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Sir Terry Farrell on Architecture and Sustainability

Interview Date: 28-02-2013
(More interviews from this person)

VIEW the entire interview on VIDEO!

What is the importance of architectural events worldwide? What are the profits for a city holding such kind of major events?

I have been involved in some expos like Lisbon and I’ve just been to Shanghai to the expo there. I think they publicize architecture and they make people more aware of architecture. I don’t necessarily think that very good buildings come out of it, occasionally the best one is the Barcelona pavilion , you know that by Mies Van Der Rohe , that was a magnificent building, so I think if they’ re done the right way, like in Olympics, like in British London Olympics, I think they can have a long term profit for regeneration, if they ‘ re done the wrong way, like maybe the Athens Olympics, then they can be a problem for a long time, they make a loss.

What is the importance of Architectural Tourism? What is the importance of traveling especially for architects and humans in general?

Actually all tourists are architectural tourists. People go to Paris, they look at architecture, they look at the Eiffel tour, they look at the Notre Dame, so I think all tourists become architectural tourists, and I think architecture is the best focus for tourism, architecture is a hidden asset for all tourism, I greatly believe in architectural tourism, it’s fantastic.

How do you imagine a future in which sustainability pervades all forms of architecture and design, where it is unquestioned, and the norm?

I’m not sure whether I would ever think of architecture been truly sustainable. I think there will always be arrogance on the waste, people will still occupy policies and buildings that are too big for them. But on the other hand the general culture is to all sustainability and I think architecture has a big part to play, but so does term planning, so does food, so does engineering through water supply, it’s not just architecture, architecture alone will make only a small deference.

In recent years attention turns to green urban regeneration. Do you think that it is imperative for the city or it’s just a new fashion with economic outcomes and covertly interests?

I think the green agenda for term planning is a really important one basically term planning could do more for the green agenda and other the activity, it’s city making, city form, term planning that’s the key for sustainability.

Does Architecture as a profession need empowerment? In which ways should this be done?

Very simply I don’t think architecture needs empowerment. I think they just need to prove their work, not artificially give them value; they got to prove they have value. My feeling is that the profession needs defensive lows, defensive regimes, it’s either good value for people or it’s not. So it shouldn’t be artificially protected.

Is the world financial crisis an opportunity for everyone to reconsider the ways that we design and construct the buildings and the urban environment?

I think the world’s financial crisis is not a world financial crisis, it’s a western financial crisis; Brazil and India and China don’t have a financial crisis. It’s the west that is coming to terms with the fact that it is no longer a relaying upon development to make its industries work. Now in the west we have to look at how we organize ourselves completely differently. And it’s not a recession in the west , actually the west is still quite a rich place, Africa isn’t, I think we should think more about the rest of the world, the west calls is a world recession, Africa’ s always had a recession, China and India and Brazil are not having a recession. Get it in perspective.

At the end, can you please provide your personal proposal for 10 buildings (constructed and visitable) which you think as the most important worldwide that someone must visit anyway?

You ask me for ten buildings that I like; it’s very hard to think of ten straight on. All buildings are wonderful, from Stonehenge to great Cathedrals.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Sir Terry Farrell

Sir Terry Farrell

Country: United Kingdom
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Sir Terry Farrell CBE was born in Manchester but grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne where he went to university. He then went on to graduate with a masters in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania and returned to London where he has lived ever since. Terry founded his practice in 1965 and has continued it in his sole name since 1980. His work extends from his London office to his Hong Kong office and from both he has delivered major award winning projects. He is qualified as both a town planner and an architect and is currently visiting professor at The Bartlett, University College London. He has taught at various universities from Cambridge to the Architectural Association and University of Pennsylvania.
His completed buildings in the UK include, MI6, Charing Cross (Embankment Place), the new Home Office and The Deep in Hull. Large scale infrastructure planning and buildings dominate his Far East work including Incheon Airport Transportation Building in Korea and Beijing South and Guangzhou High Speed rail stations in China. His masterplanning work includes the Quayside in Newcastle, Brindley Place in Birmingham as well as Greenwich Peninsula and Earls Court in London; in Hong Kong his office built the West Kowloon station masterplan which is still the largest air rights development of it’s kind in the world.

Terry was an English Heritage commissioner and has worked with many city governments as an advisor on strategic affairs – which includes Design Champion for Edinburgh, board member of City Development Company of Gateshead and Newcastle, central government advisor and Design Champion for the Thames Gateway and is currently on the London Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel and Outer London Commission. He has won many awards, written many books including Shaping London, The Patterns And Forms That Make The Metropolis, and in 1996 was awarded a CBE and a Knighthood in 2001.

:: Photo information and credits:

1 > Beijing South Station, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners

2 > Earls Court Masterplan, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners

3 > Embankment Place, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Nigel Young

4 > Greenwich Masterplan, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners

5 > Guangzhou South Station, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Hufton & Crow

6 > Home Office, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Andy Haslam

7 > KK100, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Carsten Schael

8 > KK100, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners

9 > Newcastle Quayside, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Newcastle Tourist Board

10 > Old Oak Common, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners

11 > Peninsula Central, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Andy Haslam

12 > Petersham Housing, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Barry Herman

13 > Regent’s Place Masterplan, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Andy Haslam

14 > Royal Institution, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Andy Haslam

15 > Thames Gateway Masterplan, Terry Farrell and Partners
Photo courtesy © Farrell and Partners