Studio manager Alan Sturrock tells us how it went …
The good news is we may have won some work – but that's confidential. That's the boring bit out of the way; on to the real news.
The bank sent us five paying-in books but no cheque book. Next day we received two more paying-in books, then another two… We now have 11. It was only after several emails and phone calls that we got our cheque books.
Fluent in hello
We have a contact in Berlin who speaks good English. So when Gary has to ring Berlin he only has to manage a "guten Tag" – to general applause from the rest of the office – before swiftly reverting to English.
Ken's arduous diary
Ken and Sean Affleck went to MIPIM – to check out the restaurants, judging by the invitations. On the Thursday, Ken was invited to one breakfast reception, three lunches, four drinks receptions and two dinners. He appeared to have accepted both dinners and two of the lunches. Quick phone calls were needed to slim down his schedule. Everyone was talking about "Sean's coup" on the first day – don't know what that was about.
Our first design: Crate Towers
We've moved to a new office that has loads of space. I no longer have to get in early to make sure nobody has taken my desk.
I spent the Friday before the move stuffing anything that didn't move into plastic crates. The resulting pile of crates so impressed a passing engineer that he advised we spread the load before the floor started to wobble.
We put the main phone and Ken's laptop in a safe place for easy retrieval on Monday. But what must have seemed sensible at the end of a long Friday wasn't so obvious on the Monday. I came in early to make sure the basic equipment was in place but was still hunting through piles of crates for the phone and laptop when Ken arrived.
The sign and buzzers at the entrance to our new office were proving a little confusing. But as far as I know, only two visitors left in disgust before we managed to stick our name above the correct buzzer on the entryphone.
Nobody likes the brown carpet tiles in the office. They want to rip them up (do architects really prefer distressed concrete?). Or paint them (probably suggested by the poor architect who put more red paint on his shirt and shoes than on the polystyrene model he was trying to spray the other day).
We lost all our waste bins in the move. I knew the design of the replacement bins would be a sensitive issue, so I found the relevant office products catalogue and left them to it. Small galvanized dustbins are the current favourite, so it looks like someone will have to make a trip to Ikea.
Ken brought a small fridge when he first set up the office, but he obviously didn't realise how much a small band of architects, plus assorted clients and engineers, could drink. We need a decent-size fridge. An American-style walk-in model perhaps?