Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Castles on the Ground

"...the alleged 'badness' of suburban taste is not that people who live in suburbs have an unaccountable preference for what is ugly, in spite of the fact that well meant efforts to educate them into preferring more refined standards of design seem mostly based on an assumption that this is so. The people of the suburbs like their own things for their own reasons, in light of which reasons there is much virtue in them"
J. M Richards, The Castles on the Ground (London: The Architectural Press, 1946), p49

I started reading this book thinking that it would be an attack on the taste of the suburbanite - but it seems that Jimmy Richards had a more objective viewpoint. He wasn't promoting the suburbs  - but neither was he ridiculing and labelling them as irrelevant.
The neo-tudor timber boarding, Laurel trees and privet hedges along with red tiled gables, dormers, bay windows with leaded lights and winding streets that lead to nowhere must be celebrated held up as icons of twentieth century design and landscape.