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Paying the price for geometric twists

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letters

As soon as I saw the design by Sergison Bates (aj 24.9.98), my heart sank; and when I read the text, 'the winning scheme's geometric twists in the plan set the external walls and roofs at a subtle angle to each other', my fears were confirmed. Many, many years ago, I was involved with a school designed by Sir Basil Spence, where the four-square Victorian cottage which had housed the school caretaker was replaced by a building in which a geometric twist set the external walls at a subtle angle to each other. They may have been a thing of subtlety and beauty, but the school caretaker's views were forceful and to the contrary: how was his rectangular furniture, not to mention carpets (and, even worse, fitted carpets), going to relate to these subtle angles? Low-income tenants are going to want low-income carpeting. It is going to cost them considerably more to carpet these irregular plans. I do hope that The William Sutton Trust thinks again before actually erecting these expensive-to-live-in properties.

Incidentally, it is interesting to note that only a few pages on it is reported that most people prefer standard house designs; they 'don't like things that stand out; they don't want their homes to be different'.

JOHN ANSTEY

London EC1

Is this the real photo; is this not Mercury?

Isn't the photograph accompanying the review of Lewis Mumford's 'Writings on New York' (aj 17.9.98) that of Freddie Mercury's father?

J R GABRIELCZYK

By e-mail

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