It seems symptomatic of our times that your coverage of the Chipperfield housing on the edge of Madrid features five large colour photographs of the exterior but none of the habitable interior — with only one plan so small as to be virtually illegible.
The question immediately raised by the photographs is, what can the rooms be like behind those deep-set narrow windows? They may perhaps be appropriate to the climate, but balconies are almost universal in Spanish housing of all classes. To convey the quality of light and space in the interior of a small flat is not an easy task for a photographer, but unless the scheme can be seen to be successful in that respect, and in terms of the outlook offered to each flat, judgment has to be withheld.
Incidentally, regarding the demand for more competitions (News June 3), why are Pierre de Meuron and Nicholas Serota so sure the only undiscovered talent in this country is all “young”?
Ed: We chose not to publish the interior images because the flats were unoccupied and the design was unexceptional in the context of social housing. The significant aspect of the project was its exterior treatment.
James Dunnett, London