Who got pipped to the post by David Higgins? Who wants to take over the world? And which QS cowered before our sporting prowess? Answers below …

And the bronze goes to …

My spies tell me that outgoing Jarvis boss Alan Lovell narrowly missed out on the chief executive job at the Olympic Delivery Authority. Apparently, he made the final three-strong shortlist, but David Higgins edged the interviews. The 2012 post would have been perfect for Lovell - one of his reasons for leaving Jarvis is that the company has relocated to York, but he wants to stay in London or at least within commuting distance.

I hear Stratford's nice, or soon will be …

Healing oil

The Buncefield oil depot explosion was not bad news for all the Hemel Hempstead businesses that had their offices demolished. The aptly named RedSky IT has done such a good job at recovering from the big bang that it has doubled sales of its own disaster recovery IT package to worried construction firms. A bemused RedSky spokesperson says: "It's as though some of the customers wanted us to test the system on ourselves before they would buy it. However, destroying 65 million tonnes of oil to prove your package works seems a bit over the top."

Think you're hard enough?

Following Building's demolition of Gleeds at pool, commiserations this week go to QS Cyril Sweett, which was humbled in a tenpin bowling challenge last Wednesday. Sweett's development director Patrick Waterfield showed signs of a misspent youth with an astonishing display on the lanes, but it wasn't enough to overcome the hacks team led by features editor Mark Leftly. Building now hopes Cyril Sweet will not conform to QS stereotype and demand a recount. If you would like to take on the crack Building team at tenpin bowling or pool, send your challenge along with promises of jugs of beer and bar snacks to hansom@cmpinformation.com.

Might as well jump

Some people will do anything for publicity, but architect Ian Simpson insists he didn't ask four people to jump off the top of his 47-storey Beetham Tower in Manchester at 1am last week. The four "base jumpers" bypassed security at the yet-to-be-completed skyscraper, leapt from the top of the tower, gathered up their chutes and climbed the building to go again, making a total of 12 jumps between them. Then they vanished as mysteriously as they came …

When architects attack

Peter Eisenman enjoyed imposing his opinions on Rem Koolhaas during a recent conversation between the two architects at the Architecture Foundation. Koolhaas didn't dare contradict the great American when he declared that neither man needed another book about their work., but he did step in to defend Richard Meyer, derided by Eisenman as someone who "has been doing the same thing over and over again for his whole career". The Dutchman played the emotion card: "What Peter just said makes me want to cry. I really admire Meyer." "You're a free spirit," Eisenman grandly conceded.


What a splendidly philanthropic idea is Europan! A housing competition incorporating sites across Europe and open only to young architects, it's the perfect opportunity for youngsters to set up practice on the strength of having won a prestigious prize. For Brits, however, it's all been a bit of a letdown. In seven competitions since 1990, no British schemes have ever been built. So how come Maccreanor Lavington managed to set up in practice after having won Europan? Well, the site they chose to enter for was at Zaanstad in the Netherlands. Crafty.

Hansom illustration

Hey, let's invade Poland

Developers are often seen as power-hungry, but rarely do they admit to a touch of megalomania. But Jeff Schwarz, chief executive of shed giant ProLogis, did exactly that last week. Speaking at a sheds conference organised by Building's sister title Property Week, he described his corporation's purchase of three Polish sites several years ago at knock-down Eastern European prices. He had one regret, though. Schwarz candidly told delegates: "I just wish we'd bought the whole country."