Art is not just personal expression. Art is not just establishing one's personality in the eyes of the fashionable world. Art is making things. Making things for all people, for every day.
Patrick Nuttgens - 'A Full Life and an Honest Place'
…there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction or propriety
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Art is the expression of man’s pleasure in labour
…it came to be seen that it was impossible to detach design from craft,…and that, in the widest sense, true design is an inseparable element of good quality, involving as it does the selection of good and suitable material, contrivance for special purpose, expert workmanship, proper finish, and so on….. Workmanship when separated by too wide a gulf from fresh thought – that is, from design – inevitably decays.
W. R. Lethaby - Introduction to Christopher Whall’s book 'Stained Glass Work'
..a small house is in many ways more difficult to design than a large one, for while every part must be minutely schemed, nothing should be cramped or mean looking, the whole house should be conceived broadly and simply, and with an air of repose, the stamp of home.
Ernest Newton - A Book of Houses (1890)
- Never do today what you can reasonably put off till tomorrow, or 'If it ain't broke, dont fix it!'
- If it is broke, repair it honestly - don't replace it, alter or update it just because it doesn't seem fashionable or look new. Avoid placing stress on an old and delicate building by using it for a glitzy or heavy duty purpose.
- If it has evolved or been altered over time, retain everything of quality or interest of any period - never try to restore back to some notional original state without hard evidence.
- Do not take advice from or make deals with anyone who is self-interested, whether out of profit or power, especially developers, contractors, politicians, traders, self-appointed pundits or people looking for parking spaces.
- Do not be bounced into anything, particularly by threats such as: If I can't build this the place/building/economv will rot and you will be the losers.
- When faced with large new schemes do not be impressed with pretty drawings, scale models, architectural descriptions or the reputation of the architect- GET THE PLANNING AND USES RIGHT FIRST. Remember that if the bones are attended to, the flesh can be put on later, and the architect may change once the scheme has planning permission.
- Try to look a hundred years ahead at least. Moments of glory are few and short lived. Only those who persist over many years can influence areas, principles and even nations
- Get the diagnosis right – you can’t cure the patient unless you find out what’s wrong.
- Be prepared for inconvenience - historic buildings and areas can seem like Builders' Heaven at times, and the derelict buildings next door may be a long time being conserved, but if all you want is convenience buy a flat in Milton Keynes opposite the superstore.
- Be prepared to lose and learn - it could be another Euston Arch!
Extract from talk by Jack Warshaw given to Heath & Old Hampstead Society, c.1987