Do We Need Fewer Architects?

Courtesy of Wikipedia/Library of Congress

In an article by the Architects’ Journal, Tony Fretton is quoted as saying there ought to be fewer architecture schools in the UK, with more difficult entry requirements and a higher failure rate. “There should be a shortage of architects in the UK,” he says, “fewer bad architects, fewer good architects”.

Citing Switzerland and the Netherlands as countries which do well with just 2 or 3 major architecture schools, he believes that architectural education should be concentrated into just a few schools in order to give students more access to the best tutors.

Read more about Fretton’s proposal after the break

Tower Wharf Cafe / Tony Fretton Architects

© Peter Cook

Architects: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: Tower Bridge, , UK
Design Team: Tony Fretton, Jim McKinney, David Owen, Chris Snow, Daniel Buckley, Guy Derwent, Yuichi Hashimura
Structural Engineers: Structure Workshop
Services Engineers: Serge Lai Engineers
Client: Historic Royal Palaces
Area: 190 sqm
Photographs: Peter Cook

Deinze Town Hall & Administrative Center / Tony Fretton Architects

Courtesy of

The design for a new 7,500 sqm Town Hall & Administrative Center, designed by Tony Fretton Architects, sets the administrative accommodation in a 5-storey reconfigurable loft building and the council chamber as a projecting double height room, with the public entrance foyer below. Commissioned by the City of Deinze following an international competition held in 2009, the building accommodates Deinze’s municipal departments, offices for the mayor and aldermen together with a new council chamber. The project is set to begin construction in early 2013. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Solid 11 / Tony Fretton Architects

© Peter Cook

Architects: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: Amsterdam, The
Design Team: Tony Fretton, Jim McKinney, Sandy Rendel, Laszlo Csutoras, Clemens Nuyken, Chris Neve, Donald Matheson, Michael Lee, Martin Nässén
Project A: Laszlo Csutoras
Area: 2,000 sqm
Client: Albert Ravestein, Stadgenoot
Budget: €18.3 million
Photographs: Peter Cook


Interview: Tony Fretton, by Hugo Oliveira

© Chris Clunn

We are sharing with you an interview of architect Tony Fretton of Tony Fretton Architects conducted by Hugo Oliveira, as seen in Jornal Arquitectos. Prior to founding his firm in 1982, Fretton was Principal Designer at Arup Associates. He is deeply committed to architectural education and has experience teaching worldwide, from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London to Harvard University in Cambridge. He currently serves as a Professor of Architectural Design and Interiors at TU Delft in the .

The complete interview following the break.

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum / Tony Fretton Architects

© Helene Binet

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum is a purpose built regional art museum designed by Tony Fretton Architects to house the Storstrøm Art Museum’s permanent collection of Danish fine art dating from the period 1780-1980. The 2,500 sqm building also houses new galleries for temporary exhibitions, a shop, a café, a learning centre, administration spaces and storage for the museum’s large collection of painting and sculpture.

Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: Lolland,
Landscape Architect: Torben Schønherr Landscape
Structural Engineer: Birch & Krogboe A/S Consulting Engineers
Executive Architect: BBP ARKITEKTER A/S
Project Area: 2,500 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Helene Binet

Vassall Road Housing & Medical Centre / Tony Fretton Architects

© Peter Cook

Tony Fretton Architects completed this hybrid development in central London. Located on the corner of Holland Grove and Vassall Road in Lambeth, South London the building has been commissioned by Future Living Space Ltd, a joint venture from private developers Baylight Properties and Servite Housing Association.

Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: 89 Vassall Road, Lambeth, London, England
Project Team: Tony Fretton, Jim McKinney, David Owen, Michael Lee (Project Architect), Simon Jones, Annika Rabi, Sandy Rendel, Nina Lundvall, Matt Barton, Max Lacey
Structural Engineer: Jampel Davison & Bell
Services Engineer: Bailey Associates
Landscape Architect: Schoenaich Landscape Architects Ltd
Main Contractor: Concentra
Project Manager: Jim Green, Baylight Properties
Project Area: 1490 sqm
Photographs: Peter Cook

British Embassy / Tony Fretton Architects

Courtesy of

Set in its own grounds facing onto Ulica Kawalerii on one side and a park on the other in an area of the city devoted to embassies, the British Embassy in has a serene and formal quality. Its long form is centralized by an attic in an elementally neo-classical way and underlined by the longer figures of the walls and railings enclosing the site. The building is explicit in its conservation of energy; its glass elevations function as the outer skin of a double façade, which provides substantial thermal insulation in winter and relieves heat in the summer. The outer layer, delineated by pale bronze aluminum mullions and mirror glass, reflects the sky and trees of the surrounding gardens. Behind this is a more substantial façade of windows set between solid piers and spandrels in a modulated composition of a similar palette. The pale polychromy of this arrangement is a distant relative of the painted stucco buildings of the school of Schinkel, which can be seen across Europe from the Hague to Oslo and here in .

Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: UI. Kawalerii 12, Warsaw, Poland
Design Build Contractor: Mace Limited
Executive Architect: Epstein Sp zo.o
Structural/Services/Acoustical Engineer: Buro Happold Polska Sp.
Quanity Surveyors: Arcadis
Security Consultant: David Goode Associates
Landscape Architect: Schoenaich Landscape Architects Ltd
Landscape Execution: RS Architektura Krajobrazu
Space Planners: Forme UK
Architecture Execution: EMKAA Architekci
BREEAM Construction: TPS
Façade Specialist: Saelzer
Project Area: 4,300 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Tony Fretton Architects

De Prinsendam / Tony Fretton Architects

© Christian Richters

Tony Fretton Architects has completed a development of apartments for sale in the North harbor of Amsterdam (). Commissioned by ING Real Estate the 10,700 sqm building is situated in a masterplan by urban designer Ton Schaap and Geurst and Schulze Architekten bv. The building comprises 74 flats through 8 floors, over a basement car park. It occupies the Northern end of the site and forms a courtyard with a scheme by Alvaro Siza. The building is within close proximity to schemes by Jo Coenen, Mecanoo Architekten, Baneke van der Hoeven and Geurst and Schulze Architekten bv.

Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: Overhoeks 1, 1031 CC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project Team: , Jim McKinney, David Owen (Project Architect)
Executive Architect: Geurst en Schulze Architecten
Structural Engineer: Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld
Services Engineer: Halmos Adviseurs Installaties
Project Area: 437,000 sqm (site), 10,700 sqm (internal area)
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Christian Richters

V&A Exhibition Road Competition Shortlist Announcement

V&A Competition

The Victoria and Albert Museum recently announced the seven architectural practices invited to submit proposals for the museum’s Exhibition Road development. You can read more about the competition and the shortlisted design teams after the break.