I deferred responding to the two letters in NCE 2 March concerning the Dome, pending a visit myself on 18 March. I was inclined to agree with the letter from Jon Balley and my visit confirmed this. It is a great technical achievement, but the grandeur is lost when among the various zones. There is a feeling of space inside the central arena, mostly height, but this is diminished by not being able to see the full extent to the rim. I should imagine when empty that the structure springing from the ground would give the excitement he is looking for.
The second letter, by JM Wilson, implies by its tone and use of the hackneyed phrase 'white elephant' that he has been influenced by the press who are determined to damn it.
Has he studied the engineering details or the environmental innovations before deciding that it is a totally worthless contribution to engineering?
It is a worthy structure and a new London landmark. Unfortunately, some of the zones are tacky and detract from its splendour. However, long may it last and hopefully its new owners may be able to show off its impressive space in a more worthwhile manner next year.
Trevor Darke (AM), TRD Technical Services, Torvia, Bridge Street, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2HA