Public protest

Inside, outside... get on side

How do we improve leftover space after the builders have departed is a question that dogs school projects. Here at Atrium School, Devon by Satellite Architects.
How do we improve leftover space after the builders have departed is a question that dogs school projects. Here at Atrium School, Devon by Satellite Architects. · Credit: Alex Campbell

‘Do you want to take this outside’, stands as provocation and threat as much as a question. As protagonists drag off jackets in readiness for a punch-up the crowd follows; a chorus of jeering and caution. Outside the pub or club or school corridor the shouts of ‘scrap, scrap’ are dulled; in architecture the phrase more likely suggests flooring rather than being floored. Think a seamless inside-out experience. The pleasure at the subconscious drift from inside to out is lacking in an ever increasing number of our public buildings. Landscaping, even masterplanning, is an added extra, last built, first cut. We are left fighting over stretches of tarmac, scraggy rose bushes and redundant railings. The crowd, including architects, needs to raise its voice for our public buildings, so they can become public places too.