Australia’s Prince Charles of architecture has unleashed his viper’s tongue on the profession and it’s “completely unjustified”, says one Sydney architect.
Paul Keating has let rip against the profession over the latest Barangaroo headland park plans, reported yesterday by Architecture & Design, and has laid the blame squarely at the architects’ door.
“Designers have a strange distrust of nature. They feel compelled to impose a formalised order over the natural form. Look at the wasteland in front of the Cook + Phillip Pool and the disaster of Darling Harbour. That’s what happens when you let architects near your open spaces,” Keating told the Sydney Morning Herald.
But while Keating may have a genuine interest he is hampered by a partial vision, Philip Thalis, one of the architects of Barangaroo, told Architecture & Design. Blaming the architects is a slap in the face, given that he was formally appointed him to the NSW Board of Architects, Thalis said.
“To say it’s the architects fault is absolute rubbish. It’s outrageous. The problem is the politicians. The architects are powerless little paupers,” Thalis said.
With Barangaroo, planners and politicians have “bastardised” Sydney’s only major international competition since the opera house, Thalis said.
Thalis, who worked on Darling Harbour when Laurie Brereton spearheaded the project into massive cost overruns, said that built professionals in New South Wales are merely the “plaything of political whim”.
Everything to do with Barangaroo since the competition is a failure of planning, he said. “They’ve actually done nothing in three and a half years, except waste millions of dollars in unpublished assessments and inane proposals.”