Lessons Of Milton Keynes
Derek Walker


Derek Walker

©Monica Pidgeon

One's pre-occupations in architecture tend to be fashioned by obsessions outside the elementary design and building process. Four major study areas continue to fascinate me at the present time.


Milton Keynes: Strategic Plan

©John Donat

The first is an obsession with reflections and the use of water. The shimmering quality of the environment of the Lake palace at Udaipur has a quality of tranquility, reflection and light, which transcends the quality of the built form itself. It merges into a landscape whose dark quality is juxtaposed starkly with the lushness and lightness of the palace enclave. India is my spiritual thread providing the dominant influence in colour and sheer quality of light that fuels one's design philosophy. The second obsession is the manipulation of major landscapes. My favourite place in Britain are the grounds and environs of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, a monastic site which has a setting unsurpassed in its exquisite majesty of strong building form, undulating landscape, bold vistas, reflection on water, it has a serenity that is not pdrely a product of its religious tradition, but which is very much the nature of the landscape form - the harmonious, almost musical, scale of colours, the stone, the lawns, the woodland slopes, and the quiet deep lakes.

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