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Poor first reactionsto 'pathetic' schemes

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Reactions to the six designs on show - such as they were - were broadly unenthusiastic. The Western Mail was told by members of the public that they were 'pathetic' 'too futuristic', 'disappointing' and 'lacked dignity'. The Daily Echo in Cardiff launched a by-now-customary telephone vote on the pictures, with the threat that it would publish its own 'winner' as Lord Callaghan made public his.

The Guardian was the only English newspaper to publish a story on the designs, illustrating it with the 'Alarm Button' scheme.

On an Internet discussion forum, a David Morgan feared that the assembly would go the same way as the opera house competition, with a 'radical' design chosen, the public reacting with horror, the 'winning' architect being expected to tone down his/her design and walking off in a huff, and Wales ending up with an 'instantly forgettable' building. Elsewhere there was some support for MacCormac's scheme six - praised as 'immense' by one observer, and an early front-runner.

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