News Cyclists ride in central London where the proposed SkyCycle routes would be built

The proposed plans - designed to improve safety for cyclists - would cost over £200m

Woman in Customs claim breaks down: Lady Foster recalls 'humiliating' arrest at airport

LADY FOSTER broke down in tears yesterday while being cross-examined about her High Court damages claim over the 'public humiliation' she claims to have suffered at the hands of Customs officers at Heathrow airport.

Architecture Update: Foster commissioned to refurbish Reichstag

SIR Norman Foster has won the commission to refurbish the Reichstag in Berlin. The jury of the competition, set up by the German government to find an architect, was unable to make a choice and handed the decision to Germany's politicians, who selected the English architect. Back in Britain, Sir Norman has unveiled proposals for a warplane museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, which will house 20 US Army Air Force fighters and bombers.

Architecture Update: Changing trains

PLANS TO restore St Pancras station, London, for use as a new European terminal have been unveiled by British Rail's Architect & Design Group. It is a radical alternative to Sir Norman Foster's scheme for a pounds 137m concourse building at King's Cross.

Special Report on Hong Kong: A destination that mixes business with pleasure: Tourism has made this city the most popular in Asia, despite uncertainty about its future. Raymond Whitaker reports

FIRST impressions of Hong Kong - the hair-raising descent into Kai Tak airport, followed by a taxi ride to the Central district which can resemble a Grand Prix computer game - may convince the visitor that this is a place dedicated to the frenetic pursuit of money rather than leisure.

Architecture: The best of homes for those who have none: Britain's first Foyer will dispel for ever the institutional image of hostels for down-and-outs

BRITAIN's first 'Foyer', a cheap hotel offering shelter and guidance to 100 young people without homes, skills or the confidence to make much of life away from school and family, is about to be built in central Birmingham, writes Jonathan Glancey. When complete in two years' time, it will dispel for ever the image of hostels for down-and-out youth as dull and institutional buildings.

Architecture: Modernist temple brings new gods to an old city: Jonathan Glancey on a British design at home in France

'ONE has to know what one wants,' said Jean Bousquet, the charismatic mayor of Nimes when, nine years ago, he invited four of the world's leading architects to design a 'Beaubourg (Pompidou Centre) of the South' slap-bang in front of Nimes's famous Maison Carree. At the time, the idea seemed outlandish.

Letter: When to preserve Modern architecture

Sir: Professor Patrick Hodgkinson is right to assert (letter, 18 February) that Mendelsohn and Chermayeff's 'Cohen' house ('One good functionalist deserves another'; Architecture, 10 February) raises 'questions of principle about the listing and preservation of architecture we call Modern'.

Bunhill: Feet on the ground

THERE is something uncommonly reassuring about Sir John Egan, chief executive of BAA, the airports operator. A product of Bacup & Rawtenstall grammar school, he is a northerner who keeps his feet firmly on the ground. We met for lunch last week the day after BAA had announced its planning application to build a fifth terminal at Heathrow.

Letter: Change as an integral part of architecture

Sir: The consent given to Sir Norman Foster's proposals for altering the Mendelsohn and Chermayeff 'Cohen' house in Chelsea (Architecture, 10 February) raises questions of principle about the listing and preservation of architecture we call Modern. Many other examples of such buildings will require change if they are to live on. The Cohen house (1936) poses particular difficulties, however, for its ethos had nothing to do with the classic formalism on which the International Style was based.

Letter: An open mind on the modern home

Sir: As an owner of a 1932 listed building modern house, I cannot agree with Alan Powers, secretary of the Twentieth Century Society, and James Dunnett, architect and spokesman for Docomomo, quoted by Jonathan Glancey in 'One good functionalist deserves another' (10 February). A modern house is not, as they say, 'a fine work of art that cannot be changed in any way without destroying its integrity'. If this is their principle for measuring the satisfactory conservation of modern houses then, sadly, these organisations are into the business of embalming, not conserving, them.

Letter: A white elephant lacking sensitivity

Sir: Jonathan Glancey's praise of Norman Foster's Royal Academy modification (10 February) as a 'small masterpiece of sensitive modern intervention' prompts me to question this 'sensitivity' from a user-specific rather than general aesthetic viewpoint. I refer especially to the 'magnificent stairway and glass lift' providing access to the Sackler Galleries.

Letter: Blueprint for controversy

Sir: My gratitude to Jonathan Glancey for drawing attention to the current proposals for altering the house by Mendelsohn and Chermayeff in Old Church Street, Chelsea (10 February) does not extend to his unflattering and journalistic account of Serge Chermayeff's early career. His use of the word 'functionalist' to describe both Mendelsohn and Foster reverts to the jargon of the Twenties and further confuses the issue.

Architecture: Faith in the Foster formula is rewarded

WHEN the Sunday Times leaked a sketch of Sir Norman Foster's proposals for the remodelling of the Royal Academy of Art to conservationists in 1988, the response was as shrill as it was predictable. The drawing was a rough document that gave no hint of the quality of the new design. When David Prout, architectural adviser to the Victorian Society, saw it he said: 'This is a rude and arrogant incursion of hyper-Modernism into a beautifully balanced Classical building. It is so ham-fisted that a child could have planned it, and will spoil the whole character of the academy.' Lady Wynne-Jones, chairman of the Londoner's Society, was equally histrionic. 'The integrity of the building is at stake,' she said. 'It is objectionable and offensive - like taking a piece of Beethoven and rewriting bits of it.'

Architecture: One good functionalist deserves another: Should Norman Foster remodel this Modern masterpiece? The debate is fierce, says Jonathan Glancey

A PRIVATE house in Chelsea is at the centre of a row between Sir Norman Foster, one of the foremost architects of our time, and the Twentieth Century Society, which is dedicated to preserving the finest buildings of this century. Sir Norman has been asked by the publisher Paul Hamlyn and his wife, Helen, to remodel their listed home at 64 Old Church Street, opposite the Chelsea Arts Club in London.

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