Fun-loving 203 year old seeks like-minded construction professionals, crowd-surfing architects or OGC officials (with GSOH) for free drinks, indiscreet gossip and maybe more …

Love in gutter

I don’t know why, but the new compilation of the London Review of Books’ personal ads landed on my desk this week. The book, entitled They Call Me Naughty Lola, contains a catalogue of weird and lurid messages from the lovelorn – some of which I’m sure readers of Building can help with. Take, for example, this plea from a “bored roofing materials manufacturer: “In desperation, I turn to you, single ladies up to 50, with more than a passing interest in guttering, fascias and polyvinyl sheet-edging …” Any takers?

From Russia with love

Word has reached me that the relaunch of the Faculty of Building as the trendy Forum of the Built Environment did not go as planned last week. The star of the show was to have been Polish architect Daniel Libeskind. Unfortunately he managed to miss his flight from Russia, so the 250 expectant delegates had to make do with a 30 second welcome message phoned in from the great man’s mobile. Not quite what we were hoping for, the red-faced organisers explained, but at least he was present in spirit if not in body.

True crimes
Credit: Scott Garrett

True crimes

Soho-based Gollifer Langston Architects has experienced an unfortunate example of life imitating art. Last year, half a dozen of its staff were hired as extras in Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering. The film stars Jude Law as a landscape architect, whose practice in London’s King’s Cross is the target of recurrent burglaries. Now, the real-life architects have discovered first-hand that Soho is as unsafe as King’s Cross. Last week their offices were broken into and projectors, cameras and laptops stolen. Let’s hope it doesn’t spoil their enjoyment of the film when it’s released next month.

Not so smart

A colleague of mine attended an Office of Government Commerce (OGC) conference last Friday morning, just after that week’s copy of Building had arrived at the organisation’s doorstep. This was awkward timing, because it carried a long article explained that the OGC could well be doomed, or drastically cut, when Treasury ministers decided its fate next month. It was understandable, therefore, that david adamson, the OGC’s highly entertaining director of smarter construction, greeted him with the less-than-welcoming words: “Let me shake you by the hand. Or should I say neck?”

Suspicious minds

Baroness Hamwee, the chairperson of the budget committee of the Greater London Assembly, went to great pains to tell the Olympic Delivery Authority that its financial plans were not thought to be faulty, despite hauling its finance director in for scrutiny last Thursday. “We don’t approach this meeting with suspicion,” she announced. “Rather, we want to ensure there are no suspicions.” Glad that’s been cleared up, then. Johnny’s in the basement Everybody knows architects are the cool kids of the industry and Carey Jones is clearly no exception.

It turns out that the basement of the firm’s office building is used as an intimate concert venue by chart-topping bands. Razorlight, led by Johnny Borrell, were the most recent visitors and they asked permission to rehearse there during the day. Cunningly, the Carey Jones teamgave permission only if they were allowed to watch. Rumours of crowd surfing by London director Paul Chapman could not be corroborated as Building went to press.