"Making our case for long term, transcendental value."
Jan Maciag, TAG Chairman 2003-2009
The Traditional Architecture Group of the Royal Institute of British Architects was founded in 2003 in response to the growing number of architectural practices and architects in Britain that were building traditional buildings. It was clear that the cause of traditional architecture could be well served by forming a group with the expressed aim of promoting traditional architecture both within the profession and within the wider community. The TAG Constitution states:
“The aims of the society are to celebrate the highest achievements of the past as a living source for modern inspiration. The group seeks to work within architectural, planning and educational disciplines to promote the values of a traditional approach in architecture and design. The group will provide mutual support, a meeting point and a venue for the exchange of ideas for those individuals interesting in or practicing contemporary traditional architecture.”
Since its founding TAG has
- Organised a series of events including our colloquia,
- Published a member’s directory
- Held members’ social events
- organised two exhibitions at the Prince’s Foundation.
- Held lectures by David Watkin, Quinlan Terry, Robert Adam and Sandy Stoddart.
- Engaged with CABE.
- Corresponded with and put our case to the Government on planning issues
- In July 2006 held a very successful 2 day conference in London with Notre Dame, University from Indiana.
- Last summer we held an exhibition celebrating Palladio’s 500th birthday and the continuation of the classical tradition
- In the autumn we participated in a drawing prize with the Georgian Group.
The Traditional Architecture Group believes that Modernist architecture has failed the society that architects are supposed to serve. In spite of the fact that Modernism maintains a considerable hold over policy makers and power brokers it has failed to win the support of the hearts and minds of the public at large. Public survey after public survey confirm this.
Outgoing chairman, Mr Jan Maciag, said in his remarks to the AGM held in March 2009
“Modernism, already threadbare in 2006 seems even more so now, and yet it stands. Our first task was to form the basis of a community; by that measure we have been successful. But modernism still holds sway. Waste and hubris has characterised mainstream architecture over the last 10 years. There is a change out there and perhaps the crack of doubt that has arisen in the value of vast sums spent on making a building look like a 600 foot high mobile phone will grow wider. I think that for the first time since 2003, we might have a better chance of making our case for long term, transcendental value.”.
TALKS and ADDRESSES
TAG members, Robert Adam, Hugh Petter and George Saumarez Smith, regularly lecture on traditional architecture and urbanism. Their lectures are informative, lively, and full of illustrations to explain the topic and encourage interaction from the audience.
By Robert Adam:
A Traditional Place to Live: The new traditional design and urbanism in its historical perspective
Classical Architecture and the Modern World: An analysis of classical architecture as a distinct expression of modernity
Defining Tradition: An in-depth analysis of tradition, drawing on theories of collective memory, neo-Darwinism, dual inheritance theory and archaeology
English Georgian Architecture: The stylistic range of architecture from 1714 to 1837 in a social and political perspective
Four Principles of Urbanism: Traditional urban design theory based on space, time, complexity and sustainability
Globalisation and Architecture: An analysis of globalisation as the most significant current social, political and economic
phenomenon and its impact on architecture and urban design
Heritage in Action: The use of heritage in modern design
Heritage, Humanity and Memory: Heritage as part of the collective memory of the community
History is Dangerous: A discussion on the miss-use of history in architectural theory
Post-War Classicism: A history of new classical architecture since the Second World War
The Classical Orders: An overview of the classical architectural orders, the essential element of all classical design, in a
broad historical perspective
The Country House: Past, Present and Future: A history of the country house in Britain and an analysis of what drives the
new fashion in country houses
The Glass City: The history of glass as an ideal architectural material in the 20th century and its relevance today
The Local and the Global: the New Face of Tradition: How globalisation has transformed the idea of what is local and the
new concept of tradition
The work of Robert Adam: A review of Robert Adam’s buildings and master plans set in the context of his theoretical
Traditional Architecture and Urbanism since 1945: The survival and revival of traditional architecture and urbanism in
the context of the events of the time
Urban Layers: the Fourth Dimension: Time and urbanism and the consideration of relative time in urban design
By Hugh Petter:
Architecture and Sculpture: Proportion and adornment in modern
Back to the Future: Archaeology and innovation in the building of Roma
Continuity and change: The evolving classical tradition
From Cottage to Library: An introduction to some fundamental
principles of architectural design
The rediscovery of more sustainable principles of development
Traditional architecture: An overview of progressional developments in
the late 20th Century in Britain
By George Saumarez Smith:
Palladio & English Palladianism: The legacy of Andrea Palladio from his lifetime to the present day
Simple Classical Details: An introduction to the classical language of architecture
Lettering & Architecture - The Letter ‘A’: Tracing the similarities of classical typography and architecture
The History of the English Terraced House: The evolution of the terraced house during the Victorian age, illustrated by examples in Winchester, Hampshire