INTBAU World Congress
in association with TAG

Local Solutions to Global Challenges
London, 18-19 February 2015

World Congress




Bob Adam Chairman of INTBAU
introduced Richard Driehaus .

Bob Adam referred to Richard Driehaus 's visionary support of architecture and urbanism. Would not be here without him.

Richard Driehaus addressed the conference


  • We have witnessed the loss of architecture inherited from the past.
  • Time honoured humanist  language abandoned by architecture
  • City and villages are endowed with a soul, a sense of place that if disturbed is forever lost
  • The signals also the loss of national identity
  • So INTBAU is critical. There are signs of hope
  • President Obama announced a report that links visits to historical sites to well-being and happiness. We learn to know and recognise ourselves
  • There are key lessons from the past
  • Architecture the only compulsory art. We cannot avoid buildings
  • The responsibility of architects therefore is different from other artists. Those who destroy beauty in buildings are guilty
  • The environmental cost of not planning falls to exchequer. We need to plan
  • We need to decide what is worth preserving
  • We have to live within our means but not ignore long term needs


Summary Notes

  • The region is probably the unit people identify with. The region is often older that the nation
  • The minute you enter into collective identity you enter into the collective memory
  • Traditions tend to have historical depth
  • Ceremonies use old clothing to give identity
  • These often get made up. Eg. For the Court of Human Rights. They need to suggest depth
  • In architecture porticos are dressing up in a similar way
  • Use of local materials as arts and crafts architects do is often symbolic and not the cheapest
  • Think in terms of Breadth and Depth
  • Modernism had universal breath but no depth
  • You cancel out depth
  • In the 60s people got a shot in the arm by globalisation and brands and symbols became global
  • Modernism started to achieve unlimited breadth – anonymity – no sense of-place
  • Architects had to deal with this
  • Critical regionalism was a superficial response the need for locality
  • We need to make symbolic homes eg Poundbury
  • New Urbanism came along to deliver identity, breadth and depth – and more complexity