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I wish to express my doubts about Herzog & de Meuron's scooping of the RIBA Gold Medal (AJ 05.10.06).

Certainly the practice's early architecture had some quality, but today its work has, in my opinion, become formalistic - opportunistic, full of luxury-shine governed by commerce!

As an example, the project for a high tower on the Schatzaep Davos in Grisons, Switzerland, illustrates no feeling for the mountainscape, is expensive and over-instrumented.

The idea of a tower is of course better than filling the whole mountainside with 'kitsch' chalets, but Herzog & de Meuron's scheme is out of place.

I am dismayed to think that its name will be inscribed in the stone wall of the RIBA together with those of the truly great: Jack Coia, Michael Scott, Le Corbusier etc.

Bryan Cyril Thurston, Ürikon, Switzerland

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