Errors this week include an estate agent praising TV’s latest satire on house prices, the mayor of London shooting himself in the foot, and an awkward discussion at Building Live. Plus, can readers help with a history project?

Hansom HT

Brought to book

One estate agent this week seems to have missed the point of BBC drama Capital, which looks at the effect of London’s spiralling house prices on the city’s residents. Using the drama as a premise, the agent sent a marketing email for its riverside development, Royal Victoria Residence from Surrenden Invest, where flats start at nearly £400,000. The agent expects the drama to raise “further debate of the country’s housing situation,” but adds that its new build project is “bound to prove popular”. The show is based on novelist John Lanchester’s 2012 satire of the property boom, of which one review said that it was “its depiction of […] greed, that most resonates with us”. Something for Surrenden Invest to ponder?

Shame about the neighbours

Continuing the theme of booming London property prices, royal stalkers - sorry - fans with a few quid to spare may want to view the flats on offer at the 1 Palace Street redevelopment. Adjacent to Buckingham Palace the £130m Abu Dhabi-backed project being delivered by development manager Northacre, has just appointed Balfour Beatty for the Victorian hotel’s redevelopment. The development is promoted as having views of Buckingham Palace garden parties. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the prices for the 72 flats with views start at £2m, although the penthouse has already sold for a reported £20m.

A bridge too far

What is it with mayor of London Boris Johnson and river crossings? Fresh from ongoing controversy over the Garden Bridge, Johnson has scored an own goal with his plans for a £1bn road crossing in the east of the city, after he admitted it will not actually increase the number of vehicles crossing the river. The mayor has argued another road crossing east of Tower Bridge is needed to cater for demand and ease big jams that build up at the Blackwall Tunnel. The proposed Silvertown tunnel would link Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. But in a written answer to the London Assembly, Mr Johnson revealed that once the crossing is tolled - necessary to finance it - there is likely to be “little change” in the overall amount of cross-river traffic. Oh dear.

Think of the children

Seven major contractors and consultants have joined forces with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to help fund a new engineering exhibition and learning centre. The facility plans to inspire the next generation of engineers by bringing civil engineering to life with model replicas, installations and digital prototypes of iconic structures, as well as engineering games and 3D printers. Aecom, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Mace, Vinci and WSP PB have become the centre’s “Founding Partners” and have pledged £300,000 to the £850,000 project. Also, this week an ICE exhibition opened, with members of the public and the industry invited to bring children in their family to ICE’s London office, where they can create the city of the future with Meccano and Lego beneath a 12ft Christmas tree.

A lot of hot air

The UKGBC’s John Alker committed a faux pas while participating on Building Live’s Wellness panel last week. Alker, commenting on the irony of discussing wellbeing while sitting in a room under bright lights with no windows and possible CO2 build up, had it pointed out to him by fellow panellist and British Land sustainability and wellbeing executive Matthew Webster that it was part of his firm’s portfolio, meaning Alker’s complaints were under his own remit - whoops!

Rediscovering ‘teamwork’


A direct descendent of one of the people involved in the sculpting of the legendary Taylor Woodrow “Teamwork” sculpture, which was the basis for the logo of the famous UK firm, is putting out a call for anyone with information about its creation to get in touch. The sculpture was carved in 1956 by a team headed by David Wynne, and, in adapted form, became part of the company’s branding until its purchase by Vinci in 2008. Peter Welch has 30 photos documenting the build of this UK construction icon, that he wants to pass on to his local museum, but is anxious to hear more about reports that a second sculpture may have been created. Anyone with any information, please email Hansom on the address below.

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