Protecting jewels of the modern world

Sutherland Lyall (Private View, DW 3 February) presumably has his reasons for sneering at The Twentieth Century Society, but they cannot excuse peddling lies.

As we have acted to protect modern buildings of the 1930s, such as FRS Yorke’s Torilla at Hatfield, and as we changed our name from the Thirties Society so we could fight for such post-war creations as the Brynmawr Rubber Factory and Erno Goldfinger’s work at the Elephant and Castle, I do not see how we can be accused of “a deep hatred of modern twentieth century buildings”.

Unlike Mr Lyall, so comfortably stuck in his 1960s time warp, we recognise that this complex century has produced more than one valid approach to architecture, which is why we have also been interested in such fine buildings as Albert Richardson’s Bracken House and Giles Scott’s Bankside.

We welcome the choice of Herzog & de Meuron as architect for Bankside as it seems capable of working well in a modern idiom while respecting the integrity of Scott’s great brick temple of power. To do that requires sensitivity and talent; dismissing the past while posturing as avant garde does not.

Gavin Stamp


The Twentieth Century Society

London EC1

Latest articles