Letter: Blind to oomph on South Bank

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: Sir Brian Corby's letter of 16 August defended Lord Rogers' South Bank proposals against Robert Maxwell's attack (Letters, 13 August) by quoting Sir Leslie Martin's approval of the shielding his Royal Festival Hall will receive from those later monsters next door. But that is not enough.

Maxwell's negativism illustrates the seizure the Brits suffer when anything bright appears. Pettyfogging nit-picking killed Mies van der Rohe's Mansion House tower, Zaha Hadid's Welsh National Opera House, Santiago Calatrava's east London bridge and Sir Norman Foster's scintillating skyscraper, grey academia blinding us to oomph.

Wary of ceiled-in external space, I like wind in my hair and singing in the rain. Yet if the young want controlled atmospheres - like the jet- lagged Pacific fish they prefer to tasty British - Rogers will achieve this with glorious pazazz.

Sir Brian's South Bank Board should meet Rogers' spirit and find ways of stretching his flowing ribbon of glass all the way to County Hall with a taller "Hokusai" breaking wave masking the ugly boot of the Shell building. Glittering and in scale with Father Thames himself, what a glamorous heart- tingler from the Embankment!

Balance a wide wooden deck, the sky its roof, above the trains on Hungerford Bridge and, over the moon, everyone would dance across the river, making love under the stars.

Professor PATRICK HODGKINSON

Bath

Comments