In this occasional category, Building applauds the achievements of individuals whose work has somehow shaped the construction industry for the better. The third recipient of this award is a name you might recognise …
Sir Stuart Lipton
Construction is a collective activity; it relies on the creativity, professional skill and labour of many hands and brains. But it requires somebody to create the project that others bring about, and that somebody has a huge effect on what is eventually produced.
Over more than 20 years years, Sir Stuart Lipton of Rosehaugh has fulfilled that role. Allied with Godfrey Bradman, his vision and his team at Stanhope created the template for the modern City office complex at Broadgate in the 1980s; he also teamed up with Elliott Bernerd to create the modern British business park at Stockley Park near Heathrow Airport.
In the 1990s, the influence of Broadgate rippled through the industry, as the members of Lipton's team - many of them graduates that he had talent-spotted himself - rose to positions of influence. In fact, it is a testament to the changes that flowed from Broadgate that it's hard now to see just how novel the whole thing was, or how varied was Lipton's contribution.
There was his chutzpah in building it using construction management - about the most dangerous procurement method available. Then there was the form it took: the deep-spaces-with-atrium model, conceived by Peter Foggo and championed by Lipton.
And, talking of architecture, it was Lipton's passion for the subject placed the designer at the heart of the project. He became the first chairman of CABE, a position that allowed him to urge the importance of architectural design from a national stage.
In fact, Lipton may be the closest the modern industry has produced to a renaissance man: happily at home with the finance, politics, architectural theory or discussions of modern art - of which he has a large collection.
And now we are faced with the prospect of Lipton unleashed. Having left his positions with CABE and Stanhope, he has teamed up with old pal Bernerd to form Chelsfield Partners. The two are reported to have a £1bn war chest, and are bidding for some of the biggest projects going, including the Elephant & Castle regeneration in south London and the refurbishment of Euston station … Watch this space.
Building Awards 2006
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Outstanding contribution to the industry