One of the perils of producing a magazine or a newspaper is that one can get overtaken by events. Just as the hapless reporter who filed a newspaper review of a play he had not seen got egg on his face when the theatre he had not visited burnt down the day before publication, sometimes elections called and run during the period between interview and publication can render things a little … well, old hat. But in Gavin Barwell one feels that even should the worst befall him and he get voted out or shuffled, the subject of housing has a key friend who has already exerted a major influence. While Barwell’s gaze is focused on the UK, much of the rest of the magazine this quarter has an international feel to come into line with the way in which our country must now look, trade-wise, and to tally with London: Design Capital, a new NLA show on design’s place on the global stage. The international perspective is also the subject of a large percentage of Sir David Adjaye’s output, and the architect – voted by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people – is our New Londoner this time around. He was also due to give the NLA Annual Lecture … after this edition goes to press.
Brett Steele, outgoing director at the Architectural Association, and profiled in this issue, is used to having an international flavour with many of his students coming from far and wide to get trained for their careers in London and the rest of the world. And our Top of their Game featured practice this time around is BDP, which is spreading its tentacles further afield thanks to its new Japanese ownership and a commitment to principled expansion. At the other end of the scale is breakthrough practice We Made That, whose socially conscious, always public-sector work is gaining fans with its thoughtful, background brand of urbanism.
Still in the public sector, we profile Liz Peace, whose main task is to take forward the vision for Old Oak Common and Park Royal, while our project preview this time is Enfield’s major move at yet another blockbuster regeneration quarter for London, Meridian Water.
There are briefing note updates including an On Location visit east to Barking and Dagenham, and a focus on issues such as placemaking, cultural buildings, tall buildings – and a building review on one that’s already been completed – Fletcher Priest Architects’ Angel Court in the City of London.
Enjoy the issue – whatever the general election result (has been) on 8 June.
David Taylor, Editor