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Factories are not in the country house tradition

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letters

As an American recently moved to London, it is with interest that I follow the PPG 7/country house discussion. In recent months I've visited several nearby country houses, including Chiswick, Pitshanger, Syon, Eltham and the Red House, and it's obvious that this important part of the British architectural tradition should be continued.

However, I find it curious to read in the AJ that three recently completed automobile factories are described as interpretations of the country house. Perhaps I have visited the wrong houses thus far, or I am completely misunderstanding the country house as a type, but I don't see the connection - and I wonder what those involved must be thinking, or visiting, in order to create this conceptual leap.

With this misappropriation of language, it is no wonder the government wants to restrict the building of country house estates, as they must feel they'll get bigbox factories - however elegant - dotting the landscape!

Christopher Pizzi, London EC1

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