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Air conditioning should not be necessary here

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I would like to comment on Astragal's article about the Gold Medal presentations (AJ 28.6.01). I was there and agree that the Florence Hall was extremely hot and there was no ventilation plant available.

However, I would like to take issue with remark that 'they will have to get air conditioning eventually'. I don't say it won't be the eventual solution in this case, but architects should be the last people to pre-suppose a solution to a problem that will use an unnecessarily large amount of the world's resources to implement.

A building in the UK has to be very badly designed in order to need air conditioning - and badly managed.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries we forgot that windows are for natural lighting because we could rely upon electric light. It looks as though we are forgetting how to use openings for ventilation and are having to rely on air conditioning instead.

Max Fordham, London NW1

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