Well-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.
As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.
Photo: Ross Campbell