Wyatt MacLaren was founded by architects Ann Wyatt and Gordon MacLaren in 1980. Ann Wyatt died in 1987 when our £ 0.5 M newbuild Spitalfield’s women’s centre and housing ‘Nari Samity’ was under construction. For over 20 years Gordon MacLaren has been the architect to a Health and Educational centre at Bromley-by-Bow in the East End of London and has designed or modified all the buildings on their site which includes a 2 ha. Public park. Since 2004 he has been joined by Alex MacLaren, his and Ann Wyatt’s daughter. In January 2010, Alex Freemantle joined Wyatt MacLaren as a third partner.
We intend to co-operate on projects we hope that clients will be able to chose who leads on them, at least at the design stage. Our mission statement explains our interest in working against the grain of the commercialisation and cosy relationships of UK public procurement championed by Egan and Latham and a return to values of professional responsibility and excellence and imagination which seem to have been progressively eroded by the committee-structure and dispersed responsibility favoured by most UK institutional clients.
Sustainability is the obvious ethical issue that impacts on the architecture of the twenty-first century. We take it as a given. We only design low energy, durable, and functionally adaptable buildings.
We are confident that we can compete on quality, cost and time using traditional fully-designed lump-sum or construction-managed contracts of which we have good recent experience up to values of £5.0 M.
We only want to work with clients who want architecture. We don’t want to work for clients who want buildings styled for planning committees and potential funders and public ‘participation’ events. Public architecture and greed don’t mix.
The architect of one of the most celebrated of modern public buildings (the Thermal Baths at Vals, Switzerland), Peter Zumthor, has been quoted as saying that if an architect tries to achieve the ‘typical’ in a building then there is the possibility of achieving the sublime. He doesn’t spell it out but the implication is clear; that the pursuit of novelty or ‘cutting edge technology’ for its own sake precludes the sublime. We agree. The 2006 Baths in Bath seem to support this assertion.