Editor’s comment – January

Hello and welcome to your first edition of ADF of 2018, we hope that the start of a new year finds you and your practice embracing the challenges of projects with some renewed vigour, and anticipation for prospects to come.

We are looking forward to bringing you a wide range of reports on interesting projects and thought provoking features and opinion this year, and also to the two extra supplements we have added to our already packed list. These are Bricks, Stone and Ceramics in March, reflecting the increased interest in the architectural use of brick in particular, as well as variations of stone and ceramics, plus another supplement dedicated to a key area. Composites in Architecture – planned for the November issue, will include a focus on innovative composites for creating weird and wonderful structures.

With this increased focus on materials, we are happy to announce that the event for architects dedicated to looking in depth at materials innovation – Materials for Architecture – returns in its second instalment this April (25-26th, ILEC Centre, London). Organised by the publishers of ADF, netMAGmedia, this event will provide rare insights from designers and manufacturers into innovations ranging from responsive building skins, to the latest on phase-change materials, and even back to basics materials or architecture such as rammed earth.

While at home we are presenting positive examples of current success and endeavour in construction and design, in the wider context there’s has been implicit criticism of architecture of the recent past. Taking us away from the worrying geopolitical machinations of Brexit and Trump (which sounds like a malevolent firm of solicitors from a Dickens novel), there has been something of a stark announcement from the AIA, that it will not be awarding its Twenty-Five Year Award in 2018.

The award has been made by the American architects’ association for US and overseas projects that have “stood the test of time for 25-35 years and continue to set the standards of excellence for architectural design and significance.” European projects such as Broadgate Exchange and the Grand Louvre Phase 1 have featured recently alongside past winners such as Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.

However there was nothing among the submissions for this year’s prize (including buildings from the mid-80s up until 1997) that merited such a title, according to the judging panel. This period is not generally acknowledged as a vintage era, but this is a stark confirmation, and also begs the question of how many buildings since that time will be placed above those, and rated as standard-setters.

James Parker