate quote – only to find that the Greek lettering had been mis-spelt. Too clever by half?