Quinlan & Francis Terry Architects

I'm not trying to start a discussion group, but I'd love to hear what you, gentle reader, think of my current-favorite contemporary architects, the father-'n'-son duo Quinlan & Francis Terry. I'm very fond of their insistence upon the classical idiom, but their work sometimes still bothers me somehow. While I'm not very familiar with their domestic work -- and hardly familiar at all with what they've been doing in the last five or ten years -- it sometimes looks to my eye that, while they try hard, something isn't quite right. Again, my eye and head aren't really well-trained enough to be sure, but sometimes it seems like the proportions of their buildings are ever so slightly off -- but some buildings look too tall and others too horizontal, and many seem to lack depth, at least in photographs. So perhaps my eye is screwy. Also, many of their buildings appear a little too fussy or "precious" for my taste. But the problem with this critique is that it might be awfully hard to know just how a Georgian building ought to look when new; every authentic Georgian building is almost two centuries old now, and Georgian Revival was fairly rare after about 1939 or so.

A final point I'd like to make about Terry is that he's careful to allow for modern systems in his buildings. Read especially his remarks about Richmond Riverside Development under "Commercial Buildings". (Note: this is one project that seems too tall and too flat to me. See what you think.) Terry notes:
All the office buildings are designed in accordance with the Georgian requirement of there being 20 feet from the window to the spine wall, so that it can function satisfactorily without air-conditioning or excessive artificial light - although it was a requirement of the fund that these services should be provided and that the floor space should be marketed open plan. Work on the interiors, as with all modern office developments, is carried out after the tenant purchases the property.

What he's hinting at in the last line is the fact that the buildings contain drop-panelled ceilings. As a purist, I'm shocked, but the realist in me reminds me that these buildings would never have been without practical commercial considerations such as this. So generally I'm heartily glad to have Terry's buildings around -- whatever peccadilloes they might exhibit, they're much lovelier than almost anything a normal modern or postmodern architect would do. And even in themselves they're quite pleasant. See what you think.