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Time to value our architects

Sir, – It was with great interest and pleasure that I read David Capener’s welcome celebration of emerging Irish architects (“The rising stars of Irish architecture”, Home and Design, September 1st). However, the sub-heading was somewhat confusing. I would wager that few, if any, of the architects shown are the designers behind the new buildings which have given rise to the “cranes on the skylines”, as is implied. In reality, most architects continue to struggle to get commissions and work of a size and scale that requires the use of a crane.

Procurement processes also prevent many architects from accessing public commissions. Were they able to do so, the results might allow more citizens to benefit from the design intelligence, imaginative thinking and spatial ingenuity our villages, towns, cities, and buildings continue to need.

In the year when two Irish architects – Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara – have been invited to direct a world conversation on architecture at the 16th Venice architecture biennale, let us hope real priority and focus will be given to developing supports and opportunities for architects to sustain their practices, earn a living, make a home in our cities and contribute to society.

The Government is in the process of writing its new policy on architecture. With so many challenges in the built environment facing us all, not least of which is the provision of high-quality housing that helps communities of all kinds thrive, it makes sense for architects of the calibre identified in your paper to be supported through policy initiatives to use their skills to address our housing crisis.

It seems to me we need all the help we can get. – Yours, etc,

EMMETT SCANLON,

Architect

(Co-ordinator,

UCD Architecture

M Arch programme),

Glasnevin, Dublin 9.