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Colin Davies

The Work of Michael Hopkins, Volume 2

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Michael Hopkins' recent architecture defies easy categorization. The High Tech style of his formative years has developed into something much richer. In buildings like the Glyndebourne Opera House, the Inland Revenue Centre and the New Parliamentary Building, a new toughness and individuality has emerged. These buildings have the uncompromising quality of certain 19th-century industrial buildings, yet they have managed to gain acceptance among some of Britain's most ancient institutions. They are often hybrid creations, juxtaposing strongly contrasting elements - lightweight fabric structures and massive loadbearing walls, for example - yet they remain loyal to a strict code of truth to materials and honesty of expression. Traditional and new forms of construction are combined in unconventional ways, often using innovative prefabrication techniques, but without sacrificing traditional craft virtues. This monograph documents the consolidation of Hopkins' mature style over the last 10 years. An essay by respected architecture critic Charles Jencks examines themes and historical precedent in the buildings. Detailed presentations of over 20 buildings and projects analyze the genesis and logic of a unique and now instantly recognizable architecture. The book's publication coincides with Hopkins' most important commission to date, the New Parliamentary Building in London's Westminster, which has an extensive presentation in the book, and which is also discussed in an essay by writer and architect Patrick Hodgkinson. "Hopkins 2" also includes works published as unbuilt projects in the previous monograph, including Glyndebourne Opera House and the Inland Revenue Centre, Nottingham.
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