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Pringle and Lipton cross swords with angry letters

A row has broken out in the letters page of The Timesbetween RIBA president Jack Pringle and super-client Stuart Lipton.

The former Stanhope boss wrote to the newspaper angrily defending clients after a letter from Pringle was published claiming that 'patronage is too undemocratic for these times'.

In his letter, Pringle said that while architectural patronage has, historically, left some of Britain's finest landmarks, this role should now be fulfilled by city architects.

Unsurprisingly, Lipton, an honorary fellow of the RIBA, vehemently disagreed, taking the opportunity to criticise the institute as a whole.

'Throughout the country, grand patrons are commissioning projects which can be seen in many of our leading cities and, in particular, London,' his letter says. 'They have all the skills of visionary architects and developers and give the community new places to use and enjoy.

'For two decades this champion of architecture [the RIBA] has failed us all in not being at the forefront of modern architecture in day-to-day activity.

'While it promotes competitions, the RIBA remains an introverted member-protection organisation rather than one looking after the wider interests of the public,' Lipton's letter adds.

To see Pringle's letter, click hereand for Lipton's, click here.

by Ed Dorrell

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