David Chipperfield: 'Brexit one of the worst decisions ever made'

by Magali Robathan | 15 May 2017

Britain’s vote to pull out of the European Union has been branded “stupid” and “one of the worst decisions ever made” by renowned architect David Chipperfield.

Talking exclusively to CLADglobal, Chipperfield predicted the move was “going to be very bad for British architecture”, and stressed his concern for the European Union nationals working for his practice.

In a wide-ranging interview that will be published in the next edition of CLADmag, Chipperfield said of Brexit: “I think it is completely stupid.

“When we have got so much to learn and to give to others culturally, building walls is just the daftest thing ever. All of the things that we can learn from our European colleagues are going to be abandoned. And it's based on the worst tendencies of British provincialism. I think it's shocking for the next generation. It will be seen as one of the worst decisions ever made.”

Around 50 per cent of the workforce in the architect’s London studio come from other EU countries, Chipperfield told CLADglobal.

He claimed that it was "obscene" for the uncertainty of residential status "to be used as a trading tool" by the government in Brexit negotiations, adding: "Brexit has contaminated us to the point where even our sense of fair play and dignity have been compromised. I think we're shocking Europe by our behaviour to the EU nationals. Why doesn't [prime minister] Theresa May take this unplayable card off the table immediately? I find these things really dangerous."

However, he said his primary worry about the UK leaving the trading bloc was not the commercial effect it would have on his own practice.

“I don’t care about that,” he said. “That’s not the issue. This is another British problem; we only talk about the EU in terms of trade. Is it good for trade or bad for trade? I don’t care. For us it's not a problem.

“Much more importantly, I think it's bad for the mind. It's bad for culture. It's going to be very bad for British architecture.”

Chipperfield also expressed his dismay at the upcoming General Election, taking place on 8 June, which he said was “going to be another disaster”.

“I mean Labour are going to be trounced. Theresa May is going to be energised and the right wing of her party is going to be energised,” he said. “We’re not going to have an effective opposition, and she's going to feel that she's got a stronger hand going into Europe. But it’s not true. There's nothing to play for.”

However, asked whether he could find any reason for optimism, Chipperfield was quick to point out the longstanding resilience of the architecture industry and said that he expected young creatives to adapt the the uncertainty ahead.

“You could say that, in some ways, the lack of protection has produced a certain sort of energy from a younger generation that had to be tougher. So will that be part of this period? It may be.”

Generally speaking, the architectural profession has been critical of Brexit. Chipperfield was among 20 architects to sign an open letter published in the Guardian on 14 May expressing their “extreme concern” about the “deeply serious consequences” of the vote.

Amanda Levete, Richard Rogers, Ron Arad, Eva Jiricna, Peter Cook and Will Alsop were among the other figures who put their name to the letter. They said they are “appalled” by how EU staff in their offices have been treated and warned that Brexit will limit “the transfer of information, ideas and influence.”

However, Zaha Hadid Architects' principal Patrik Schumacher has said in an interview with CLADglobal that the UK could use Brexit as an opportunity to create an immigration policy to stimulate the creative industries.

“Brexit is a bit unnerving, but we have the opportunity to find some positives,” he said.

In addition, according to architecture website BDonline, Norman Foster has said: “Once a political decision like [Brexit] is made in a democratic society one may agree or disagree or welcome it or regret it – I’m in the camp that regrets it – but on the other hand if that’s the democratic decision then you get on with it and you optimise on that.”

Chipperfield also spoke to CLADglobal about the practice's forthcoming projects, including the Nobel Center in Stockholm, the renovation and overhaul of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Zhejiang Museum of Natural History in China and the James Simon Galerie in Berlin. You can read the full interview in the next issue of CLADmag.

David Chipperfield  Brexit  EU  architecture  design  CLAD 
Related stories

Patrik Schumacher: Brexit can stimulate creative industries

Architects express shock as UK votes to leave the European Union

Britain’s vote to pull out of the European Union has been branded “stupid” and “one of the worst decisions ever made” by renowned architect David Chipperfield. Talking exclusively to CLADglobal, Chipperfield predicted the move was “going to be very bad for British architecture”, and stressed his concern for the European Union nationals working for his practice. In a wide-ranging interview that will be published in the next edition of CLADmag,
CLD,ARC,DES,DEV,PHR
Chipperfield said of Brexit, 'I think it's bad for the mind, it's bad for culture and it's going to be very bad for British architecture' / Martin Godwin
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6618     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6618     
 
 
 
latest jobs
24000-27000
Job location: north east
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering, and pool and spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The rooms feature ‘wellbeing walls’
Experience the euphoria retreat
"Come to Euphoria Retreat if you’re looking for a full health-boost, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated"

Wellbeing Escapes and Well Home have partnered to bring you this special offer for the Euphoria Retreat in Greece

Shafts of light illuminate the house during the day through openings which align with the stars in the night sky
"It’s important for people to be rooted in place. This is a very special house, with powerful connections to nature"

Jennifier Beningfield has built her dream home in South Africa, using ancient building methods

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
 Large communal areas such as the living room, kitchen and courtyard bring the family together
"I firmly believe that homes are for children as much as they are for adults"

Alex Michaelis and his partner have seven children. He designed their home to be full of fun

features
"I’ve used my own life as a living lab to study the hurdles from a busy career mom’s perspective"

Veronica Schreibeis Smith couldn’t find a kitchen which worked for her plant-based diet, so she invented the wellness kitchen

The final three houses will complete the build at the Green Village in Bali
"We want people to feel there’s hope and possibility and magic in the world"

John and Elora Hardy live a wildlife in the jungles of Bali. Magali Robathan finds out more about their work

cladkit product news
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
cladkit product news
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates