Flicking through Julys RIBA Journal an article by architect Ian Shaw caught my eye. The article describes his practice’ work in Germany (www.shaw-architekten.de) and the Germans approach to architecture.
The new word I learnt was Baukunst:
“The recognition of building as an art form”
What was more interesting however was the German culture regarding precision and standards:
“German architecture is all about standards and tectonic precision.” and:
“In Germany you don’t have to apologise if measurements are out by a couple of millimetres – it’s done again until it’s right. And this applies to all areas of construction“.
Compare this to Ireland (and the UK) and you can see the problem; trying to get accuracy in builds can be very frustrating – the building culture is just not used to it. The problem then occurs that when trying to create contemporary slick solutions that require this level of accuracy; the building workforce is not trained to the same level as the Germans.
It’s very similar to the Caribbean where the local builders have a great expression for their level of accuracy and tolerance: Slant-and-dicular
I’ve written about this profusely already but the Building Control amendments forthcoming in 2014 will help greatly (where the ‘The Owner: Must appoint a competent builder to undertake the works‘. But even with this implementation, we’re still a long way off from Baukunst.
But, there are architects out there (of which I’m doing my best) creating contemporary, residential solutions, working with and training the building work-force in order to achieve the required level of accuracy.