Letter: Let the Wren soar above a piazza in Paternoster Square

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The Independent Online
From Mr Robin Butterell

Sir: I did raise my voice before, about what ought to occupy to the north of St Paul's cathedral, currently Paternoster Square ("Time to call off this camp pantomime", 8 January). It was at the same time as Michael Manser, past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and I happily do it again to bemoan the terrible fate that must be prevented for St Paul's. One of the greatest buildings in our architectural heritage, it needs to be seen, not hidden behind a revolting barrage of pseudo-classical monstrosities.

Clear everything away ... all the post-war austerity buildings, with the possible exception of Leo de Sylass's choir school. We need to go back to the original environment of small-scale (maximum three storeys) buildings, as it was:

this vibrant patchwork of city byways ... a delightfully ramshackle miasma of houses, offices, coffee houses, bookshops and workshops ... this natural, harmonious and romantic relationship between Church, books and buildings.

Jonathan Glancey has said it all. Set back a modest distance, surrounding the cathedral with a well laid out piazza. Let it be good contemporary architecture (not more Poundbury) of the right scale.

Yours faithfully,

Robin Butterell


8 January