Letter: Design for sneering

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I, too, applaud the desire of Marco Goldschmied, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, to convince us all of the importance of good design ("A fresh facade for British architecture", 22 March).

However, I entirely disagree with those who, like Robin Butterell, believe that the British public's conservative taste for architecture is "largely due to ignorance" (letter, 24 March).

In truth it is the ignorance of Riba establishment types which prevents them seeing the beauty, look and durability of classical and traditional architecture.

The mass-production approach to building design, mixed with socialist dogma and an unhealthy post-war economy has left future generations with a massive problem of unwanted Modernist buildings. Our post-industrial world gives a little more chance to consider environmental issues, and, once again, craft, longevity, history, culture and beauty are at the forefront of the public's priorities.

This is the time to relearn the skills and reasoning behind real architecture, classical architecture, and to teach it in schools. It is vital for the survival of the architects' profession that it understands the priorities of the British public and stops sneering at it.


London SE10