Category Archives: Comment

New Traditional Architecture 1: A Frankfurt Reconstruction

The New Traditional Architecture Facebook site is interesting, not least because of its European (often Central European) focus. While Putin seems to be revisiting WW2, as Hitler needing Lebensraum rather than Stalin resisting an invader, this site often engages with … Continue reading

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New Traditional Architecture 3: On Vernacular Architecture

In one posting on the New Traditional Architecture Facebook page is illustrated the ‘Villa Tällberg’, completed in 2019 in the Swedish vernacular manner. It is by a Swedish architectural firm Byggnadswerk, led by Tommy Janssen, who does some rather beautiful … Continue reading

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New Traditional Architecture 2: Right Wing Conspiracies and Leftist Divisiveness

An article in the Art Newspaper by Robert Bevan on 7 January 2022 (‘The ugly pursuit of beauty: how traditional architecture has become a battleground for right-wing politicians’) comes out firing on all barrels against New Traditional Architecture as a … Continue reading

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Sky Barrels: Lake Daylesford, Neighbourhood Character, and Imagistic Architecture

In Daylesford there has been a recent planning application for ‘Sky Barrels’ on Cornish Hill (Fig. 1).[1] These are five one-bedroom holiday cottages in the shape of compressed (elliptical) barrels on metal stands. The ends of the barrels are windowed, … Continue reading

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Montsalvat Part 1: Less an Artist’s Colony than an Ideal Burgundian Village, an Australian Portmeirion

While Montsalvat was an artist’s colony, it was also a Portmeirion: one man’s dream of building a village that romantically alluded to old Europe. Continue reading

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The New National Gallery of Victoria Contemporary Design and New Traditional Architecture

The design of the new National Gallery of Victoria Contemporary art gallery has just been announced (Fig. 1). The architects are Angelo Candalepas and Associates. The new building is in addition to the building build by Roy Grounds in 1968, … Continue reading

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On Recent Proposals for Rebuilding the Roof and Spire of Notre Dame

Within a month of the destruction by fire of the roof and flèche (crossing spire) of Notre Dame in Paris, proposals by architects for their replacement abound. Why are these designs so awful? The answer is simple: they lack respect. … Continue reading

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On Gentlemen and William Morris

Some of William Morris’s bon mots have not worn well. In the local gift shop they have chalked up the phrase ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. But … Continue reading

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The Bridge on the River Kwai

I was reading an article about the 1974 V&A exhibition about the Destruction of the Country House. It cited a Guardian review of the time, to the effect that why should we care that the houses of wealthy (or once … Continue reading

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The Restoration of Chartres Cathedral

Looking back at the controversy over the restoration of Chartres cathedral, and a look at some commentary available on-line: an article in the Spectator in 2012 by Alasdair Palmer (http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/arts-feature/7836868/restoration-tragedy/), a blog by Martin Filler in the New York Review … Continue reading

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