BD: ‘What makes a great building?’

Larch House

The fantastic Passivhaus ‘Larch House’ in Ebbw Vale, Wales, Bere Architects 2011

I am always intrigued that as a profession architects are quite suspicious of evidence based research when assessing whether a building is successful, and I often wonder why this is the case. Although simplistic as a comparison, medics would be amazed at our decision making process given that nearly all of their decisions are based on proven outcomes. One of the advantages that doctors have is that the outcome, or desired outcome, is reasonably clear in that it should benefit the health of the patient. So who should architecture benefit and can we measure it?