It’s summertime, and the industry is rising to the occasion. What would the holiday season be without some natty new shoes, daytime TV and a little bit of summer lovin’ as well?
Whole lotta team-bonding
Every company likes to promote a little inter-colleague bonding. But fit-out firm Modus may have unwittingly encouraged staff members to get a little closer than professionally necessary. It seems everyone was keen to be a part of the company’s social group - Social Happenings And Group Modus Events. The group’s acronym, now used so regularly that people can’t remember what it stands for, sends out a clear message that staff should thoroughly enjoy one another’s company. And from the number of babies the Modus colleagues are producing together (three born and two on the way) it sounds like they are taking the social networking side of their jobs very seriously indeed. (For more lurid details, see this week's Building buys a Pint..)
Pretty in pink
Enforcing health and safety standards in the UK is hard enough, but I hear the challenge can be even greater in other parts of the world. QS firm Ridge was left despairing after workers on a project in Uganda showed up on site in flip-flops, having sold the new steel-capped boots they had been issued. The solution? To take the boots out of the market by painting them a lurid pink. “It was only a temporary fix,” says Ridge partner Guy Austin. “Soon pink boots became all the rage.”
The luckiest architect in Britain
As the design champion for the Jubilee line extension, Roland Paoletti made the names of several architects during the nineties – but not always intentionally. When he was searching for practices in the early stages of the project, he was advised to get in touch with Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre. Unfortunately Paoletti misheard, and appointed Chris Williamson of Weston Williamson to design London Bridge station. Whoops! The aural mishap has been kind to Williamson’s practice, which now has projects for Crossrail and the East London line on the go …
Pigs take Bath
What is a superlambanana? Well, obviously, it’s a cross between a lamb and a banana, as residents of Liverpool are about to find out. As part of the city’s year as capital of culture, it is to have 125 brightly-coloured superlambanana sculptures scattered around the place. Meanwhile the people of Bath are to be blessed with 100 life-size, tattooed sculptures of pigs to keep them company around their World Heritage City. Architect Stride Treglown proudly boasts a chrome “disco pig” outside its office in the city. I really wish I were telling porkies here …
When is a QS like Carol Vorderman?
Recently listed QS Baqus has made no secret of its hunt for acquisition targets. The good news, according to director Rob McNeil, is that the firm is being mobbed by companies that would like to be bought – Baqus gets an average of one approach a week. The bad news is that lots of them have a somewhat optimistic idea of what they’re worth. This prompted an interesting analogy. These consultancies, says McNeil, are much like Carol Vorderman, who appears to be quitting Countdown after her reported £1m-a-year salary was slashed. The quiz show has got to be a favourite among QSs but I would never have guessed the more subtle link between Countdown and the industry’s bean counters.