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'Considerate' scheme is modernisation by stealth

letters

I would like to express some disquiet over the 'Considerate Building Scheme' in London, whereby shells of older buildings are propped up and new internals built.

This is modernisation by stealth. I am not of the 'boil-ona-friend's-face' school, I just don't see the point in altering fine buildings which could be tastefully renovated. By mining out a building, you effectively kill off its root (like a tooth). It loses life. We sense the life has gone out of the structure.

It's vanity on the part of architects when they think they can improve on something that, for its day, was impressive. A very good renovation or extension is often breathtaking, and more challenging. It shows off the old and the new.

Would you want to remake Casablanca, destroy the original and then expect praise for your efforts?

Please correct me if I am wrong. Even ugly buildings should be preserved for their 'kitsch' content.

Julian McHale, Edgware, London

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