all in the detail



Copenhagen is the city of amazing design and of amazing architectural details and much of that detail, carefully thought through and carefully executed, is on historic buildings.

Much that I admire about modern architecture is to do with broad concepts and about clever engineering or about simple and beautiful proportions but rarely is modern architecture about the details or the quality of craftsmanship. 

Of course there are exceptions … like the National Bank by Arne Jacobsen ... but generally modern architecture, even in this city, is no longer about craftsmanship.

I don’t mean by that craftsmanship in any quaint or nostalgic sense - an image of the old and experienced master at his work bench - but in broader terms of workmanship combined with a complete understanding of the materials being used and the techniques employed but combined with genuine pride in the finished work and - even more difficult to define - work executed with imagination and panache or bravado … about making something that will last and creating something that people will appreciate and enjoy for years or decades or centuries ahead.

That's not the sort of design that looks good on the bottom line of the annual accounts but, more crucial, it is as an investment.