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Design fundamental to success of PFI projects

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Letters

Ron Morgan's letter about healthcare design (AJ 13.06.02) shows the benefits of taking a measured approach to this issue.

Many architects will have been disappointed by some of the designs that have emerged as a result of the PFI programme.

The curate's egg nature (so far) of PFI provision is also evident in the schools sector, where problems are exacerbated by the bundling together of too many buildings in one package.

The potential advantage of PFI in establishing a long-term relationship between building provider and building user will only be realised if design is given appropriate weighting in the process. Otherwise a potentially great procurement system fails on the test of the quality of end product.

But let's have more light shed on this major question, rather than fixed positions which only generate heat. It appears there are good examples of both healthcare and school design coming from the PFI route - so the interesting thing is why there are also bad examples. Is it the procurement method, or the quality of the designers?

J P Halliwell, London SW19

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