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Auntie RIBA needs no more dubious facelifts

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Since qualifying, most of us have enjoyed a love-hate relationship with Auntie RIBA. Now once again we see our subs being devoted to a dubious 'facelift'.

It seems from the redesigned logo (AJ 5.7.01 and above) that our lions and their column have anorexia. What this is intended to signify surpasses understanding. From the caption we learn that this is part of a 'rebranding of the institute' (my local supermarket frequently goes in for this sort of thing). Such pregnant phraseology must refer to other dubious intentions.

During the past 40 years, No 66 has been fiddled with to the detriment of Wornum's great legacy. Those ubiquitous doersover, Allies and Morrison, have been entrusted with the work for this latest bout. Most will be aware of their reputation, which fits them as No 1 choice to deal with top-grade listed buildings - the Royal Festival Hall (and maybe others) is also in their portfolio. Allies and Morrison's commission for the RIBA includes ripping out the Council Chamber (one of the gems in this exceptional building), amendments to the Florence Hall ceiling and other deleterious alterations.

Reference to the proud issues of the commemorative 1934 RIBA Transactions reveals the extent of subsequent alteration, much to satisfy dubious need.

Such was Wornum's foresight that he provided stub columns above the roof to take a further storey. Money since spent from members' subscriptions could have built this - it still might.

Now your coronation is accomplished, President Paul, perhaps your reign could begin with a thorough survey of what is really needed for study by the whole membership.

John Bancroft, Haywards Heath, Sussex

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