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Leading architects lobby Welsh politicians in bid to save Newport school

A host of British architecture’s biggest names have written to the Welsh Assembly in opposition to the proposed demolition of Evans and Shalev Architects’ Newport High School in Wales.

Richard Rogers, David Chipperfield, Nicholas Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid have all signed the letter to Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan urging him to reconsider the decision to demolish the school, claiming its destruction would ‘represent an irreparable loss to the architectural culture of Wales’.

As revealed in AJ 10.01.08, the 1972 building is earmarked to be demolished next month and replaced with an HLM Architects scheme as part of the Welsh Assembly’s drive to improve failing schools.

The letter, penned by Gordon Benson of Benson and Forsyth Architects, is also signed by fellow Royal Academicians Peter Cook, Will Alsop, Edward Cullinan, Piers Gough, Michael Hopkins, Richard MacCormac, Eric Parry, Ian Ritchie and Chris Wilkinson.

The letter reads: ‘The project… is flexible, adaptable and capable of accommodating a contemporary education/transformational brief, given the opportunity and appropriate level of investment.’

In a separate letter from Rogers, also seen by the AJ, the Pritzker Prize-winner says the school is an ‘outstanding example of British modern architecture’.

Rogers added: ‘Demolishing the building would be a disaster (a word I do not use lightly) and
I ask you therefore to reconsider your decision.’

Read the joint letter here, and Richard Rogers' letter here.

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