The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Letter: Alan Powers counters Richard Morrison’s Royal Festival Hall comments

The Twentieth Century Society may disagree with Allies and Morrison’s scheme for the Royal Festival Hall, but this is not the same thing as being ‘misinformed’ (I am not RFH vandal, 29.07.04). Following its usual practice, the Society has consulted with all parties before reaching the view that the visual impact of the changes to the auditorium is excessive for a Grade I listed building. High profile acousticians have expressed doubts about the principles behind those proposals and the possibility of finally ‘curing’ the acoustic problems, while Trevor Dannatt, one of the original architects of the RFH, agrees with the Society that the hall will be compromised architecturally.

We were disappointed that English Heritage approved the scheme, leaving Lambeth councillors little choice but to follow suit. It is the role of the Society to defend the integrity of the best architecture after 1914, and we believe that if the RFH scheme is carried out, it will not be long before there are calls to reinstate what has been lost.

Alan Powers