You couldn’t move for the likes of Rogers and Stefanou at Ascot last week … but if the gee-gees aren’t your bag an intrepid threesome are preparing to tee-off for a 24-hour Scottish golfing challenge

Bumping into the great and good

Everybody knows that the construction industry likes to play as hard as it works. It was no exception at Royal Ascot’s Ladies’ Day. With viewing problems at the main grandstand now a thing of the past, the great and the good of the industry were out in force. It was difficult to make a quick trip to the bookies without bumping into one of them, be it Peter Rogers of Stanhope, Howard Shiplee from the Olympic Delivery Authority or Stephen Pycroft of Mace … Luck was varied on the day of course, although some came up trumps in John Doyle’s box, including chairman Stef Stefanou

Double your money with Dubai

Still at Ascot, it was interesting to see how people decide on which horse to back. Some of the more seasoned racegoers had systems, while others picked horses with the best-sounding names. Alan Mack, Carillion’s project director on the £2bn Festival City project in Dubai, had another approach. Back from the Emirate for a holiday, Mack showed loyalty to his home by backing any horse with any link to Dubai, be it in name or owner.

Holing out for charity
Credit: Scott Garett

Holing out for charity

I hear that Marcus Wroe, John Owen and Justin Vivian from project consultants CNP have signed up to a 24-hour Scottish Golfing Challenge on 5 July, with the aim of raising money for SPARKs, the children’s charity. The three will tee-off at 2am with lanterns and glow-in-the-dark balls for the first of two rounds of golf at the Gleneagles course. They will then move on to the Rosemount at Blairgowrie, and finally finish the final round of the day at Dalmahoy East, where they expect to complete the course at about 11pm, before heading off for well deserved refreshments at the 19th after a total of 72 holes.

Plan to float prison ships founders

My spies tell me that the government came close to buying and commissioning the construction of a load of prison ships a few years ago – but not for the convicted. Instead they would have been used to house asylum seekers as their applications to live in the UK were being processed. Luckily for Her Majesty’s potential guests, mandarins concluded that the project wasn’t feasible.

The Marie Claire factor

Cathy Stewart, chair of the National Association of Women in Property and director of architect Pascall + Watson, is shattering preconceptions about the construction industry’s glamour factor. Cathy, who was Building’s cover girl three weeks ago, will appear in Marie Claire in October in a feature about women at the height of their career. When young girls start flooding into the construction industry, just remember we had her first.

Absentee from the Serpentine

As always Arup is providing engineering support to this year’s experimental Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, designed by Snøhetta, the Norwegian architect. But one designer will not be in attendance: Cecil Balmond, Arup’s vice-chairman.

The reason is that he is so fascinated by the crossover between architecture and art that he has put his energies into an exhibition of his own. It opened last week at the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen and explores what Balmond calls a “new aesthetic forensic”, which is a way of reinventing pattern and ornament suitable to the 21st century.

This new outlet for Balmond’s creative energies may also explain why the Serpentine won’t be arriving until August, a couple of months late …