Letter: Brutal legacy

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his article about the failure of politicians to do anything over the years for architecture (28 March), Jonathan Glancey omits a period when architecture was at the top of the political agenda. This was the Fifties and Sixties, when architects persuaded the Labour government to rebuild bombed Britain in the image of Le Corbusier's cities in the air. Social housing, new towns, universities and schools all got the very political modernist treatment. This was to be a brave socialist new world.

But the architects blew the opportunity handed them by Labour. Although some of the buildings of that time were outstanding: the Clarence Road Estate in Roehampton, the Festival Hall, and the Cambridge University Centre, the lesser architects imposed on Britain a brutal legacy of ill- thought-out stained concrete blocks which soon fell down or had to be blown up.

Not surprisingly, the politicians have not trusted architects since.

RICHARD SARSON

London SW2

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