The renowned architecture expert and presenter of Channel 4′s Grand Designs has recently made his thoughts on Britain’s modern architecture very public. He’s criticised building firms for producing “enormous slabs of thousands of boxlike” homes which look as if they’ve been parachuted in by the RAF.
His comments come as the government prepares to publish a report on the current state of Britain’s architecture and the built environment.
McCloud feels that now the housing market has improved, developers will resume production of ‘the same old boxes with nothing on the front or some twiddly Georgian columns’ that the public hate.
He goes on to say, “People on the whole are not anti-development, they are anti enormous slabs of thousands of boxlike units, dropped out of a C130 Hercules and parachuted into a place with no sense of place, no quality of building”
But why does McCloud feel this way?
Britain is in a period of incredibly rapid environmental change. With issues such as the introduction of wind turbines and fracking, the public are growing more and more sensitive about their local landscape. The government has even recently scrapped outdated guidelines that encouraged developers to build high-density flats, as oppose to attractive family homes.
He feels that if builders took more care over architecture and design, the public would be more accepting of new developments, reducing contest to planning applications and improving building efficiency and ultimately, profits.
However, the government is beginning to fund ‘self-build developments’, in an attempt to diversify Britain’s architecture, build greener homes and more sustainable communities. On this front, McCloud feels, “It employs people and I believe it builds better places.” So, perhaps its the beginning of the end for the new-build ‘boxlike’ home?