Letter: Master plan for the Festival Hall

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was the master planner for the South Bank for six years and support the proposals to replan this urban quarter, as it really needs it. My plans incorporated a lightweight enclosure to the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery and Lord Rogers' scheme follows this thinking and has many other very positive aspects.

However, I always planned to involve other architects to create diversity and, in particular, hated and wished to undo the "mega" architecture of the original LCC scheme that wrapped the Festival Hall, and indeed the whole site, in octopus tentacles of the same concrete design.

Like Professor Robert Maxwell (Letters, 13 August), I am therefore concerned that Lord Rogers' scheme may well, in the end, be perceived as doing the same thing, ie enveloping the site in one kind of architecture, wrapping the Festival Hall in the same glass canopies as the main Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery enclosures.

Not only could this suppress a huge area in one architectural expression, with a loss of diversity, urban richness and variety, it could also be quite overwhelming for the Festival Hall which ought to sit (in the tradition of Thames-side "palaces") on its own territory, commanding its own entrances.


London W9