FRANKENTYPES: THE LAST PUBLIC ARCHITECT
A project for Archifringe 2018
MUTT were invited to contribute to Frankentypes, an Archifringe core exhibition of ideas from five emerging practices responding to new, hybrid typologies.
The last public architect is the final frontier of architecture as a public service. In 1976, 49% of architects worked in the public sector; in 2017, that number was less than 1%; now, however, there is only one. Their fate is inevitable. Despite this they still endeavour.
He practices out of a row of three terraced houses; one of them was a GP’s surgery before they had cuts of their own to deal with, and sold up to move to Croydon, leaving behind the globe surgery sign. A ‘unique opportunity’ to purchase three properties on a ‘sought after square,’ the agent told him and, seeing himself as the next Soane, how could he refuse? Soane’s house at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was conceived as a public space, a resource for students and public alike to show the broad scope of the possible in architecture. The last public architect is the last bastion of this agenda, tirelessly working away to prove his worth and that of the profession. He is creating a series of spaces to show how the ordinary could become the extraordinary. Not unlike Soane, there are religious influences spread throughout, in the use of light and form. Perhaps he too is making his own memorial, a shrine for the last true public architect.
Photo credit: Archifringe