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Taking RIBA to task on several recent matters

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An open letter to RIBA president Marco Goldschmied:

Now that the RIBA Journal no longer seems to be the means of communication between you and us the membership, I am obliged to turn to the letters pages of my favourite weekly architectural journal to present my address. The AJ 's excellent news section keeps me up to date with goings on at No 66. Last week (AJ11.5.00) I learned that a developer is among the proposed recipients of the honorary fellowships.

Elliott Bernard, wearing his hat as chair of the South Bank Complex, might be deserving, but the jury is still out on proposals for that former GLC creation and I suggest we need a much wider, open debate, before this professional seal of approval is given.

Now to my final concern. I was much heartened to hear of your installation of solar panels at No 66. However my enthusiasm was dampened by the illustration (AJ 20.4.00) which showed them blanking out windows on the piano nobile . Grey Wornum's noble addition to Portland Place deserves better treatment than to appear like a man with a patch over his eye. Surely, a more appropriate positioning would be to put such panels on the roof. Admittedly God sees the roofs of all our buildings, but I believe he would not find it offensive if done in an orderly fashion.

John Bancroft, Haywards Heath

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