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Hastings vision is out of kilter with the town

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I cannot believe that the proposed Hastings visitor centre is as bad as the illustrations indicate (AJ 18.7.02 and pictured).

The turd shape of the seagull's eye view of the model clearly shows its lack of relationship with the surroundings and the perspectives are quite horrific.

By being clad in timber boarding and being a vaguely boat or net shape, it is supposed to relate to its context, but according to the images it looks more like a giant squashed paper lantern. Timber cladding would have a quite different effect and make the building into a huge solid lump.

What has 'traffic' flow got to do with it? The site plans indicate the roads have a quite different configuration, and what are those toilet/egg cup shapes (on the model only) for?

It is the fashion to justify designs with spurious PostModern similes which tend to be just as meaningless as the old Modernist dictums. Who was on the competition jury, six Libeskind clones?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Ushida Findlay's Japanese soft and hairy houses. Maybe it is the old problem of domestic scale forms inflated and applied inappropriately to larger buildings (see Mario Botta). Or am I wrong?

Peter Donner, Hastings

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