Just as Hyde Park’s Rue du Roi was renamed Rotten Row, and Sir David Maxwell Fyfe became Dai Bananas, so the mocking laughter of the public continues to haunt the great and the good …
Who’s been sitting on MY crane?
A colleague of mine who was about to nip off to a meeting with developer Native Land diligently Googled its Rogers-designed Bankside development in London. One of the top results was rather unusual: it was an “urban exploration forum”. On further investigation, said colleague found that a man called “leanrascal” had posted several pictures of himself perched atop one of the site’s three huge tower cranes at night. When he subsequently mentioned this to Native Land boss Alasdair Nicholls, he was at first taken aback but then seemed impressed at the man’s pluck. Note to main contractor Carillion: close the gate behind you.
Can you see what it is yet?
I note that the retrospective of David Chipperfield’s stellar career begins at the London Design Museum next week. Word reaches me, however, that Glasgow locals are struggling to come to terms with the purity of his vision for BBC Scotland’s headquarters, which is built next to the Science Centre. Now, Glaswegians are prone to express their affection in the form of sobriquets. Thus, Norman Foster’s Clyde Auditorium became “the Armadillo” and the Clyde Arc, designed by Gillespies Architects, became “the Squinty Bridge”. Have the citizens found a name for Chipperfield’s monolith, a friend asked a Glaswegian cabbie? It would appear not. “They just say it’s the box the Science Centre came in,” he replied.
Can BAA do it? Yes, (they think) they can. That is, when it comes to beating Obama’s campaign team to an international project management award. The team responsible for Heathrow’s Terminal 1 building will be waiting with bated breath at the Project Management Institute ceremony in Orlando, Florida this week. But some industry members are not so sure the team is a worthy winner given this description of why it deserves the spoils: “We completed major works such as the removal of check-in islands, moving the desks and installing self-service facilities.” “That’s a really tough job,” said one online commentator. “I am sure it pushed these BAA guys to the limit.” They’ll be up for a Nobel peace prize next.
We must go down to the sea again
Who says the hotel market is dead? Not Beach Hut Resorts, which has just launched a £35m scheme to build hundreds of its eponymous product across the country. If the firm has its way, a pilot of 21 four to six-bed “luxury” pads in Whitley Bay will be copied “from the south coast to Scotland” as the staycation trend takes hold and the British seaside holiday makes its glorious comeback. Maldives schmaldives.
Joseph Aloysius Hansom reflects
I was led down memory lane recently by an email asking for the memoirs of one of my erstwhile colleagues, architect Graham Dawbarn. Sadly, I could not locate the manuscript, but an internet search provided more information. It seemed he designed the BBC’s Shepherd’s Bush studios, alongside the Beeb’s civil engineer, one Marmaduke Tudsbery Tudsbery. Perhaps that profession gave asylum to stammerers of times past, as a perusal of the records of the Society of Civil Engineers also uncovered William Lowe Lowe-Brown and Sir Bruce Bruce-Porter. They don’t make names like they used to.
Send any juicy industry gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org