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. . . respecting the past, inspiring the future . . .

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I was disappointed to learn from your letters page (AJ 26.4.01) that architecture can be reduced to a simple 'envelope for human endeavour'.

Surely the best way to promote human endeavour is to inspire. Architecture is uniquely placed to do this, from the humblest detail built beautifully, to the awe-inspiring building which stops you in the street.

That is why much effort and human endeavour has been invested in it for countless years.

Brynmawr Rubber Factory, old and worn out though it may be, presents limitless opportunities for conversion into the inspirational spaces that the architecture of the envelope - the plaything of a corporate world, bland and banal, the buildings of least resistance - cannot and does not consider.

To prevent the architecture of the 21st century from being blindly led by economics and cash flow, it is important to respect and understand those who have built before, as well as recognizing the potential their buildings offer.

Saving the factory will not be the cheapest option, but it could be the most inspirational.

Eric Cartwright, Saffron Walden, Essex

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