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.

Rare Vintage Antique Reproduction Glastonbury Carved Wood Chair
Rare Vintage Antique Reproduction Glastonbury Carved Wood Chair
$695.00
Time Remaining: 8h 30m
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Antique French Oak Gothic Renaissance Highly Carved Entry Hall Sofa Table Desk
Antique French Oak Gothic Renaissance Highly Carved Entry Hall Sofa Table Desk
$950.00
Time Remaining: 14h 38m

Victorian Era Highly Carved Walnut Pediment
Victorian Era Highly Carved Walnut Pediment
$135.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 15h 31m

Pair Pennsylvania Gothic Door panels Hex Signs Vine Folk Art Wood Carving Lancet
Pair Pennsylvania Gothic Door panels Hex Signs Vine Folk Art Wood Carving Lancet
$99.00
Time Remaining: 15h 34m
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Antique Jacobean narrow High Back Chair Carved wood gothic Medieval style Velvet
Antique Jacobean narrow High Back Chair Carved wood gothic Medieval style Velvet
$275.00
Time Remaining: 20h 15m
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Antique Masonic Throne Chair Heavily Carved Approx 55 Tall Outstanding RARE
Antique Masonic Throne Chair Heavily Carved Approx 55 Tall Outstanding RARE
$7,500.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 45m
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Carved Mahogany  Lion Head Gothic Throne King Queen Chair
Carved Mahogany Lion Head Gothic Throne King Queen Chair
$570.00
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 23m
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ART DECO STYLE GOLD CARVED WOOD MIRROR
ART DECO STYLE GOLD CARVED WOOD MIRROR
$1,153.13
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 24m
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19TH CENTURY ANTIQUE CARVED OAK SOFA
19TH CENTURY ANTIQUE CARVED OAK SOFA
$2,536.88
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 49m
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Antique Carved lions head chair 1800s
Antique Carved lions head chair 1800s
$500.00
Time Remaining: 1d 11h 6m
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Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Library Desk Table Renaissance Revival Gothic
Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Library Desk Table Renaissance Revival Gothic
$2,745.00
Time Remaining: 1d 13h 41m

LARGE Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Desk Table Renaissance Gothic PARQUETRY
LARGE Antique FRENCH Carved Oak Desk Table Renaissance Gothic PARQUETRY
$3,345.00
Time Remaining: 1d 13h 41m

Antique French Carved Oak Carved Renaissance DESK Barley Twist GOTHIC
Antique French Carved Oak Carved Renaissance DESK Barley Twist GOTHIC
$3,200.00
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 6m
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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: 1d 14h 6m
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Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 1
Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 1
$775.00
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 6m
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Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 3
Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 3
$775.00
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 6m
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Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 2
Antique French Oak Carved BENCH Stool Renaissance Chapel Gothic Ornate 2
$775.00
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 6m
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Vintage Spanish Gondula Couch Sofa 1960 gothic Castle Red Velvet Carved SALE
Vintage Spanish Gondula Couch Sofa 1960 gothic Castle Red Velvet Carved SALE
$495.00
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 9m

Antique English GOTHIC Carved Oak Planter Plant Stand Flower Box Cellarette
Antique English GOTHIC Carved Oak Planter Plant Stand Flower Box Cellarette
$595.00
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 20m
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Antique manjoosh Chest on Wheels Hand Carved tribal Trunk Sideboard 18c
Antique manjoosh Chest on Wheels Hand Carved tribal Trunk Sideboard 18c
$1,799.00
Time Remaining: 2d 10m
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French Antique Pair Carved Wood Architectural Door Panel Gothic Chimera
French Antique Pair Carved Wood Architectural Door Panel Gothic Chimera
$850.00
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 20m
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Antique Victorian GOTHIC THRONE CHAIR Carved Walnut SECRET COMPARTMENT
Antique Victorian GOTHIC THRONE CHAIR Carved Walnut SECRET COMPARTMENT
$199.00
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 43m
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Antique Victorian Solid Wood Carved Masonic Gothic Childs Chair Red Velvet
Antique Victorian Solid Wood Carved Masonic Gothic Childs Chair Red Velvet
$59.99
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 51m
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Antique Armchair Edwardian Club Chair Grand Fireside Carved Oak Rustic Chic
Antique Armchair Edwardian Club Chair Grand Fireside Carved Oak Rustic Chic
$12.30 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 14h 22m

ORIGINAL ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT CARVED GOTHIC REVIVAL KING THRONE CHAIR VELVET
ORIGINAL ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT CARVED GOTHIC REVIVAL KING THRONE CHAIR VELVET
$475.00
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 25m
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Antique English Carved DarkOak GOTHIC Sofa Foyer Entry Hall Table Desk
Antique English Carved DarkOak GOTHIC Sofa Foyer Entry Hall Table Desk
$1,895.00
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 1m
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Antique English Carved Tiger oak Communion Table Cabinet GOTHIC Sideboard 1896
Antique English Carved Tiger oak Communion Table Cabinet GOTHIC Sideboard 1896
$4,100.00
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 51m

Antique French Carved Gothic Wall Cabinet Storage Church Chapel Statue Mahogany
Antique French Carved Gothic Wall Cabinet Storage Church Chapel Statue Mahogany
$1,845.00
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 51m

Antique French Gothic Revival Altar Bishop CHAIR Carved Tiger OakLEATHER Church
Antique French Gothic Revival Altar Bishop CHAIR Carved Tiger OakLEATHER Church
$1,645.00
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 51m
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Primitive GOTHIC Carved Cabinet Doors Victorian Walnut Folk Art Library Panels
Primitive GOTHIC Carved Cabinet Doors Victorian Walnut Folk Art Library Panels
$24.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 20h 55m

Antique Neo Gothic Cabinet Glowing Tiger Oak Wood Hand Carved
Antique Neo Gothic Cabinet Glowing Tiger Oak Wood Hand Carved
$600.00
Time Remaining: 3d 1h
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18 19 Century ITALIAN carved PRIE DIEU antique kneeler collectible prayer chair
18 19 Century ITALIAN carved PRIE DIEU antique kneeler collectible prayer chair
$1,800.00
Time Remaining: 3d 9h 43m

ORIGINAL ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT CARVED GOTHIC REVIVAL KING THRONE CHAIR VELVET
ORIGINAL ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT CARVED GOTHIC REVIVAL KING THRONE CHAIR VELVET
$759.06
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 15m
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ANTIQUE CARVED WALNUT SOLID WOOD LYRE NARROW HALL CHAIR VICTORIAN GOTHIC LOOK
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$329.95
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 34m
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Vintage Oak Gothic Carved Stool w Compartment
Vintage Oak Gothic Carved Stool w Compartment
$749.00
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 43m
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ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK DECORATIVE CENTRAL FIGURE  GREEN MAN PANEL
ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK DECORATIVE CENTRAL FIGURE GREEN MAN PANEL
$775.00
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 15m
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ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGED CENTRAL FIGURE PANEL
ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGED CENTRAL FIGURE PANEL
$775.00
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 15m
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ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGED CENTRAL MEDALLION FIGURE PANEL
ANTIQUE 18TH C CARVED OAK ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGED CENTRAL MEDALLION FIGURE PANEL
$775.00
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 15m
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antique bed full size carved wood Renaissance Victorian Gothic No Rails
antique bed full size carved wood Renaissance Victorian Gothic No Rails
$274.99
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 42m
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Beautiful Antique Carved Wooden Architectural Salvage Repurpose Craftsmenship
Beautiful Antique Carved Wooden Architectural Salvage Repurpose Craftsmenship
$45.00
Time Remaining: 3d 19h 33m
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Ornate Gothic Renaissance Style Carved ENTRY TABLE  MIRROR French Louis XVII
Ornate Gothic Renaissance Style Carved ENTRY TABLE MIRROR French Louis XVII
$850.00
Time Remaining: 4d 33m
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Antique Hand Carved Oak Coat Hat Rack Wood Nimf Gothic Amazing
Antique Hand Carved Oak Coat Hat Rack Wood Nimf Gothic Amazing
$285.00
Time Remaining: 4d 5h 12m
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Antique Victorian Walnut GOTHIC THRONE KING CHAIR Pierced Carved Masonic Eye
Antique Victorian Walnut GOTHIC THRONE KING CHAIR Pierced Carved Masonic Eye
$875.00
Time Remaining: 4d 7h 45m
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Antique 19th Century Large Highly Carved Gothic Green Man Partners Deskc1880
Antique 19th Century Large Highly Carved Gothic Green Man Partners Deskc1880
$2,606.06
Time Remaining: 4d 8h 53m
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19TH CENTURY FRENCH CARVED OAK MIRROR
19TH CENTURY FRENCH CARVED OAK MIRROR
$1,837.31
Time Remaining: 4d 9h 8m
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OLD CARVED French Gothic DARK WOOD Yellow Circle Glass Bookcase Cupboard PU VA
OLD CARVED French Gothic DARK WOOD Yellow Circle Glass Bookcase Cupboard PU VA
$1,200.00
Time Remaining: 4d 12h 39m

Gothic Cabinet French Antique Carved Medieval Design Knights Head Solid Oak
Gothic Cabinet French Antique Carved Medieval Design Knights Head Solid Oak
$500.00
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 8m
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Antique English Dark Oak CARVED Blanket Box Chest Trunk Coffee Table Coffer
Antique English Dark Oak CARVED Blanket Box Chest Trunk Coffee Table Coffer
$1,495.00
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 51m
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Antique Dragon Throne Chair hand carved asian gothic
Antique Dragon Throne Chair hand carved asian gothic
$600.00
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 31m
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French Carved Walnut Wood Architectural Door Panel Gothic Scolls Man Face
French Carved Walnut Wood Architectural Door Panel Gothic Scolls Man Face
$380.00
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 52m
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Antique Victorian Wood Carved Wall Cabinet w Shelves Key  Tassel Gothic Church
Antique Victorian Wood Carved Wall Cabinet w Shelves Key Tassel Gothic Church
$399.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 54m

Pair Antique Gothic Masonic Chairs Hand Carved Oak
Pair Antique Gothic Masonic Chairs Hand Carved Oak
$1,950.00
Time Remaining: 4d 21h 50m
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19thC ORNATELY CARVED FRENCH NAPOLEON EMPIRE LION CHAIR BEE WREATH FABRIC 1 of 2
19thC ORNATELY CARVED FRENCH NAPOLEON EMPIRE LION CHAIR BEE WREATH FABRIC 1 of 2
$229.99
Time Remaining: 4d 23h 15m
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ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT ENTRY SOFA TABLE CARVED ARCHES PARCEL PAINT GILT 66
ANTIQUE VICTORIAN WALNUT ENTRY SOFA TABLE CARVED ARCHES PARCEL PAINT GILT 66
$1,499.99
Time Remaining: 4d 23h 19m
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