An awards ceremony without any prizes - or our man from the BNP; Caruso and the artistic temperament; school's out in Liverpool and Davis Langdon throws its weight around in Dublin
Winner, but no prizes
RIBA president Jack Pringle flirted with danger last Friday by staging an awards ceremony and failing to give out any actual prizes. At the start of the RIBA awards at the London Hilton hotel last week, Pringle explained that the winners would not receive their ceremonial plaque that night, but would still come up to the stage to shake his hand and have their picture taken with him. This prompted one prominent architect to mutter: "In that case, it's not worth the trip." Such grumpiness was not in the make-up of celebrity bon viveur Michael Winner. Receiving an award for his role as patron of Foster and Partners' National Police Memorial, he lingered on stage a moment too long for Pringle's liking, and was promptly shown where the steps were.
No toast to absent friends?
During his opening speech, Pringle made a wry reference to the recent controversy surrounding British National party candidate Peter Phillips' bid for the RIBA presidency.
He made a point of thanking the other two candidates - Valerie Owen and Sunand Prasad - for coming to the dinner and pointing out what great candidates they were. Pringle's silence on Phillips and his absence at the RIBA awards was noted by the crowd with a none-too-well-suppressed snigger.
Keep him away from tall buildings …
Lord Foster redeemed himself after failing to play shepherd at the London Architecture Biennale by standing in for Rem Koolhaas at a debate on London's skyline at the Barbican last Friday. But it was an anonymous architect who stole the show by attacking Adam Caruso's speech against high-rise building. He told him: "It's not about your dislike for high-rise but about your dislike for humanity. You're such a part of this fashionable elite who play doom-mongers by day and party animals by night. I have no other choice than go out and commit suicide." These artistic types …
Firms say bidding for jobs in the Building Schools for the Future programme is confusing and time-consuming. Now it seems that their clients don't have any answers either. A no-show by Liverpool council's BSF chief Ann Melville at a recent conference was apparently down to her nervousness that the audience might ask questions about how the council would fund its schools programme since it had ruled out using the PFI. So next time you're poring over 10 lever-arch files of tender applications, remember: they're more scared of you than you are of them.
Return of the Regs
I hear some prominent Reform the Regs campaigners are gearing up to turn their attentions to the British Standards Institution. Several industry figures are now considering scrutinising the way standards are written into the supporting guidance of the Building Regulations. Watch this space.
If you have any industry stories to tell us, or photographs you'd like to share, please write to: The editor, Building, 8th floor, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UY. Fax 020-7560 4004 Email email@example.com