Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Close

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

Out of order

  • Comment

Robert Adam defends his building composition in Piccadilly

sketch_story_col_web2

As every practising architect knows, when you design a significant building it will not be to the taste or conform to the theories of some commentators, usually in that order. But to suggest that any large building, such as my office building in Piccadilly, has no ‘sense of composition’, as Peter Buchanan does in his ‘Place and Awareness: Pattern Play and the Planet’ (AR August 2012), is absurd and does his interesting theories no credit. It is impossible to assemble a series of elevations of such a large building without some compositional discipline, although you cannot guarantee that every commentator will bother to analyse it.

For the record, here is the original stage-by-stage analysis of how the classical Orders are structured on the principal elevation. This system continues around all sides of the building, progressively simplified as it addresses the different street contexts. It is at least as disciplined as the imaginary proportioning systems illustrated in the same essay where some guiding lines go to the tops of cornices, some to the bottom and some to parapets, presumably to make the theory fit reality.

Robert Adam, Winchester

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.