Letter: An open mind on the modern home

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The Independent Online
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.

These homes are not closed, but excitingly open, aesthetic-cum- functional systems that depend on their dwellers interacting by developing appropriate interests over time to incorporate into the experience of their light, space and structure which function multi-dimensionally. As the lived perceptual experience of possible functional alternatives is part of their architects' conception of them, Sir Norman Foster's plans for 64 Old Church Street do not depart from, but rather fulfil, Erich Mendelsohn's intentions for the house.

Yours sincerely,


London, WC1

13 February