Letter: Sculpture meets architecture at Stansted, Chartres and Broadgate

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The Independent Online
Sir: I share Peter Dormer's view (Architecture, 9 September) that an enforced 'Per Cent For Art' initiative is not to be welcomed. Indeed, such a policy could lead to a dilution of artistic effort and effect in new buildings. Unlike him, however, I am convinced that art does have an important place in architecture, provided it is relevant, is conceived in close co-operation with the architect and is of high quality.

The sculptures at Stansted which Peter Dormer criticises are designed to make the passenger's journey through the terminal a more uplifting one. Another good example of how art can enhance a public space is the William Pye work in the North Terminal at Gatwick airport. Jetstream and Slipstream, two spiral, stainless steel cones with water running down the sides, are functionally relevant as well as aesthetically pleasing. At a time of potential stress, the traveller is relaxed by the gentle sound of running water.

BAA has an excellent track record for commissioning new works of art without the need for a coercive policy. Our airports would certainly be less welcoming places without them.

Yours faithfully,

GORDON EDINGTON

Group Property Director

BAA

London, SW1

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