Robert Venturi (2)

I thought I should pay my respects to the Sainsbury Wing on my way into work: a building which is now taken for granted, taking its place in the corner of Trafalgar Square uncontroversially, such that it is hard now to remember what fierce emotions it aroused at the time, even to the extent that a recent President of the RIBA threatened to strip if Venturi and Scott Brown were considered as candidates for the Gold Medal. It was never an easy site: next door to the Wilkins Building which holds the north side of the Square, but would have been easy to overwhelm. Venturi and Scott Brown chose to be independent minded, neither imitate, nor compete:-

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3 thoughts on “Robert Venturi (2)

  1. Tim Sayer says:

    Charles: I’ve looked again at the Ahrends Burton and Koralek proposals for the Hampton site and they still look hideous. The only time I’ve agreed with Prince Charles on architecture.
    I still think that the basement galleries in the Sainsbury Wing are pretty ghastly and the staircase “user unfriendly” but the remainder of the building works well. Tim

    • Dear Tim, I believe that the basement galleries originally had sidelights out onto the street, which might have improved the sense of access to natural daylight; and I also think that they were originally planned for small-scale, interpetative exhibitions, not the big exhibitions that they are now used for. Charles

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