The small step from Chiswick to Hollywood, an Australian celebrates British success and how actors can solve the labour shortage
What a card
News of a rather amusing development in the continuing Foster–Shuttleworth spat reaches me. You may remember that the noble lord was less than ecstatic at Ken’s lese-majesty in setting up rival firm Make a couple of years ago, and hit back by digitally altering a Foster and Partners team photo so that Shuttleworth was further away from him. Now Make has come up with an even better wheeze. Foster’s 70th birthday card (another team photo) has been changed by the cheeky scamps so Ken’s face takes up the entire front row. Your move, Norman …
Any eagle-eyed construction nerds who’ve been to the pictures lately may have spotted developer Stanhope’s glamorous Chiswick Park development providing the backdrop to Renée Zellwegger’s travails in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. It turns out that the firm has cunningly enlisted the services of a location-spotting agency to promote its developments as film sets. Anyone for a bonkbuster set in Paternoster Square?
Noble in victory
It was good to catch up with architect HOK’s Australian principal Rod Sheard after the announcement of London’s Olympic win. Rod, you will recall, is a key London bid team member and was the source in most national newspapers of a spot of unauthorised criticism of the Paris bid. All had turned to elation by the time Building reached him in Singapore. “I’ve just walked out on the waterfront and it’s beautiful and the beer is flowing,” he shouted down the line while other bid team members whooped in the background. Sadly, the line went crackly before we could ask him whether he had any message for Paris. In any case, he presumably wouldn’t have given a XXXX.
Do you recognise this logo?
That’s the question MORI pollsters have been asking people over the past few weeks. In fact, it is the Thames Gateway logo – which you may not have known existed. Apparently most members of the public don’t recognise it. MORI is carrying out research on behalf of the ODPM to find out whether people in the business community know what the Thames Gateway is, whether they would be willing to work there or even relocate their companies. It all sounds like a good idea, but I can’t help wondering whether the government should have answered these questions before deciding to build 120,000 homes there.
Not giving up that easily …
Anyone wanting to know why Laing O’Rourke occupies such a pre-eminent position in UK construction need only look its performance at the industry’s annual dragon boat race last Thursday, sponsored by Building in aid of construction charity for the homeless CRASH. Despite 37 teams registering, only three made it to West Reservoir in north-east London in the wake of the terrorist attacks, but they still raised £5600. Yet easily the most impressive showing was put in by Ray O’Rourke’s boys. Although they came second behind Skanska, their efforts followed a three-and-a-half-hour trek out from central London. That’s dedication for you.