By Ben Pentreath [excerpt]
This simple traditional architecture is not everyone’s cup of tea. An awful lot of architects sneer at Poundbury, and pastiche is a word I hear used a lot. Well, for me, it’s all about authentic building – and that’s not, actually, to do with age. It’s to do with getting things right. Scale, detailing, proportion, moderation. If you look over on the architecture website, we do buildings that are more contemporary in their treatment, like our designs for the site in Chelsea – it’s horses for courses, for me – about putting the right thing in the right place as best as one can. And Poundbury, for me, is all about getting the traditional architecture – that belongs both to its own place, now, and also to the extension of a county town in West Dorset – as right as we can.
I think I had better sign off, if you will forgive the pun. And while I hope you will, like all of us, have enjoyed a chuckle at ‘Ugly Buildings’, and even, perhaps, understood where Mr (or Ms? K.G.B) is coming from, I hope you will also realise that there are two sides to every story. Which really is my manifesto, if ever there was one. Try and understand the alternative point of view.