Slow architecture that tastes good

From The Times:


China, Dubai, Moscow or Kazakhstan apart, there’s a shift among many young architects away from flash, if lucrative, bling buildings and towards, what? The uniconic? The spiritual leader of this not-quite-movement, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, calls it slow architecture. Like slow food, this is about local produce that tastes good. It’s about that hard-to-define idea, integrity. Architecturally, it means back to basics building: providing beautiful shelter, addressing human needs with architecture which has longevity and presence, undeniably modern but also showing the mark of human hand. Its response to the bombast, fakery and crash-bang-wallop of globalisation is radical in its reactionariness.

In this year’s runners and riders in the AR Awards, for instance, you’ll find not skyscrapers and bling, but a beigel-shaped kindergarten in Tokyo with a huge rooftop playground, Madrid’s beautiful memorial to 2004’s Al Qaida bombings, a low-cost school for South Africa. This is tactile architecture, architecture that speaks of its social, environmental and spiritual obligations.

More here. (For Jaffer).