‘B of the Bang’

Is Thomas Heatherwick the best person to preach about modern architecture?

It needs a big personality to answer a big question: why is so much new building so very bad; why are our cities so ugly? Thomas Heatherwick is that big personality. He is the Jamie Oliver of architecture and design: personable, blokeish, smart, tele-genic, extremely successful, nearly demented with ambition, and, one suspects, inclined to petulance if crossed. He is a visionary with several blind spots. To extend the Oliver comparison, there are times when Heatherwick serves up a delicious dish with his thumbs stuck in the bowl. His flair comes with flaws. As a designer, his Boris Bus for London was charming, but functional problems led to its withdrawal