It’s a Bad Week for Architects

The Brits are unimpressed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Japanese are horrified by Zaha Hadid.

A screen shot from a film made by Hugh Petter, who's trying to build the first Frank Lloyd Wright designed-building in the UK. It shows Wright on the TV show "What's My Line?"

A screen shot from a film made by Hugh Petter, who’s trying to build the first Frank Lloyd Wright designed-building in the UK. It shows Wright on the TV show “What’s My Line?”

Two stories worthy of note. The first is about Hugh Petter, a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast in England, who has been trying to convince his fellow countrymen to allow him to build what would be the first Wright-designed building in the UK. But the local planning authority, which would have to approve the project (which was given the rare nod by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation), did not know who Frank Lloyd Wright was. Last year they voted against the project, with councillor Bob Cook saying:

“I do not see why we should allow this odd American-designed house in our countryside. Outside of the USA and Japan there is not one Frank Lloyd-Wright designed house. He can’t be that influential if the rest of the world doesn’t want them.”

Petter made the below video to explain:

But another planning inspector has agreed with Cook, and really goes for the jugular this time:

“At the time of its conception the design may have been considered to be highly innovative and exceptional. Nonetheless, in my view, the design, including in terms of its horizontal form and its use of materials, would not be of exceptional quality or of an innovative nature when considered against modern construction techniques.”

I wish Frank Lloyd Wright were here to punch him for saying that, because you know he would.

Zaha-HadidMeanwhile, Zaha Hadid’s embattled plan for the Tokyo Olympic stadium has suffered another blow. From the Guardian:

…one of the country’s most eminent architects, 83-year-old Arata Isozaki, has launched a blistering assault against the project, declaring it to be a “monumental mistake” and warning it will be a “disgrace to future generations”.

In a lengthy open letter to the Japan Sports Council, the government body in charge of plans for the 2020 games, Isozaki rails against the “distorted” process that has led to “a dull, slow form, like a turtle waiting for Japan to sink so that it can swim away”.

I will never be able to look at that building without thinking of a turtle now.

UK’s First Frank Lloyd Wright House Blocked by Planning Inspector [Arch Daily]
Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic stadium slammed as a ‘monumental mistake’ and a ‘disgrace to future generations’ [The Guardian]