Parsing Margaret Thatcher's Architectural Legacy

According to Anna Winston, the former prime minister's impact on the architecture profession was huge. With the redevelopment of Canary Wharf, for example, her administration gave a leg up to Cesar Pelli, Sir Norman Foster and SOM, among others.

Winston points five of the significant effects Margaret Thatcher's time in office had on the architectural profession:

  1. The privatization of local authority services led to the U.K. becoming one of the largest export markets for private architectural services.
  2. The Monopolies and Mergers Commission made it illegal for professional bodies, including architectural service providers, to establish or publish minimum fee scales.
  3. The Big Bang or deregulation of the financial sector in 1986 led to an increased demand for office space and a design response to cultural shifts toward consumerism.
  4. In 1988, the London Dockland Corporation broke ground on Canary Wharf, the largest commercial project in the world at the time.
  5. The Right to Buy program led to a dramatic reduction in public housing both for tenants and architects and encouraged gentrification.
Full Story: What Margaret Thatcher did (or didn't do) for architecture


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