Another helping of stewed gossip served with underwear and narcotics on a bed of broken glass while DJ Dan mixes it on the decks
I see the race is still on to fill the post of chairman of CABE after the departure of Sir Stuart Lipton. From a look at the job description for the post, I suspect the commission is still a little sensitive about conflicts of interest. It says the successful candidate will “demonstrate an understanding of CABE’s remit and a sensitivity to the interplay between that remit and wider commercial interests”. (Translation: no developers – or their sons, daughters, wives and architects – need apply.)
I hear there has been a spot of bother at the Beeb’s plush White City offices in west London. Apparently vandals have been lobbing bricks through the windows of the Allies and Morrison designed blocks causing £26,000 worth of damage. All local architecture critics have been cleared of any involvement.
Fly to safety
Staying in west London, Land Securities’ spanking new Empress State Building near Earl’s Court has won applause for its sleek Wilkinson Eyre lines and spectacular views. Less prepossessing are the fire safety signs around the building, which depict dot-like people leaving the triangular-shaped structure. “They look like ants running out of a pair of pants,” said one confused insider.
Some more opium, sir?
Just as you would hope for in the Athens of the North, Edinburgh council’s property development arm takes culture seriously. The EDI Group plans to develop a car park in the old town into a permanent home for the city’s annual science festival. In the meantime, a red 1954 transit bus is filling the gap. Inside, “visitors find themselves in an environment that is a cross between an opium den and a mobile field hospital”. Can Edinburgh’s august urban heritage take such a provocative addition? I can’t wait to see.
RIBA president George Ferguson clearly takes great delight in ruffling feathers. Take his wheeze of setting up an X-list of architectural eyesores – presently part of the BBC’s website. Predictably, this has peeved the Twentieth Century Society. Cordula Zeidler, a caseworker, notes that formerly unpopular concrete towers such as the Barbican estate in London have swung back into fashion. “We are disappointed that George Ferguson prefers to fuel a populist campaign, rather than contribute to an informed debate,” she sniffs.