Following the announcement that Daniel Libeskind and the THINK team are the two finalists in the World Trade Centre competition, one can't help but feel a little sorry for the other five shortlisted teams. After all, think of all the money they must have spent.
Competition organiser the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is paying each team $40,000 – a figure that Frank Gehry considered so demeaning he refused to take part. But the teams will almost certainly have spent more than this on their fabulous models and renderings.
Foster and Partners, for example, is thought to have built about a dozen models, costing up to £20,000 each by some estimates. And each was flown to New York in its own plane seat.
This works out at perhaps £250,000 an entry. That might have been a small price to pay for the privilege of winning the job, but not for losing it.
Razing the issue
Housing specialist HTA Architects is moving house. The practice is to depart its offices in a mews off Camden's Parkway after selling up to a nearby museum. Apparently the Jewish Museum, whose building backs onto HTA's, has received a large donation from a benefactor and has decided to expand. It plans to do so by bulldozing HTA's offices. Presumably the museum made an offer the architects couldn't refuse.
Snooze, scoff and scarper
It seems the industry is not too fired up about using IT to help link supply chains together – only 15 or so delegates signed up to a recent IT Construction Best Practice seminar on this topic. Because the conference was held in a large university lecture theatre, rent-a-crowd tactics had to be employed to make the delegates feel they were at a happening, cutting-edge event. Students were offered the bribe of a free lunch to fill the seats, but once their stomachs were full, the appeal of the afternoon session lost its lustre – leaving the real delegates with plenty of room to stretch out in comfort.
Speaking of the World Trade Centre, it has been pointed out to me out that the defeated design by United Architects bears a startling resemblance to people desperately queuing outside a lavatory. It does, too.
It's construction Monopoly
Does your firm have a street named after it? I've been thumbing through a copy of the London A-Z in my idle moments, and have discovered that contractor Mowlem shares a name with both a street in Bethnal Green and a trading estate in Islington. Property company Minerva is also on the map: the capital has three Minerva Roads, two Minerva Closes and one Minerva Street. But developer Stanhope has the most name-checks of all, with a whopping 32 avenues, gardens, streets and squares bearing the name.