His unintentional role in the demolition of Georgian Dublin reminded me of a chat I had with him in his office at Lincoln's Inn Fields at a time when the future of Battersea Power Station was the object of speculation. Apocryphally, Summerson had played a large part in the power station's design whilst working as a young architect in the office of Giles Gilbert Scott. To me and others of my generation, the great hulk of the building was a romantic evocation of Thirties industrial might, power raised to poetry, etc etc.
So I told Sir John, who replied that he had always felt it looked like an overturned footstool (this might have been an unconscious reference to a criticism once levelled at Archer's church of St John's Smith Square) and that he supposed that one day they'd get around to tearing it down. I looked suitably horrified and said I very much hoped it would be saved. He suggested I shouldn't get too bothered about it. It would really be 'no great loss'.Reuse content