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We all know that great architecture is timeless, but sometimes its function seems to disappear. Who in the modern age really needs a telegraph office or an ice-house? This is the feeling evoked at the Barbican's new Alvar Aalto exhibition (agenda, AJ 01.03.07) while looking at the images of his magnificent tuberculosis sanatorium in Finland.

How fortunate that with modern medicine we no longer have those thousands of TB sufferers; those who need to sit out on sunny balconies to ease their troubled lungs. But then, travelling to the office today, what appears on the front of London's free Metro paper? A huge piece about the resurgence of TB.

Who knows, with the growing drug resistance among us we may well be driven back to those earlier ways of tackling the disease. Plus ça change? Geraldine Watson, London E1

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