The Building Hall of Fame is a celebration of the men and women who have done most to change the built environment for the greater good since 1966. That date is not arbitrary, as the Hall also acknowledges a 40th anniversary that passed earlier this year.
On 4 March 1966, the 123-year-old journal The Builder was given a new name: Building.
And just as that name change in part reflected the ever-broadening nature of the construction industry, with issues such as cost planning and Parker Morris housing standards coming to the fore, so too do the 40 people that have been chosen to enter the Hall of Fame demonstrate how far-reaching that industry has become. They range from the first mass housebuilders to a union leader to the director of the Tate galleries. Even the eight architects on the list span several different design movements.
The Hall of Fame could have easily contained two or three times as many people, and whittling it down to just 40 names was no easy task. But I think that the 10 judges, who represented a variety of the industry's many sectors and professions, were eventually satisfied with the balance of the list. There will be debates, certainly, over the names that have been left off, and I am sure that many of you will be incensed at the omission of several worthy contenders.
However, there will be further opportunities to champion personal heroes and heroines, as Building intends to keep the Hall running for years to come, with at least one new entrant being honoured each year. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the Building Hall of Fame and I encourage you to go to the excellent accompanying exhibition that the Building Centre will host from September.
Denise Chevin, June 2006