This week’s tattle sees former Smiths frontman Morrissey consider running for mayor of London, Sir Terry Farrell brands a west London development a ‘cock-up’ and visitors to the Cheesegrater are left feeling squiffy
Cuts may be hard to stomach
There are more issues for the Rio Olympics, taking place this summer, as organisers try to find £164m of savings to keep the event in the black. Following the unceremonious fencing in of residents refusing to move from the Olympic site earlier this year, the economic crisis in the country is now taking its toll. According to local newspapers, a 12% reduction has to be found to keep within the £1.35bn budget. The Itaquerão arena, which is due to host 10 football matches in August and is home to Corinthians, is expected to see its £2.4m budget for redevelopment slashed, while the under-construction metro service will be shortened. Meanwhile, the cocktail receptions for Olympic officials are expected to have to swap canapes for the local snack pão de queijo - cheese dough balls to you and me.
Panic on the streets of London
Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan could see their bids to become the next mayor of London scuppered if the Animal Welfare Party gets its way. They have asked ex-Smiths frontman Morrissey if he will stand - and he is said to be seriously considering it. He published on a fan website - True To You - that there should be a government voice against the injustices dealt to animals who cannot voice their own grievances. However, he has yet to proffer his views on affordable housing. To run in the election on 5 May, Morrissey would need to collect 330 signatures - 10 from each London borough.
Sir Terry Farrell has called the £10bn Old Oak Common development the “biggest cock-up” he’s seen in his long career in London. The west London scheme is heading for disaster because of the rush to finish Crossrail, he claimed. Farrell - whose 2011 vision document was the first detailed study for Old Oak Common - said space is not being made for pilings along Crossrail for decking over the lines. Without this decking, it will be harder to link the various parts of the development, potentially putting 12,000 homes to the south on the site of a Cargiant at risk. Redesigning the sidings to make space for the pilings could cost up to £200m.
Lifting the spirits
Build UK held its first major event last Wednesday at the top of the Leadenhall Building in London. The trade association’s chief executive Suzannah Nichol took the opportunity to launch a campaign to improve the image of the sector, followed by a champagne reception attended by 200 industry guests. A disincentive for anyone overdoing the alcohol was the Cheesegrater’s precipitous and rapid glass lifts, which are a challenge for anyone with a fear of heights or with a delicate stomach. I’m told they have already been slowed down once since the building’s opening last summer following forceful feedback, but clearly they are still not slow enough for some.
Hollywood has always been about voyeurism, but now the owners of the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles are taking it a step further at their building in the form of the Skyslide. The glass-bottomed slide will drop from the 70th to the 69th floor of the tallest building along the US west coast, providing thrillseekers with a 35ft slide 1,000ft above the ground and those below with an interesting view. The Skyslide is a part of a $50m (£35m) “Skyspace” renovation by OUE Limited, transforming several floors of the building from office space into observation decks and a restaurant.
Move over Cream and Velvet Revolver, there’s a new rock band merger - Exile. The new supergroup on the block - formed from HLM and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff - is to make its debut at Mipim, adding its own brand of rock n’ roll to the alcohol-fuelled French shindig. Exile will play their first gig next Wednesday at Morrisons Irish Pub, kicking off at 10.30pm with an acoustic set, while a second full line-up gig will take place at Ma Nolan’s St Patrick’s Day Street Party next to the Croisette the following day, 5pm until 8pm. Both events will be raising money for LandAid, and wristbands - available from firstname.lastname@example.org - will get you a free drink for a donation.