Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Architects and designers in America are furious over a proposed directive from the White House demanding reinstatement of classic architectural themes for court houses in Washington and across the United States.

A draft of the Order, titled Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again, stated that it would ‘update’ the current 1962 Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture to favour classical architecture for future federal courthouses. This means either austere Greek or Roman Style design. Architects, who only learned of the draft Order in November 2019, argue that it is a stifling of creativity and a backward stance.

The Order went on that all federal public buildings in the Capital region would be subject to uniform “classical” style, in addition to all other federal public buildings across the country which are expected to cost more than $50.

In response the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is sending an open letter to the Trump Administration outlining its grievances, stating that it “strongly and unequivocally” opposes the change. It describes the draft Order as “A top-down directive on architectural style” and has also launched an online petition asking for support from members of the public.

Design for the community – not politicians

“Design decisions should be left to the designer and the community, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC,” an AIA statement declared.

“All architectural styles have value and all communities have the right to weigh in on the government buildings meant to serve them.”

The draft Order does allow for ‘traditional architectural style’ in certain cases. This refers to likes of Spanish colonial, Romanesque and Gothic design. Brutalism and its design offshoots, however, will not be entertained by the White House if the Trump Administration gets its way.

Emerging in the late 1950s and 60s Brutalism is a block-like, plain and non-ornate building theme, employing simple materials such as exposed concrete and simple brick. Many federal and civil buildings were created using this mid-century theme, especially court houses, town halls and even universities.

Previous guidelines encouraged ‘contemporary thought’

The current guidelines for US federal building style were written nearly 60 years ago by a senator for President Kennedy, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. These encouraged “the finest contemporary American architectural thought”.

In the guidelines Moynihan stressed the need for architectural designers to inform politicians, and not the other way around (which President Trump and his team are promoting).

According to the current guidelines: “The development of an official style must be avoided. Design must flow from the architectural profession to the Government and not vice versa.”

Continual clashes between Trump and AIA

This isn’t the first issue the Trump Administration and the AIA have clashed over. But it’s the most personal for the latter. Earlier disagreements, which have prompted open letters, include the US political decision to withdraw from the Climate Change Paris Agreement three years ago, and Trump’s notorious immigration policies. Some critics have suggested the draft Order is Trump’s way of threatening the AIA not to oppose him on other political issues.



You may also like

‘Vertical Meadow’ Planned for New York Building Facade


A beautiful butterfly sanctuary could become the latest in New York’s quirky building facades. In this stunning biodiverse dream design people will work and shop while Monarch butterflies fly alongside them in a temperature-controlled three-feed wide sanctuary. Plans for the 12-storey commercial building by non-profit Architecture and urban design research group Terreform ONE have been… Read More


Facade Experts
Façade Skins

Today’s façades reflect commercial intent, push design boundaries, change environments and showcase engineering capabilities. Are modern day façades merely used as a tool to showcase design progression and engineering egos? Are we considering the façade skin and the role it plays in influencing the urban landscapes of our future? With so much emphasis placed on… Read More

Facade Experts
Future façades

As the global economy tries to recover from its last dip, huge investments are being made in the construction industry, both in established and emerging markets. It’s anticipated that the volume of construction output will grow by more than 70% to achieve an annual worth of $15 trillion worldwide by 2025 (Source: Global Construction Perspectives… Read More

Get in touch

Call

01234 964016

or email
info@buildingtransformation.co.uk

Clients

Testimonials

Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

I am very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. Also the level of cleaning provided and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Waqas Bin Tahir - Ibis Southampton

I am using Building Transformation’s work to help justify façade restoration works around our business.  They have produced excellent presentations on what can be achieved and is a brilliant piece of informed marketing that is helping slowly win people over in our business to take façade cleaning and restoration more seriously.

Needless to say Building Transformation is a name that is now becoming known and respected.

Simon Attwood - Broadgate Estates Ltd.

Building Transformation gave great communication throughout our projects.
It will be my pleasure to recommend Building Transformation.

Sarah Cameron - My Hotels Group

Just signed off the job with Richard. Myself, the bosses and the tenant all are very pleased with the work. It definitely looks rejuvenated just a case of painting the concrete window surrounds in the new year to finish it off. Have found your company and staff very professional and helpful which has facilitated a project with minimal inconvenience and disruption to our in situ tenants.

Mark Hollinshead - Headruddy Property Development

I had a walk around today with Dave and am impressed with the work so far.  Dave and the team have done a great job.

I’d certainly love to work with you in the future so perhaps before the job is completed we could look at what opportunities there are for the future.

Marie Green - Novotel Sheffield

At this stage, from my point of view your team has been extremely professional, informing us of what was happening at all times and most importantly no disruption whatsoever to our guests and business.

Ludovic Verzi - Novotel Leeds

We are very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. The operatives on site were very professional and communicated to us at all times.

Maria Pinana Mateu - Science Museum

The team at Building Transformation understood our challenge of finding a facade cleaning solution that would initially restore the glazing to its original state, protecting our building for years to come. Through intelligent and thorough testing right through to the full restoration of Block D, we have been very satisfied with the project management and delivery of the cleaning programme.

Colin Pilkington - Renaker Build Limited

Thank you for all the work that you carried out in cleaning the outside of our school.  We are delighted with the results.  You have managed to completely remove heavy staining from many areas around the building.

We found you extremely easy to work with: your quote was reasonable, you carried out the work quickly and you were very flexible in terms of timings.

Tamsin Griffith - Courtney Road Primary School, Bristol

We will definitely be working with you again! Your engineers were very polite and accommodating every time they visited site and have done a first class job. I will be recommending Building Transformation to everyone!

Mark Healy - One Facility

INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH US..?

Speak to one of our team today call..

01234 964016