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News Archive

TAG Objects to Anti-traditional Comments in Architects Journal

Alireza Sagharchi, Chair of the Traditional Architecture Group (TAG), has criticised Paul Finch, Deputy Chair of the Design Council, for his comments published in the Architects Journal on 14 July 2011. The Design Council has recently merged with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), and together they are widely regarded as influential bodies providing advice on matters related to the built environment. The Design Council is partly funded by public funds. In the Architects Journal Mr Finch said inter alia that "[o]ne of the good things about the 2012 London Olympics is the realisation that we have a set of great buildings produced not by Quinlan Terry, Robert Adam, John Simpson, but by Hopkins, Hadid, Make... None of it endorsed by the Prince of Wales..."

TAG objects to these comments on the grounds that Mr Finch holds a public position, and must therefore not be seen to endorse a bias against traditional architecture. TAG also suggests that these comments are proof of the prejudice that exists against traditional architecture in favour of modernist architecture and design.

You can read TAG’s response to Mr Finch’s comments by clicking here. Also available on TAG’s website are the Design Council/CABE’s reply and TAG’s second response.

TAG is a linked society of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and has amongst its members some of the most prominent names in traditional architecture in the UK. Many of TAG’s members are also affiliated with INTBAU, including Robert Adam (INTBAU Chair), Alireza Sagharchi, Nigel Anderson, Julian Bicknell, Nicholas Groves-Raines, Hugh Petter, George Saumarez-Smith, Alireza Sagharchi, and John Smylie.

The 2012 Olympics have brought a wealth of design opportunities to London. While all of the major commissions have gone to modernist firms, there is still some chance for traditional architecture and design to make a mark with the many cultural and heritage-related projects that will accompany the Games.

We would welcome your thoughts on Paul Finch’s remarks and TAG’s response. Please email your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

                                                            Render of London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Centre, Zaha Hadid Architects