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Fire protection doesn't require a big budget

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I was amused by your article about the strategy adopted for the Adaptable Theatre at the Lowry (AJ 6.7.00).When we designed the scaffolding structure for the Tricycle Theatre in 1980 we were faced with the almost impossible task of fire protecting scaffolding at a time when the London district surveyors did not accept intumescent paint.

We argued that because the freestanding structure did not support the building itself and the means of escape were such that everybody would be out in one and a half minutes, fire protection was unnecessary. This was accepted by the district surveyor and licensing authority and the theatre was granted a permanent licence. This was all done on a tiny budget without the benefit of a fire consultant or computer images of little people walking downstairs.

Tim Foster, Tim Foster Architects, London N1

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