By Timothy J. Brittain-Catlin
The traditional background of structure is a grand narrative of hovering monuments and heroic makers. however it is usually a fake narrative in lots of methods, hardly acknowledging the private disasters and disappointments of architects. In Bleak Houses, Timothy Brittain-Catlin investigates the bottom of structure, the tales of losers and unfulfillment usually missed via an architectural feedback that values novelty, repute, and virility over fallibility and rejection.
As architectural feedback promotes more and more slender values, disregarding yes kinds wholesale and subjecting constructions to a Victorian litmus try out of "real" as opposed to "fake," Brittain-Catlin explains the impression this superficial criticality has had not just on architectural discourse yet at the caliber of constructions. the truth that such a lot structures obtain no serious scrutiny in any respect has led to monstrous stretches of gruesome smooth housing and a pervasive public illiteracy approximately architecture.
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Courtesy of Keith Diplock. MORE LOSERS What architectural tragedies these London railway station hotels have seen. Edward Welby Pugin, son of Augustus and a designer of ornate, idiosyncratic French-Gothic buildings, died in the Turkish baths of the Grosvenor Hotel at Victoria Station in London. 21 Yet the surviving buildings of the Barrys, Scott, and Pugin junior are magnificent if they are presented as the results of a fine artistic and creative temperament battling with the heritage of a famous father, charged with frustration, rather than as second-division Victorian monuments.
31 He never designed anything of any significance again. Some people’s reputation comes to an end because they seem to lose their talent: M. H. Baillie Scott, the winner of the prestigious international Haus eines Kunstfreundes competition in 1901, and the designer of superbly original houses in the late-Victorian and Edwardian era, spent the second half of his career designing (with some difficulty, in the prevalent economic climate) uninteresting half-timbered neo-Tudor homes; as he sank, Mackintosh rose, to the extent that it is the latter’s unsuccessful competition scheme that is now remembered.
It was to be the great pinnacle of his career, a Corbusian temple that reconciled the Georgian city with the twentieth century; but its realization was frustrated by a combination of public opposition to further new development in the city, and new guidelines on secure design following a bomb attack in London by the Irish Republican Army. ”46 45 LOSERS Of the miseries of architects in exile there is plenty more yet to be said: Mendelsohn at least continued to attract critical acclaim. 48 Among the dead there must surely have been countless geniuses.
Bleak houses : disappointment and failure in architecture by Timothy J. Brittain-Catlin