Prof. Roger K. Lewis's article "Shaping the City" {Real Estate, Sept. 8} attempted to explain the goof-up in the new design for Washington National Airport.

His premise that a design error of this magnitude (and visibility) was excusable in light of the myriad of design considerations involved in a project of this scale was inexcusable.

I would suspect that the design team(s) on this project had more than sufficient staff, expertise and state-of-the-art design aids to handle this major undertaking but somehow lost sight of the forest for the trees. One may ask who bore responsibility for project oversight and -- if you will pardon the expression -- quality control. Also, where was the FAA during the early design reviews?

These questions are, of course, moot at this point, but what is really disturbing is the writer's willingness to picture this costly fiasco as an architectural foul-up that is not only forgivable but to be expected.

I wonder what sort of peer review the writer's comments would receive from his professional colleagues, both here and overseas.

I hope a more responsible attitude exists and is being taught in our schools. M. H. MARGOLIS Springfield