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It is not because he receives few commissions that Quinlan Terry should be included among the architects we call underrated — quite the reverse is the case. It is because his work, in common with that of traditional architects, receives little attention from the architectural press, which for the most part reports only Modernist work. Now aged 71 and at work on numerous commissions, his classically inspired work in Britain and the US has included a cathedral, an infirmary, interiors at 10 Downing Street, a library and college court at Cambridge, residential and office buildings, and many country houses and villas. It might be supposed that such an architect would by now have received at least some slight formal recognition for his contribution to the public good. Perhaps it might be too much to expect that he would receive a peerage (never mind the Order of Merit), like those purveyors of heart-warming glass and steel towers, Lord Rogers and Lord Foster. But to have no public recognition at all is hard to understand.

Terry’s Richmond Riverside is a huge ­development, which nonetheless harmonises with local Georgian buildings in both style and scale, proving that you can build in an historic town without wrecking it. As a result of this project, he was invited to build Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg, ­Virginia, near the College of William and Mary attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most revered places of American ­history. Remarkably, he was also called upon to build in the immediate proximity to Wren in London, though this time in the face of opposition, allegedly, from the leading British Modernist architect Lord Rogers. The commission was for a large new infirmary at the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, next to Wren’s ­celebrated buildings of the 1680s. Terry’s ­infirmary features a Tuscan portico, the ­simplest of the classical orders, chosen in deference to Wren’s grander Doric on the main hospital building.

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September 20th, 2010
9:09 AM
Quinlan terry is fantastic. People don't realise that modern buildings aren't innovative at all. 'Inovative is just an excuse to make ugly buildings. Somone once said that "the controversy of Quinlan Terry stems preciscely from being so non controversal".

August 21st, 2009
3:08 PM
Very gushing posts for Terry here. I think that the reason that Terry has never received accolade for his work is that he is a bad architect whom doesn't have care for the urban fabric within which he works. The plans he proposes for regents park terrace are out of keeping with the Nash buildings on the site to which they should be reverential and I’m even going to talk about his demolition of the listed gate house. Again at the infirmary at the Chelsea hospital is out of scale and style with the Wren building, I understand why he chose the Tuscan order and I can see that the yellow brick used is a reference to the Sloanes gate house but the result is an oversized building that clashes with the Wren hospital. As for the claim that "Terry’s Richmond Riverside is a huge ­development, which nonetheless harmonises with local Georgian buildings in both style and scale, proving that you can build in an historic town without wrecking it" what nonsense, the building is a mess where you can see floor build ups passing through the middle of windows ( a result of trying to fudge together a modern building type and modern building techniques with a traditional facade. )

Kris Walker
February 13th, 2009
3:02 PM
I agree with the above- in the dire and mad state of modern architecture today Quinlan Terry is the sole redeeming lihgt, giving people back WHAT THEY WANT- that is, simply beautfiul architecture, not 'innovative' modern styles that hurt the eye and that have ruined cities such as London which prior to such work could have been considered beautiful cities.

joram wilson
July 14th, 2008
8:07 AM
Quinlan Terry is a architect that ordinary people can admire. For so long, ordinary people, really defenceless people, have been at the mercy of modernists and it has seemed as though nothing beautiful would ever be built again. And so I am, as one humble person, extremely grateful that Quinalan Terry, and his son, and their partners and associates walk upon this earth.

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