Letter: Sculpture meets architecture at Stansted, Chartres and Broadgate

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The Independent Online
Sir: How can Peter Dormer ('Lipstick on the face of a gorilla'; Architecture 9 September) argue against the 'Per Cent for Art' campaign on the basis that 'good modern architecture . . . contains within its design . . . its own story' - and complain about the ('superior') Broadgate office


My view is that the sculpture around the Broadgate development transforms the buildings from being mere lumps of granite and glass, indistinguishable from office buildings anywhere, to being the apotheosis of the City.

Thus, George Segal's sculpture Rush Hour perfectly encapsulates the misery of commuting in conditions which truly are those of 'broken-spirited sheep'. The trinity of sky-high rusty planks at the confluence of the Liverpool Street station entrance and Old Broad Street, supporting each other like drunken Eurobond salesmen in the days of Big Bang, I take to be a more accurate paradigm of the decay of the City and its values than any other I have seen.

Peter Dormer worries whether such art is relevant. Relevant - yes. Ugly - definitely. But then, who is arguing that all art should be 'nice'?

Yours faithfully,


London, SW19

9 September