Friday Feedback #3 | Architecture & Design

Good words, bouquets, brickbats and nonsense from Tone on Tuesday (TOT).

ToT 128 Designing nuclear energy.

Shortly after the federal election, I bought insurance against the wacky demise of LNP (how can you know that?) by writing about the madness of nuclear power. Although they pointed out the idiocy of it as a lasting solution, they went ahead. Little to be proud of. It is clear that ToT is not read by the virtuous right.

ToT 129, 130, 131, 132, 133 and 139 on the houses of the project.

Much of July was spent surveying the importance of architects in house projects, with most commentary on the extraordinary life and career of Ed Gurney. Regular correspondent Kim Jones: “Thanks for enlightening me on Gurney’s work. Prolific – absolutely! And what directory. Nice solid buildings with lots of variety. I’ve always admired cubic stacking shapes.

ToT 136 and 137 on the building commissioner.

Most responses are not intended for publication. But a good point was made by Kim Jones (again) when discussing the building commissioner’s problems with D&C contracts: “I agree with him… D&C is a recipe for poor construction. The architect is expected to inspect and provide a “report”, but a project manager can, and often does, approve progress payment even when the architect is dissatisfied with the quality of the work… The problem is compounded by the general incompetence of many who work in the field of project management. Some don’t even understand how buildings are constructed. The limit of their knowledge seems to be the program and the assessment… I liked your article, but I found it depressing.

ToT 140 and 141 on the madness of the follies of King Charles III.

A few correspondents wrote that they thought Prince Charles had done a good job in stopping Ahrends Burton and Koralek’s winning design extension to the National Gallery in London. To which I reply with this History of the ArchDaily site. One of the problems not least was his intervention which led to the disappearance of a large architectural firm. Read and see if you agree with this setback: “Critics in the UK are much more informed and thoughtful than most of what passes for criticism here in Australia.”

Kim Jones again (yes, it’s starting to look like KJ’s show this week): “The former prince’s follies are hopefully just a weird quirk of times that are now past. Certainly no need to give the Terry Farrells of this world more oxygen. However, if he doesn’t had heeded that Krier’s critique of the city, while rejecting his proposals for naïve architectural responses, he might have fared better Foster, the great classicist of our time (or Rogers, the great medievalist of our time) might have Engage the Prince on a more constructive path and help him interpret architecture more thoughtfully. But now that he’s king, we don’t really have to worry about his interference, do we?

Here are two more positive takes on the prince’s predilections: ArchitectureAU’s new columnist Elizabeth Farrelly does her best to straddle the fence in The urban aspirations of King Charles IIIand a bolder claim that the prince was right all along can be found in the column: Carbuncles and King Charles: Was the meddling royal family supertroll right when it came to architecture?by Oliver Wainwright, the Guardian’s architectural critic.

ToT 142 Jack Greenland

By far the most responses EVER were to my obituary for architectural scientist Jack Greenland. I had loved my time with him; what made my week was the number of people who shared my point of view.

Stephen Batey via email:I am sorry to learn of Jack Greenland’s passing. I started architecture in 1991 at UTS. Jack made the information presented in his lessons second nature to all of his students. It was so ingrained in us that the introduction of energy efficiency legislation such as BASIX was dismal. (We know how to make buildings efficient – so why aren’t we? Why does the government have to force industry to do the right thing?) Jack and his influence will indeed be greatly missed.

Michael Davies by email: I taught construction and design at NSWIT between 1975 and 1989, almost concurrently with Jack Greenland’s tenure. I must congratulate you on the wonderful article on Jack in the last issue of Architecture & Design. It was great the way you put Jack in context with Jack Cowan, John Ballinger and others. For the record and from my recollection, the credit for Jack’s arrival in NSWIT probably goes to Peter Middleton rather than Neville Quarry, despite Neville’s great encouragement to all of us.

Michael on another great UTS teacher: “Are you also aware of the passing of Martyn Chapman on Sunday 11th September 2022. Martyn made an equally significant contribution to teaching at NSWIT/UTS in the field of architectural practice as I am sure you know it. I was close to Martyn, more so than Jack, and he seems to have walked away with little to no appreciation for the excellent courses he presented.

Here is Davina Jackson’s introduction to Martyn Chapman in Design and Art Australia Online: “Freelance architect of various Sydney homes and shops in the 1950s and 1960s. Chairman NSW Chapter, Royal Australian Institute of Architects 1980-82. Founder of RAIA NSW Architects Advisory Service, leading to Archicentre and arbitrator of client-architect disputes. Master lectures at NSWIT and UTS in the professional practice of architecture. I’m hoping for an obituary on the UTS website for Martyn Chapman like they did for Jack Greenland.

Michael also mentions another renowned teacher, Adrian Boddy, still with us: “I think we are the only ones left. Adrian has been at UTS longer than anyone else and he shares our point of view. He was also quite possibly the best ‘teacher’ at the school.” And summarizes:If only today’s students of architecture received the education once provided, perhaps the profession wouldn’t be in the mess it is today.

Philippe Thalis on Twitter And to better understand this fantastic man, here is such a warm and grateful farewell from the architect and professor Tone Wheeler, who knew Jack Greenland well for so long. Followed by a link this twitter artist has made several times for ToT. Which is great since I’m “social-allergic.”

Kim Jones via email: I was fortunate enough to study architecture in the 1970s, taught by John Ballinger when the principles of architectural science were considered essential to understanding buildings. This has been of great benefit to the way I communicate with my engineering consultants. (And learning structures from Ken Wyatt has been very beneficial to how I communicate with my structural engineering consultants). If we don’t understand how our consulting team members think, then we really don’t have a team. I wonder what today’s students are learning in this area of ​​architectural science? The ability to deploy algorithms cannot really displace the understanding of principles.

David Baggs on Facebook: “Vale Dr Jack Greenland…so sad to read…about the passing of my former mentor and jazz buddy Jack Greenland. My interest and passion for passive energy, and indeed for climate issues, stems from the knowledge imparted by Jack during, if I remember correctly, 3 or 4 years of courses at NSWIT. He was a big man, smart, funny and, as Tone mentions, a great communicator and eventually a friend.

Professor Leena Thomas: “Jack has been a generous mentor to me and I have been honored to continue to lead the environmental studies stream over these years. And Leena sent many emails to the staff and friends of architecture at UTS, and reported the obituary on UTS.

Finally, in response to my lament that the Fundamentals of Architecture Science book was out of print (and there were no used copies because the owners clung to them), David Baggs agreed that the book should have another life : “Maybe we should re-release the book digitally Your?” And some encouraging news from Leena Thomas: We must actually have a few copies left here in UTS of Jack’s third edition – I’ll find them and let you know… Incidentally, Jack transferred the copyright of the book to me when he left – but other pressures meant that I couldn’t find the time to update the book. I will look into that.

And a final word from me on what this burst of nostalgia could mean. Architectural science is no longer an important part of architectural education. Although there are “architectural science departments” in schools, most are now embracing digital technologies for the creation of lanky forms rather than the practical aspects of detailing and construction. Along with this, teaching is taken away from gifted teachers/practitioners and given to postgraduate students, with little or no practice, understanding architecture only from an abstract procedural point of view.

Vale Jack Greenland and Martyn Chapman. Will we ever see their peers at school again?

Tone Wheeler is an architect / opinions expressed are his own / contact at [email protected]

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