Stop undermining executive architects

Barr Gazetas associate_Tom Barton

Executive architects are often dismissed as lacking the talent to design great buildings. But without them those projects would be a lot less great

The role of executive architect is misunderstood and undervalued. Not by clients and contractors but by architects themselves. On complex projects executive architects bring expertise and skill without which original designs would not be realised. The undermining, by fellow architects, of practices who accept an executive architecture role harms the profession and must stop.

The Royal Academy is now adding to the hugely successful restoration and extension of its 19th-century grade II*-listed 6 Burlington Gardens building with the recently announced refurbishment of its RA Schools. David Chipperfield Architects has again been appointed, alongside Julian Harrap Architects.

A name not often heard in connection with the Royal Academy extension is our practice, Barr Gazetas. Burlington Gardens owes its outstanding transformation to the brilliant designs of David Chipperfield Architects, but as executive architects Barr Gazetas ensured that the refurbishment was of the very highest quality.

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