August 8th, 2010

Can we restore Britain to architectural greatness?

I hate all of these modern buildings that look as if they were hacked from a solid block of misery (although I do appreciate the work of the builders).

Why can't we go back to the gothic and Victorian arcgitecture of old; is it simply a question of money/ health and safety? I mean genuine workmanship in the woodwork, stone carving, glazing...why can't we just sod the modern era and political correctness once in a while and build something that's actually nice, and so grand that we could actually be proud to call it a public building?

Most building nowadays are modular meaning that all doors, windows, bricks, blocks, fixtures, fittings etc are of a standard size. In effect a building can be constructed using 'off the shelf' materials - a window in one building will be exactly the same as a window in many other buildings.

A system called SMM (Standard Method of Measurement) was introduced many years ago in order to standardise things within the building industry. Architects, quantity surveyors, engineers all work from the same set of specifications.

True craftsmanship is a dying art. Historically a master craftsman would take on an apprentice who would learn the craft first hand over many years and then in turn pass his skills on. Much of today's training is learned from a pre-determined curriculum in college.

The skills do still exist and buildings of merit could still be constructed but the client would have to be prepared to wait a long time before completion of the project and would need a healthy bank balance.

As with so many things, people want things now and they want them at minimum cost.

Antique English Carved Oak Fall Front Box Chest Phoenix Griffin Shield Crest
Antique English Carved Oak Fall Front Box Chest Phoenix Griffin Shield Crest
$1,200.00
Time Remaining: 3h 5m
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14641 Antique Pair of Boudoir Carved Parlor Chairs
14641 Antique Pair of Boudoir Carved Parlor Chairs
$195.00
Time Remaining: 3h 49m
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ANTIQUE CARVED GOTHIC STYLE FURNITURE CARVED CABINET on STAND
ANTIQUE CARVED GOTHIC STYLE FURNITURE CARVED CABINET on STAND
$1,699.00
Time Remaining: 8h 48m

17TH CENTURY SPANISH CARVED WALNUT VAQUENO ON STAND WRITING DESK
17TH CENTURY SPANISH CARVED WALNUT VAQUENO ON STAND WRITING DESK
$9,359.05
Time Remaining: 11h 36m
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19TH CENTURY HIGH VICTORIAN CARVED OAK PEDESTAL DESK
19TH CENTURY HIGH VICTORIAN CARVED OAK PEDESTAL DESK
$3,539.14
Time Remaining: 12h 57m
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EXCELLENT 19TH CENTURY PEW BENCH W ORNAMENTAL CARVING  BRASS W STEEL MOUNTINGS
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$775.00
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Antique Plant Stand Pot Jardiniere Ebonized Carved Gothic Asian Oriental c1880
Antique Plant Stand Pot Jardiniere Ebonized Carved Gothic Asian Oriental c1880
$1,407.79
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EXQUISITE ANTIQUE SPANISH REVIVAL Cane Accent CHAIR GREEN VELVET CARVED w Finial
EXQUISITE ANTIQUE SPANISH REVIVAL Cane Accent CHAIR GREEN VELVET CARVED w Finial
$400.00
Time Remaining: 17h 5m
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Gothic Jacobean Carved Arm Chair English 19th C Antique Handmade Ex Cond
Gothic Jacobean Carved Arm Chair English 19th C Antique Handmade Ex Cond
$1,490.00
Time Remaining: 18h 14m
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19TH CENTURY CARVED OAK GOTHIC DOUBLE SIDED BOOKCASE
19TH CENTURY CARVED OAK GOTHIC DOUBLE SIDED BOOKCASE
$4,640.20
Time Remaining: 18h 23m
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19TH CENTURY CARVED INLAID WALNUT BLACK FOREST ARMCHAIR
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$3,696.43
Time Remaining: 19h 30m
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RARE Vintage Carved Wood Antique Claw Foot Cushion Chair
RARE Vintage Carved Wood Antique Claw Foot Cushion Chair
$400.00
Time Remaining: 1d 5m

Antique French Carved Oak Gothic style Hall Bench Linen Fold Panels
Antique French Carved Oak Gothic style Hall Bench Linen Fold Panels
$2,650.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 32m
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Antique Heavy Gothic Oak Chair Barley Twist Carving Black Leather Project
Antique Heavy Gothic Oak Chair Barley Twist Carving Black Leather Project
$35.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 51m

Carved GOTHIC Tiger Oak Cabinet Drawers Primitive Victorian Storage Boxes Bins
Carved GOTHIC Tiger Oak Cabinet Drawers Primitive Victorian Storage Boxes Bins
$52.01 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 6h 31m

Gothic King Lion Throne Chair Intricate Highly Carved Lion Heads Motif
Gothic King Lion Throne Chair Intricate Highly Carved Lion Heads Motif
$900.00
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 44m

Exquisite French Antique Carved Walnut Gothic Server Sideboard
Exquisite French Antique Carved Walnut Gothic Server Sideboard
$4,250.00
Time Remaining: 1d 20h 9m
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Gothic Revival Oak Carved Drop Front Desk Belgium Maker
Gothic Revival Oak Carved Drop Front Desk Belgium Maker
$1,600.00
Time Remaining: 1d 20h 15m
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Beautiful 19th Century Face Carved Oak Linen Press Cupboard Cabinet Heavy Carved
Beautiful 19th Century Face Carved Oak Linen Press Cupboard Cabinet Heavy Carved
$2,900.00
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 23m
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Monumental Italian Oak Heavily Carved Sideboard Server with Marble Top
Monumental Italian Oak Heavily Carved Sideboard Server with Marble Top
$7,000.00
Time Remaining: 1d 23h 35m
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Antique English Renaissance Ebonized Oak Carved Vestry Cabinet Wine Liquor Bar
Antique English Renaissance Ebonized Oak Carved Vestry Cabinet Wine Liquor Bar
$1,875.00
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 46m
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16587 Gothic Style Carved Oak Credenza
16587 Gothic Style Carved Oak Credenza
$985.00
Time Remaining: 2d 4h 45m
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Vintage RUSTIC Spanish Gothic Style Gold Gilt Carved Wood KING HEADBOARD
Vintage RUSTIC Spanish Gothic Style Gold Gilt Carved Wood KING HEADBOARD
$525.00
Time Remaining: 2d 5h 2m
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GOTHIC 1858 Belgium Architectural Pediment Carved Victorian Tiger Oak Trim Panel
GOTHIC 1858 Belgium Architectural Pediment Carved Victorian Tiger Oak Trim Panel
$61.00 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 31m

Rare Vintage Antique Reproduction Glastonbury Carved Wood Chair
Rare Vintage Antique Reproduction Glastonbury Carved Wood Chair
$695.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 25m
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Antique Carved Oak French Gothic style One Door Buffet
Antique Carved Oak French Gothic style One Door Buffet
$2,600.00
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 55m
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Pair Antique Carved Oak Architectural Salvaged Gothic Panels Heraldic Shields
Pair Antique Carved Oak Architectural Salvaged Gothic Panels Heraldic Shields
$975.00
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 32m
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Late 19th Century Religious Hand Carved Oak Crucifix with Christ Gothic Design
Late 19th Century Religious Hand Carved Oak Crucifix with Christ Gothic Design
$645.00
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 46m
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antique hand carved shabby1800s mahogany panel gothic coffee sofa hall table
antique hand carved shabby1800s mahogany panel gothic coffee sofa hall table
$69.00
Time Remaining: 2d 19h 17m
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1900 Neo Gothic Spoon Carved Hanging Cupboard Dark Wood Tone Germany Linden Wood
1900 Neo Gothic Spoon Carved Hanging Cupboard Dark Wood Tone Germany Linden Wood
$1,250.00
Time Remaining: 2d 22h 17m
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Antique 19c English Gothic Chair Renaissance Carved Oak BARLEY TWIST Legs
Antique 19c English Gothic Chair Renaissance Carved Oak BARLEY TWIST Legs
$189.00
Time Remaining: 2d 22h 55m
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1111043  ANTIQUE FRENCH GOTHIC 2 DOOR ARMOIRE IN CHESTNUT CARVED PANELS
1111043 ANTIQUE FRENCH GOTHIC 2 DOOR ARMOIRE IN CHESTNUT CARVED PANELS
$3,460.00
Time Remaining: 2d 23h 41m
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ANTIQUE PARTNER DESK EXECUTIVE GOTHIC OAK CARVED 19TH C CHARLESTON RAILWAY SC
ANTIQUE PARTNER DESK EXECUTIVE GOTHIC OAK CARVED 19TH C CHARLESTON RAILWAY SC
$3,389.00
Time Remaining: 2d 23h 45m
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SOLID MAHOGANY BARLEY TWIST GOTHIC CARVED TALL CHEST SUPER 2 OVER 3 DRESSER
SOLID MAHOGANY BARLEY TWIST GOTHIC CARVED TALL CHEST SUPER 2 OVER 3 DRESSER
$575.00
Time Remaining: 3d 1h 15m
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Beautiful Pair Of Carved French Antique Gothic Arm Chairs New Upholstery
Beautiful Pair Of Carved French Antique Gothic Arm Chairs New Upholstery
$1,600.00
Time Remaining: 3d 1h 50m
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Antique FRENCH Victorian Carved Oak Dolphin Gothic Desk Table Renaissance LM
Antique FRENCH Victorian Carved Oak Dolphin Gothic Desk Table Renaissance LM
$2,900.00
Time Remaining: 3d 4h 42m
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Antique English Victorian GOTHIC Carved Oak Wall Shelf PLATE Rack Black Forest
Antique English Victorian GOTHIC Carved Oak Wall Shelf PLATE Rack Black Forest
$1,985.00
Time Remaining: 3d 4h 42m
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Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Writing DESK Victorian Sofa TABLE GOTHIC Ornate
Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Writing DESK Victorian Sofa TABLE GOTHIC Ornate
$1,965.00
Time Remaining: 3d 4h 42m
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1858 GOTHIC Carved Wall Plaques Victorian Tiger Oak Cabinet Church Door Panels
1858 GOTHIC Carved Wall Plaques Victorian Tiger Oak Cabinet Church Door Panels
$24.50 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 6h 30m

+ Great older c1890s Ornate Carved Wood Organ Case + Desk Secretaries +
+ Great older c1890s Ornate Carved Wood Organ Case + Desk Secretaries +
$760.00
Time Remaining: 3d 7h 51m
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Gothic Throne Chair Fabulous  Highly Carvedw Antiques Lion Heads Motif WOW
Gothic Throne Chair Fabulous Highly Carvedw Antiques Lion Heads Motif WOW
$2,250.00
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 20m
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Large Victorian Gothic Revival Hall Stand Green Man Heavily Carved Throughout
Large Victorian Gothic Revival Hall Stand Green Man Heavily Carved Throughout
$1,250.50
Time Remaining: 3d 16h 17m
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Gothic Art Armchair with Amazing Carved Gargoyles
Gothic Art Armchair with Amazing Carved Gargoyles
$1,330.00
Time Remaining: 3d 19h 37m
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GOTHIC OAK CARVED CUPBOARD WITH DECORATIVE IRON HARDWARE BY PAINE FURNITURE CO
GOTHIC OAK CARVED CUPBOARD WITH DECORATIVE IRON HARDWARE BY PAINE FURNITURE CO
$875.00
Time Remaining: 3d 20h 53m
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SET OF 2 GOTHIC CARVED AND INCISED WALNUT CHAIRS
SET OF 2 GOTHIC CARVED AND INCISED WALNUT CHAIRS
$600.00
Time Remaining: 3d 20h 56m
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Petite Antique English Carved Oak Bench Stool GOTHIC Coffee TABLE Display Stand
Petite Antique English Carved Oak Bench Stool GOTHIC Coffee TABLE Display Stand
$349.00
Time Remaining: 3d 21h 51m

PETITE Antique English Carved Oak Gothic Stool Tea Table painted display stand
PETITE Antique English Carved Oak Gothic Stool Tea Table painted display stand
$229.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique English Carved Oak Bookcase Bookshelf SMALL Renaissance Gothic
Antique English Carved Oak Bookcase Bookshelf SMALL Renaissance Gothic
$2,745.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique English Gothic Carved Pine Church Altar Candelabra Candle Stand ON SALE
Antique English Gothic Carved Pine Church Altar Candelabra Candle Stand ON SALE
$625.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique Victorian French Oak Carved Side Table Ladies Firescreen Gothic Stand
Antique Victorian French Oak Carved Side Table Ladies Firescreen Gothic Stand
$579.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique French Oak Carved GOTHIC Chapel BENCH Trestle Display Stand Table
Antique French Oak Carved GOTHIC Chapel BENCH Trestle Display Stand Table
$479.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique FRENCH Victorian Carved Oak Dolphin Gothic DESK Table Renaissance
Antique FRENCH Victorian Carved Oak Dolphin Gothic DESK Table Renaissance
$2,745.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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Antique French Carved Oak Gothic KNEELER Prie Dieu Architectural Christian
Antique French Carved Oak Gothic KNEELER Prie Dieu Architectural Christian
$1,100.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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PAIR SET 2 Antique ENGLISH Carved Oak Hall Chair Stool Bench Spinning Gothic
PAIR SET 2 Antique ENGLISH Carved Oak Hall Chair Stool Bench Spinning Gothic
$979.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h
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