Rick Mather

In the literature of Postmodernism, I would have liked there to be space to mention Rick Mather’s internal renovation of the Architectural Association, including its upstairs bar and downstairs basement restaurant, none of which now survives. Of course, Rick Mather is probably not properly regarded as post-modern, but I remember feeling that his work at the Arhitectural Association introduced a new vocabulary of design in the late 1970s – smarter, sleeker, more sophisticated and more American (he was himself American) – which, given its location in the heartland of London architectural teaching, made it feel programmatic. Maybe it was more post-minimal than post-modern, but he was included alongside Chipperfield, Eric Parry and Stanton Williams in an exhibition at the 9H Gallery in which his Climatic Research Centre at the University of East Anglia is an obvious and wilful contrast to the work of Denys Lasdun, interested in surface, detail and finish in a way that Lasdun was not and which is one of the beneficial characteristics of the postmodern.

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