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Pompidou 'accusations' were opening debate


The reinterpretation of David Greene's critique that was included in your news pages (AJ 28.4.05) on the public crit of the Pompidou Centre by Richard Rogers was so inaccurate it cannot be allowed to pass. I am assuming that was the event you were attempting to cover, but only as its organiser would I have that insight; the event was left unnamed.

It was, in fact, called Supercrit-3: Centre Pompidou, and was organised by the Research Centre for Experimental Practice (EXP) in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster on 22 April 2005 in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation.

Contrary to your report, Greene did not 'deride' Rogers for not designing something 'that could have consumed Paris'; he was trying to open up a discussion about an architecture of change and time. Consequentially, questioning whether the building should have got smaller or larger over time is entirely reasonable.

The Centre Pompidou represents one of the key moments of 20th-century international Modernism, and the University of Westminster was extremely grateful to have Rogers make an eloquent and passionate account of the project. To intimate that Greene was trying to 'take swipes' at Rogers is an impertinent misunderstanding of Greene's highly regarded 40 years' experience in teaching and the nature of the event as a platform for interrogating the condition of architecture.

It is a matter of some regret that you failed to identify this and take seriously the generosity of all participants in giving time to critically review Pompidou.

Samantha Hardingham, University of Westminster

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