Sir - I read with enthusiasm the public notice (April 26th) placed by the Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland calling for requests to participate in the architectural competition for a new wing to the National Gallery. My enthusiasm waned however, on reaching point number 5(c) of the notice, headed "Criteria for the selection of participants.
The nine criteria listed suggest a substantially sized practice of several years' standing with experience in handling large, complex, multi functional buildings which young architects such as myself could not possibly have. However, if one were to look at the large, complex, multi functional buildings built in this city over the last 20 years, one could not always guarantee their success on the strengthen that it was built by the large practice clearly envisaged for the new wing of the gallery.
I understand that the National Gallery has to ensure the highest possible standards for the proposed extension and that the two tiered competition is seen by the gallery authorities as being the fairest way to bring this about but these criteria seriously affect the democratic nature of a competition by excluding not only the younger but also the smaller voices who have a great deal to contribute to the development of such an important national institution. Yours, etc., Saval Park Road, Architect, Dalkey, Co Dublin.