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Millennium Dome fails to keep its promise


Oh yes, the Dome's a great technical achievement. The Money Zone's advertised attraction is to stand in a queue for a stare at an almost insignificant £1 million in notes: why not just gaze upwards instead and marvel at £250 million in engineering?

But when you do, doesn't it - like everything else on the site - just miss out on the deep emotional 'wow' factor of a grand and inspirational gesture?

It's an engineering masterpiece, and yet, even as you emerge beside it from the Tube at Greenwich, it hides - as engineers tend to - shyly behind its entrance kiosks. Wherever you view it, it seems to be facing away from you. And on going inside - in place of space-enhancing architectural vistas - there is clutter.

I want it to impress and to excite. In a distant sighting after dark there is some pleasure from a sinister glowing arc, but visually it was much more thrilling during construction, with its top suspended magically in mid air.

I think, completed, it's too much at ease with itself - sitting relaxed and deflated, waiting to be hoisted up to some climactic glory by the angled towers. There is the promise but, like its much-harassed contents, it never quite delivers the expected emotion.

The irony, if you ever happen to have stood beneath a gas coking plant in fiery red hot action, is that the very energy, excitement, sense of power and awe that we look for in the Dome site, was all there in the peninsula's original use.

Jon Balley (M) Littlecote, Two Dells Lane, Orchard Leigh Chesham, Bucks HP5 3QZ

A 'worthless contribution'

When is NCE going to get a grip of reality and stop extolling the virtues of that financial white elephant, the Millennium Dome. It is a totally worthless contribution to the advancement of engineering. Bet you do not publish this.

J M Wilson,

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