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Manser washes his hands of Modernist extension

An influential British Modernist has refused to back campaigners who are objecting to an overhaul of one of his buildings.

Ex-RIBA president Michael Manser has disagreed with the Twentieth Century Society's (C20's) stance on DLG Architects' changes to his 1977 extension to an 18th century house by Robert Taylor.

Manser warned of the dangers of 'possessiveness' when delicate refurbishment decisions are considered, in this case, to his addition to Thorncroft Manor in Leatherhead, Surrey (pictured).

DLG Architects' proposals would reglaze Manser's extension and build a new extension. Both Taylor's original building and Manser's extension are Grade II*-listed.

Instead of taking issue with DLG Architects' proposals, however, Manser has washed his hands of the site.

'It's not my building any more. I don't object to any changes to it, my involvement was finished when I handed it over,' he told the AJ. 'There are good ways of addressing glazing system issues using current technologies.'

C20 caseworker Eva Branscombe has objected strongly to DLG's proposals to double-glaze Manser's originally single-glazed building.

Branscombe claims double glazing would destroy the reflective properties of the wall, which helps it to blend in with the manor's attractive grounds.

Unsurprisingly, DLG Architects' Anthony Walker rejected Branscombe's claim that the reflective properties of the curtain wall would be compromised.

He said discussions are ongoing with Mole Valley District Council, which is currently considering DLG's planning application for the site, lodged in August this year.

by Rob Sharp

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