I like the museum

Tim Hudson (letters, last week) asks district councillors who voted in favour of the new museum building to justify their decision, and questions why none has so far responded to his earlier request.

I, for one, assumed his question was, as is common in letters to this column, more rhetorical than expectant of an answer.

However, I appear to have been mistaken, so I will raise my head above the parapet and give my answer.

I voted in favour of this building for several reasons:

The need to replace a building that was no longer fit for purpose;

The need to conserve and display the hidden heritage of this city;

The ability show to better effect and purpose the history of Chichester from pre-Roman times to the present day;

The physical constraints of the only suitable site available to the council within the environs of the city;

The reputation of the architectural team that designed the building, and from visiting other buildings designed by that team, etc, etc.

All that, however, would have meant nothing if I hadn’t liked the look of the building!

It is designed to conform to Palladian principles – the pinnacle of architectural form for many centuries.

In my view its clean, simple, modern lines will point up both the ancient beauty of the cathedral, and that of the more mundane but no less attractive domestically-scaled properties in Tower Street.

So there you have it; I’ve stated my case.

I like this building, though I dislike the former post office building and the East Pallant Gallery extension; I am ambivalent about the library, but I like the Chichester Festival Theatre!

The museum building is not yet finished; and even when it is, its true merit will not be realised until the residential block that will abut it to the north is built.

I would suggest that judgement on the building’s merit as a piece of 21st-century architecture be left ’til then.

In the final analysis architectural beauty is subjective – it is in the eye of the beholder.

Cllr John Connor,

Member for Selsey North Ward, CDC,

Merryfield Drive