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Is this a metaphor of Ken Livingstone's reign?

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During Open House weekend (AJ 26.9.02), I visited Foster and Partners' City Hall building. I was disappointed with the mayor's new home, since Foster's masterplan of major office buildings alongside threatens to encroach on views, and overwhelm what should be a major public building.And because the interior of the building seemed less grand gesture and more an ungenerous office fit-out. The Swiss Re scheme (AJ 26.9.02) seems altogether different, but is it not a sign of the times that the privately financed insurance company headquarters is a beautifully designed structure, peering across at the squat, cramped building for the people of London, hemmed in by more developers' square footage?

James Bootle, Stratford

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