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LETTERS

AN INSIDER'S VIEW IS NEEDED AT CZWG SCHEME

Kenneth Powell talks a lot about the external geometry and the colouring of CZWG's South Central development, but says little of the actual living spaces (AJ 23.03.06).

The plans of the one- and two-bedroom apartments are very interesting. They have the same floor area, so that the onebedroom apartment (for two people) can seat six round the table, and five in comfort in the lounge, whereas the two-bedroom apartment (for four people) has room for only three at the table and three in the lounge.

And how do you furnish the lounge in the two-bedroom apartment? Presumably if you have a telly and nothing else you are OK. Is this down to CZWG or the contractor's architect?

And where is the storage space? No doubt things will get put out on the balcony, as can be seen all round London and elsewhere, where storage space is woefully inadequate.

Geoff Jones, Ross-on-Wye

RISK ASSESSMENT WILL NOT PROTECT US FROM FLOODS

Dave Wardle's letter backing London's flood defences and explaining how we can manage the risks of developing the Thames Gateway sounded very reassuring (AJ 23.03.06).

Not surprising from the 'Thames Estuary Programme executive'.

Certainly more reassuring than Phil Rothwell, who I heard at the recent Ecobuild conference. Rothwell is head of flood-risk-management policy for the government's Environmental Agency.

His view was that we shouldn't build on, or redevelop, brownfield sites on flood plains. We can, of course, make beneficial use of them, such as for leisure.

Yes, risks can to some degree be assessed. But if we take the risks we have to be prepared to manage the floods that will, statistically, happen. Boscastle was a 1:400 risk according to Rothwell, way beyond current risk standards. (And the substation that should have provided for communications was in the floodrisk area, and got inundated. ) Risk assessment allows us to know more about risks, but it doesn't make them go away.

Liam Jones, by email

GATEWAY PHOTOS ARE A MUCH-NEEDED ILLUSTRATION?

I was waiting for a letter to come in about the photographs in your Thames Gateway feature (AJ 02.03.06) and, sure enough, Paul Barnfather sent one (AJ 23.03.06). 'Is it just me or was it rather extravagant to feature 10 pages of Thames Gateway dereliction?' he asks. I think it's just you, Paul.

Those photos show exactly what some of us are talking about when it comes to developing the Gateway. It's a landscape clearly up for grabs, which could go either way - a clean sweep for the likes of Barratts or something a bit more subtle.

Yes, much of the area is a mess, but wasn't that cover shot almost like a Turner?

We need to shake off preconceptions when we look at landscapes like this, and these photographs start to show the way.

Don Livingston, Kettering

?AND ALSO A MUCH-NEEDED EXTRAVAGANCE

Re: Paul Barnfather's letter (AJ 23.03.06) regarding the AJ's Thames Gateway issue (AJ 02.03.06).

Is it just me, or was it rather extravagant to build Ronchamp, when the entire congregation could have adequately fitted into an average-sized village hall?

Lee Davies, Croydon

'HICCUPS' SHOULD NOT DETRACT FROM GREAT BUILDINGS

Tony Hughes hit the nail on the head with his letter defending the Scottish Parliament (AJ 16.03.06).

It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that the building should be stripped of the Stirling Prize because of what is rightly described in your magazine as a 'hiccup' regarding a beam slipping out of place (AJ 09.03.06).

This disgracefully negative attitude is also being displayed by those critics who are so keen to leap on any 'hiccup' that affects the construction of Wembley Stadium.

This will also be a truly fantastic building, and a worldclass stadium. But it has hardly been given a chance in the press.

Falling beams and missed FA Cup finals are a small price to pay for truly outstanding architecture.

Tom Armfelt, by email

FOSTER'S SNOW SHOW SKETCH IS ALL WHITE

How nice of Norman Foster to prove his environmental credentials in last week's Sketchbook on the Snow Show (AJ 23.03.06) by drawing diagonally across the page.

It is also good to see that Foster clearly has the same appreciation of white space as the designers of the AJ.

Sam Denning, by email Please address letters to: The Editor, The Architects'Journal, 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB, fax 020 7505 6701, or email angela.newton@emap. com to arrive by 10am on the Monday before publication.

The Architects' Journal reserves the right to edit letters.

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