A new vogue has come to my attention: the themed power lunch. I was told recently about a lunch to which three professionals and one client attended wearing hats. They had also agreed – it being high summer – to wear their cranial accoutrements throughout the meal. Roger of Hoare Lea sported a fetching trilby, Big Mike of RHWL endured a furry Russian shapka and Kevin, now of Gardiner & Theobald, wore a civilised bowler. All were upstaged by the client, Simon of Grosvenor, who sported a deerstalker tied beneath the chin with a neat bow. All well and good, but looking back, they're probably a little embarrassed that they didn't all wear full-sized moose antlers.
The BBC's building spree continues apace. As you will know, it has built a vast studio complex at White City, treated Broadcasting House to a £400m brush-up and commissioned a music centre design from Farsh and Al at Foreign Office. What you may not know is that it is creating "superstar suites" for those appearing on shows such as Top of the Pops and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. A press release from contractor Mitie Interior declares that the suites have been fitted with stars inlaid into the door veneer. Makes me proud to be a licence fee payer.
Bring me sunshine
An intriguing insight into the personal life of the late great Sir Denys Lasdun emerged last weekend. His son, the poet James Lasdun, wrote a memoir of his old dad, published in The Guardian on Saturday. He portrayed the archmodernist designer of the National Theatre as racked by personal torment and recalls "a choleric mixture of high anxiety, irascibility under pressure, morbid self-absorption, incapacitating depression and hypersensitivity to any perceived slight". On a lighter note, the architect was also a big fan of The Two Ronnies and Morecambe and Wise.
Amanda times two
Pictured above is a rather unusual publicity shot, promulgated for the launch of a £55m office building called Aurora, which is to be built in Glasgow. The woman pictured – twice – is Amanda Harvie, the chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, who is clearly unfazed by the surreal rendering of her face in mirror form.
Biscuits in black and white
Barry Cropper of Multiplex emails me on the subject of biscuits, a recent obsession of mine.
He has dug up the preliminaries on a job in the Oxford Science Park, built in the 1990s. The document specified that the contractor will be responsible for supplying suitable refreshments during monthly meetings, adding that "assorted biscuits with a predominance of Jammy Dodgers or similarly approved biscuits should be supplied". Quite right, too. You should always get these things in writing.