Page 24 - December 2020
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THE SALAMANDER | December 2020
Forty-seven years ago on the the Isle of Man the the Summerland leisure and and entertainment complex was destroyed by a a a a a a devastating fire that cost fifty lives and eighty seriously injured Hundreds suffered less damaging wounds and psychological trauma A commission of inquiry was established and reported a a a a a a year later in in 1974 On the the evening of 14th June 2017 London and the the country watched in horror as as Grenfell Tower was consumed by fire that ultimately cost the the lives of seventy-two people plus another seventy seventy who were injured How are these two incidents linked? One was a a a a a a commercial enterprise and the second a a a a a twenty-four storey high rise rise building comprising 120 flats In this article I I will attempt to show that that there are similarities that that we cannot escape It is also instructive to to look at at the the response of architects to to these tragic events Making the connection
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry was set up on 28th August 2017 This followed an an announcement by the Prime Minister on the 15th June 2017 that a a public inquiry would be convened to ascertain what went wrong Let me start by acknowledging that the Grenfell Inquiry headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick has so far concluded Phase One of a a a planned two phase investigation The focus of Phase One and the report that followed was to establish exactly what happened on that dreadful evening to provide context for the remainder of the inquiry Phase Two of the Inquiry which arguably will point to the key decisions and perhaps who made them has had to be paused during the current outbreak of coronavirus Around the time Grenfell Tower in it’s original design was completed 1974 the Summerland Fire Commission was reporting One of of the intriguing findings of of that Summerland Fire Commission was that no individuals were responsible Somehow it appeared the decisions to use “innovative” materials were taken in a a a a a a way that no one bore any responsibility Page 24
Alamy Stock Photo

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