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Foster's critics should target real villains...

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Gavin Stamp lays into Norman Foster (AJ 14.3.02), currently a fashionable activity - read also Rowan Moore. Apparently, one of the crimes of his practice is to put up 50 office buildings, thus denying opportunities to 'less aggressive, and possibly more talented, smaller practices'.

Hang on, Norman Foster is hardly Robert Mugabe, seizing the assets of rivals and terrorising them. He doesn't, as far as I know, force contracts on terrified clients. Why does he get all these jobs? I suspect that he might happen to be rather a good architect. What I am certain of is that he is a better architect than many of those who design (I use the word loosely) office blocks, blocks of flats and executive houses in their thousands across Britain with little regard for aesthetics or much else.

We know them not, but we know their works. They retch their way along the Thames from Reading to Gravesend, across harmless small towns and city centres. Of this Foster is innocent, as are the other 'ennobled superstar offices' and also the 'possibly more talented smaller practices'. At least they all try to produce decent modern architecture.

Get a life Dr Stamp - and go for the right targets.

Ian Jones, Chadwick Jones Associates, London

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