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Friday, August 30, 2002
'Why can't our cities be clothed in the colors of the world?' asks Dave Eggers in the current issue of Metropolis magazine. It's a good point, we suppose, but one that non-architects seem to ask rather more than architects, who always have a smart retort. But not all architects. John Outram is a noted exception, a polychromist unafraid to re-approach the classical orders from a contemporary viewpoint. Outram's buildings include the extraordinary Judge Institute in Cambridge and these pleasantly unconventional craft workshops.

Outram, who is also a prolific writer, isn't shy of making a statement. A visit to his home - a dark, largely original Georgian townhouse in a forgotten square in North London - was a journey into a Soanian underworld, all books, papers and vintage computer systems. Unfortunately, many of his daily jottings were confined to these obsolete machines, and a data rescue mission was suggested. At the time, it all seemed a bit too daunting. However, there's still a lot to read on his site.

Outram might not consider himself a classicist, but there are plenty in the classical camp who would claim him. This article in the Weekly Standard purports to be a close look at British classical revivalists (Quinlan Terry, Robert Adam, et al - both well represented on the web). Misleadingly, the author talks up their influence, especially with respect to Prince Charles' stance against modernism (the 'province of egomaniacs'). It's hard to underestimate exactly how damaging the Prince's infamous Mansion House speech was for a movement that was just starting to come into its own, nationally and internationally. It's also worth remembering that Terry and Adam in particular, specialise in building large, well-proportioned but very expensive houses, making classicism the choice of the wealthy: hardly populist.

More architecture. A source of high-res photography of the work of Glenn Murcutt, Australian sole practitioner and Pritzker Prize winner. If you absolutely had to live on a farm in Australia, these would be the places to be (or, alternatively, here. Or here). Here's another way of making a building colourful. Finally, World Airports is a visual survey of new airport building.

Snap! This vs this - golly we're unorginal - even more so than we intended....