Who got that job?

March 25, 2005

Robert Tavernor, professor of architecture and urban design, London School of Economics. Job advertised in The Times Higher , September 24, 2004 Despite being appointed professor of architecture and urban design and director of the respected Cities Programme at the London School of Economics, Robert Tavernor remains modest.

"I think we have passed the age of architects with grand visions - such as Le Corbusier and Haussman," he said. "I have no intentions to sweep away parts of London and remodel them like Paris.

"I've tried to apply the traditions of the classical city. There are advantages to building slowly and reflecting on tradition to give a more coherent situation, although I am a modernist and don't necessarily want to preserve everything unchanged."

Teaching and supervising PhD students leaves no time to practise as an architect.

"I am more academic now, but I get my satisfaction from consultancies, considering large developments and building in conservation areas.

Consultancy allows me to bring together the expertise I've developed and apply that to projects such as Richard Rogers' new Wembley Stadium."

Professor Tavernor is currently translating Vitruvius for Penguin Classics.

"As a 1st-century BC architect he wrote the first treatise on architecture.

His Latin is a bit convoluted, but he had a huge influence on Palladio and Alberti and the Renaissance.

"I have another book on how we use our bodies to define measure as an art, defining quality rather than quantity. I believe the space and proportions of buildings affect how we relate to them."

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