I hear Edward Cullinan Architects' design for the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University has some interesting features. Apparently the furniture in the coffee bar has surfaces that the boffins can scribble on – should inspiration strike while they are gathered for a cuppa. Even more intriguing, blackboards have been installed on the walls of the toilet cubicles just in case inspiration catches you short.
Safety ends at home
Ask any construction industry boss about health and safety, and they'll tell you it's embedded in their company culture. Sadly, that did not stop MDA boss Charles Johnston succumbing to a nasty knock while doing a spot of DIY at home – he slipped off a ladder and broke his ankle. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
Lights on, nobody home …
I hear that Laing O'Rourke is so proud of its offices next to the M25 in north Kent that the workers there have been instructed to leave their office lights on all night to show them off to motorists on the M25 Dartford Bridge. Or – just a though, this – could it be a defensive move to prevent big Ray finding out who's had the temerity to go home in the evening?
A wash out
Word reaches me that Foster and Partner's Albion Riverside is nearing completion – so buyers with a few million to spare needn't fear being homeless at Christmas. My visit to the showflat reveals that the Foster touch stretches to skirting boards and door handles. But the noble Lord seems to have taken the afternoon off when it came to other details. One disgruntled occupant-to-be noted thermostats and plug sockets placed in the middle of white expanses of wall and a kitchen so minimalist that the architect must have assumed that the rich don't cook. Although by the look of the pad-in-progress in this photo, they are expected to do their own laundry.
Out of the loop
Your eye may have been caught by newspaper ads last weekend, which portrayed an ideal building project with efficient links between office and site. "Be out of the office, without being away from work", ran the slogan. An industry-backed vision of the future? Well no. In fact the product being advertised was BT's wireless broadband email network. Silly mistake.
Stung by our goading about their inscribed biscuits, architect HOK International has invited me to taste the company's logoed shortbread. I have graciously accepted. One word of warning, HOK: make sure they're your company biscuits. A trip to the swanky new Clerkenwell offices of my friends at Building Design Partnership was ruined when it came to light that their sample was from the US wholesaler Otis Spunkmeyer, thus disqualifying it. The only way for BDP to get back in the game is to get baking.
One tart to rule them all
I’m on my way, Frank.