Is it just me or are houses getting uglier? Today we got promotional material for an estate agent, with this picture of a house that’s for sale in our neighbourhood. Presumably it was designed by an architect. Presumably that architect’s course had touched on the perfect proportions of the Parthenon, the distinctive grace of the Duomo di Firenze, the simple elegance of the Eiffel Tower, the soaring splendour of Barcelona’s unfinished Sagrada Familia (pictured). Was he/she away sick for all those lectures?
I blame Grand Designs, that TV series that glorifies rusty iron sheeting, half-burnt timber, floor-to-ceiling windows, concrete floors and exposed girders. At the start of the Industrial Revolution factory-owners were proud to build cotton mills that looked like houses, with well proportioned windows and decorative flourishes. Now people are building houses that look like carelessly stacked shipping containers and architects point proudly to “industrial” interiors.
Am I alone in thinking that this period of residential architecture will be looked back on with bemused revulsion? I’m sure Prince Charles agrees with me – but what about you?