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Client satisfaction could be Charlies' problem

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I don't have a problem with Charlie Sutherland and Charlie Hussey's (pictured) lament that Scottish architects are missing out on work in their own country (AJ 16.9.04) - they are talented architects and now that Arts Council funding and the Lottery cash have dried up, I wish them well in their search.

Perhaps, though, their remark in Scotland on Sunday that deliverability on time, budget and meeting client requirements are somehow secondary issues that do not lead to buildings that are 'charged with iconic meaning and cultural substance' gives a clue to the problem. It is central to what architects do.

I would take issue, though, with their list of 13 projects of national significance. Having just returned from the Venice Biennale, where the best that our country has to offer is featured alongside Europe's best for the first time, the harsh reality is that many of these projects do not measure up on an international scale.

Obviously, the two Charlies don't rate our own work but I believe we have shown that it is possible to be a commercial success and meet the aspirations of our clients, while being innovative and still winning international design awards.

Alan Dunlop, Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects, Glasgow

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