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Dose of realism needed to make Guildhall pay its way
11:54am Saturday 12th May 2012 in Letters
HAVING been a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects for 35 years, I am all in favour of architectural competitions, but I fail to see how a future for the Guildhall complex can be secured by inviting international architects to come up with some grand design at a cost to ratepayers of £35,000.
The listed status of these buildings severely limits the scope for any significant alterations. What is needed is not some modern architectural vision with little prospect of being either approved or affordable, but an idea to find a financially viable beneficial use for the existing premises; a use which will fund its renovation and future maintenance.
Continuing office use will not do it. The city is full of empty office space and there is a plethora of unimplemented planning consents for new office buildings.
Whatever use is proposed it must be a realistic one which does not cost the earth and can be relied on to generate an income sufficient to support the future well-being of the buildings.
Matthew Laverack, Chartered architect, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.