Any anniversary, especially a double, is the occasion for looking both forward and back. You think about how different things were, say 20 or 40 years ago, and speculate about the next 40. In architecture, as seen through the pages of the magazines, what you frequently notice is how similar things are. Architectural practice and politics, economic and social conditions, environmental and urban design challenges – the headlines don’t change much.
The big differences, certainly since 1978, are how far new technologies have transformed society, including architectural design and production, and how far we have moved from a world still heavily influenced by the public sector ethos of post-1945 Britain. A practice that formed 40 years before Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios started would have launched in 1938; what momentous changes it would have experienced, but how similar its working methods would have looked.
What FCBStudios has espoused, in a period of profound change, are a moral and ethical attitude to environmental concerns, a willingness to experiment without resort to gimmickry, matching the contemporary to context, and a commitment to practice organization based on the atelier, not the pyramid.
Winning more UK RIBA Awards than any other practice, along with the Stirling Prize, is proof of the quality of outcome these commitments have generated. After 40 years, FCB’s lines of continuity are alive and well.
FCBStudios 4020 brochure is an overview of the practice's work over the past forty years to celebrate Forty years since the practice was founded and twenty years of the London Studio.