J.O'S SKETCH FOR THE MASTER-DESIGN PLAN OF BATTERSEA.
Master-Design has to integrate an almost infinite number of factors.
JOA prioritise them by placing 'architectural culture' at the head of the list.
Our achievment as Consultants has been to show that many of the design criteria of the 20C, such as services, decoration, traffic and 'green culture' can be absorbed into the 'Traditional Medium'. These are new developments that many other Architects have taken as a cue to abandon every aspect of received architectural culture.
This argument to "shed the cultural load" from necessity (as Reyner Banham put it), is a dissimulaton that does Modernity no service. If Architects wish to dispense with their Medium it would be more intellectually honest if their argument was made from that premise. It would then be up to the 'radical' to show what he sees as replacing Architecture in the constituting of a theatre of social ritual. How else does a community, or a firm, or a family, achieve its ultimate embodiment, as a group of real 'joined-to-each-other' people, in a relaxed, friendly, yet 'noble' way, other than in an 'architecturally situated' space. The Pop Concert audience and the Football crowd are akin to the Imperial 'Roman' societies of the 'spectacle'. We can aspire to public events that are both calmer as well as intellectually richer. Where is this done best except in an 'architecturally-scripted' place?
This drawing shows the final state of J.O.s Master Design of the whole £M500 project.
The stage after this should be the writing of the 'Iconic Constitution' of the Master Design.
Master-Design for the Battersea Development.