‘Bell Phillips Architects co-founder Hari Phillips argues that using phrases such as ‘never demolish’ unfairly stigmatises architects and clients who are forced to opt for new build for tough social and economic reasons
‘I want to be absolutely clear: I’m delighted to see Lacaton & Vassal win the Pritzker Prize 2021. Their work is thoughtful and sensitive, with a clear social purpose, and their win – like Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize – signals a welcome shift towards recognising ethical and responsible architecture.
‘Following on from Lacaton & Vassal’s success, commentators have jumped on their social media-friendly ‘never demolish, never remove’ maxim. This soundbite is perfect for the socials but ignores real-world complexities and risks demonising anyone who dares to consider demolishing an existing building. Some of our recent estate regeneration projects – where demolition versus retention is a major factor – confront this very issue.’
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