I received a strongly worded missive this week from a group called Equal Earth. This outfit takes seven closely typed pages to explain why the numbers of humans on the planet should be reduced to what they were in 1950: that is, 2.5 billion. After advocating the universal adoption of China's one-baby policy, the document goes on to demand "a global stop on new construction other than the renovation or replacement of existing buildings". It than accused architects and civil engineers of joining forces with journalists, politicians, economists, accountants and lawyers in "a global system of mutual corruption" intended to force through new construction. Ha. As if I'd join any conspiracy that would have me as a member …
Behold the Bloxham
Bleary-eyed delegates trooping to the latest Movers and Shakers do at Park Lane's Four Seasons Hotel were at a loss to work out what they were doing attempting small talk at 7.20 in the morning. "I'm usually asleep at this time," grumbled one QS. "And now I've got to bloody network!" The attendees then sat down to listen to what they no doubt feared would be ageing, uninspiring speakers harking back to the good old days of wattle and daub.
Luckily, a bravura address from Urban Splash boss Tom Bloxham upped the tempo. Speaking slightly faster than 100 mph, he managed to present all his projects, throw in a few cheeky gags and offer uplifting words about the limitless potential of urban regeneration – all in 15 minutes. The assembled masses were disappointed their anointed one did not then vault the fence into Hyde Park and walk on the Serpentine, but apparently he only does that on the Manchester Ship Canal.
The Kensington job
Here's the first of my new series of wacky site pictures – no less than a Mini being winched on to the site of a posh block of flats called the Phillimores in Kensington, west London. The car was being delivered to the winner of a regular draw held by the project team, which includes Wates and Mace, designed to promote good site practice. This flying Mini was won by lucky site worker Ian Wrigley, who works for subcontractor Modular. To continue this pictorial series I need you, dear reader, to send in images of unusual happenings, signs or whatever. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I see our friends at the Evening Standard are persisting in the claim that they broke the story that tube consortiums Tube Lines and Metronet were considering closing entire London Underground lines to carry out refurbishment work. As we all know, the Evening Standard is following in the tracks (sorry) of Building, which first told the tale two months ago. Do try to keep up, boys and girls.