Fred Scott: The double ecstasy of altering architecture

Study for a Memorial, Barbican Lake EC, 2015, Fred Scott

A decade after the designer’s seminal book, Peter Youthed argues he paved the way for the likes of David Chipperfield and Caruso St John

The academic and designer Fred Scott’s approach to interventional work on existing buildings is unique in that it takes a more theoretical approach and places it within a wider cultural framework; by drawing comparisons with art conservation, through discussion of the nature of the modernity, ruin, the function of copying and reproduction and exploring the psychological and sociological aspects of transforming existing buildings.

His thinking illuminates relatively unexplored territory and many of his ideas are eloquently captured in a series of collages that are currently on display as part of the Building on the Built series at Jonathan Tuckey Design.

Scott’s theories and processes have been captured in his book On Altering Architecture (Routledge, 2008) and shared with generations of students through his teaching. He reveals the “transgressive” nature of alteration work that breaks the taboos of restoration and conservation and discloses the presence of the surreal in even the most everyday of architectural transformations.

This is premium content. 

Only logged in subscribers have access to it.

Login or SUBSCRIBE to view this story

Gated access promo

Existing subscriber? LOGIN

A subscription to Building Design will provide:

  • Unlimited architecture news from around the UK
  • Reviews of the latest buildings from all corners of the world
  • Full access to all our online archives
  • PLUS you will receive a digital copy of WA100 worth over £45.

Subscribe now for unlimited access.

Alternatively REGISTER for free access on selected stories and sign up for email alerts