Letter: Street pastiche that defies all logic

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The Independent Online
Sir: Three cheers for Jonathan Glancey's excellent article on the tyranny of 'repro' street furniture (14 October).

As a landscape architect involved in several urban improvement schemes, I wage war endlessly against requests for Victorian-style street lighting, to name but one element. No one has yet explained to me satisfactorily the logic of putting a reproduction 19th-century gas lantern in a 17th- 18th-century street to provide electric lighting to a late 20th-century standard.

No, it's not a question of 'escaping from the terrifying Bauhaus movement' (your correspondent of 19 October), but of escaping from our society's terrifying addiction to historical pastiche, even though there are designers and manufacturers producing excellent, modern, fit-for-the-purpose street furniture and fittings. Dealing with the complex, often patched and mended, urban fabric demands great care and sensitivity, not least in the relationship of the old and the new.

I recently visited Prague, where the contribution of early 20th-century designers such as Josip Plecnik shine out in the company of medieval and Renaissance buildings. Please let us remember that we in our turn are designing for the future and have the courage of our convictions.

Yours faithfully,



20 October