Is today architecture day?
It seems as if occasionally there is a day when all the news is about architecture. Of course it helps that today is the day that the Stirling Prize shortlist was announced. It was interesting that the radio news focused on Park Hill being on the shortlist, in a ‘from loathed to loved’ kind of way. Always frustrating though when they focus on one story to the exclusion of the rest.
There were also people talking about Nimbyism and a group fighting to preserve a view of London simply because Canaletto once saw it.
And, on the BBC website, its light-hearted piece about dealing with the heatwave veered away from the now standard ‘keep cool by keeping your pillow in the fridge’ to a list of 10 ways we aren’t prepared. Point one is ‘The design of modern flats’ with reference to the RIBA’s campaign about small flats (no room for a fridge big enough to have spare pillow space, then) and Ellis Woodman of Building Design talking about the problem with single-aspect flats that don’t allow cross ventilation. In fact the whole story is pretty construction related, bemoaning the lack of air conditioning, swimming pools, outdoor seating and water fountains.
For one day at least there seems to be an acknowledgement of the importance of the built environment. If this is architecture day, wouldn’t it be good to extend to a week, a month or, whisper it, a year – to the realisation that the places we build and inhabit have a profound influence on the quality and even the quantity of our lives.
But rumour has it there is a royal baby due and that will knock everything else off the news agenda. Enjoy architecture in the media while you can.