LETTER : How to approach St Paul's

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The Independent Online
From Dr Sebastian Loew

Sir: The argument about Paternoster Square ("The Prince of Wales wants to build this next to St Paul's. The City is determined to stop him", 10 February) will not be resolved as long as building designs are discussed in terms of "style".

The proposed scheme is grotesque, but that is almost beside the point. The way to approach the renewal of that part of the City is to start not with the buildings, but with the public realm.

If decision-makers could agree about the kind of public spaces needed around St Paul's, about how these might be used, by whom and for what purpose, and about how these spaces should relate to the surrounding City and to St Paul's, the rest would follow and styles would be irrelevant.

Competitions may be the way forward: first to choose the framework, then to choose the individual buildings.

Yours faithfully,

Sebastian Loew

School of Urban Development

and Policy

South Bank University

London, SW8

12 February