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21 February 2020


There is a photograph in Adam Fergusson’s The Sack of Bath which similarly and rather horrifyingly shows the construction workers having their lunch break and (rightly of course, they have to earn their living) ignoring the vandalism in front of their eyes. This is St Bartholomew’s Hospital.private wing. The main problem with façadism is: that it so openly admits that anything we build nowadays is so much less beautiful and lasting and imposing than something built fifty or a hundred years ago. So if we can tuck a modern office block or hospital building or students accommodation in a beautiful facade – that is better than attempting, and failing, to build something modern and wonderful-looking. Which would be perfectly possible but alas very very rarely happens. Some would say there is a parallel here with tucking a resuscitated book into a grey facade. But of course we hope that there is no parallel at all, that we are doing something totally different!!

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