Architects rarely live in houses they have designed themselves. The avant-garde modernist Berthold Lubetkin, for instance, planned the pioneering new town of Peterlee from an old farm in rural Gloucestershire. George Gilbert Scott, that eminent Victorian campaigner for Gothic architecture, designed many of his neo-medieval buildings while living in a well-appointed Georgian terrace. And small wonder, for architects know far better than anyone else just how awful the process of building actually is.
Writing in about 1672, the gentleman architect Sir Roger Pratt drew on his own bitter experience to advise prospective patrons. They should, he said, employ the best experts they could find, consult widely on their