Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Book for the Banquet

Why are you waiting?

Please don't struggle to resist the lure of the Egyptian Hall at the Mansion House - the venue for the Company's Annual Livery Banquet on Wednesday 12 March 2008.

The Company will be entertaining Lord Mayor Locum Tenens Alderman Sir David Howard, a selection of Masters of other Companies and will be entertained by the Master's principal guest (and fellow Cornishman) Alderman Sir David Brewer and by the Tresco Syncapators - a lively jazz group from, you probably guessed, somewhere in the South West.

As noted in the previous post, the New City Architecture Award for 2007 will be announced and presented on the night with certificates being given to the succesfulo building's Owner, its Architect and the the Main Contractor. At some later stage there will be a separate ceremony to mark the handover of the Award Plaque which will be designed in collaboration with the project architects - this way we hope that they will be encouraged to fix the plaque to the building.

Those interested in making bookings please contact the Clerk without delay.

This is an ideal opportunity to invite your friends and colleagues to share in a convivial evening in unparalleled surroundings.

Book soon to avoid disappointment.

Attractions at the Livery Banquet

As if you needed more reasons to attend the Company's Livery Banquet on Wednesday 12 March ...............

For the first time in living memory those responsible for carrying out the assessment of the New City Architecture Awards for 2007 enjoyed a cracking good day with clear blue skies and equable temperatures. There were also a good number of worthwhile schemes that had been shortlisted for consideration. They were (in no particular order):

New Street Square, EC4
Shoe Lane Streetscape Enhancement Works
5 Aldermanbury Square EC2
1 Basinghall Avenue EC2
1 Coleman Street EC2
51 Lime Street EC3
Bow Bells House EC4
St Paul's Information Centre EC4
Monument Pavilion EC3

The assessors (pictured above after their lunch stop at a well known City landmark) were Paul Finch (Chairman), The Master, Liveryman Peter Murray, Assistant Howard Copping and Assistant Edward King. They were accompanied by the Clerk David Cole-Adams.

Now it would be telling to reveal the identity of the winner at this stage - the announcement will be made at the Livery Banquet at the Mansion House on Wednesday 12 March - be there to see if your assessment of the schemes tallies with that of the judges. Remember, the criteria for the Award is not just the architectural solution; heavy emphasis is also put on the contribution which the building makes to the streetscape and skyscape of the City of London.

Monday, 25 February 2008

No Lack of Connections

Never let it be said that the Company of Chartered Architects lacks connections or that the architectural study trips organized it its name are all fun and frivolity.

Following the main part of the recent tour a small but persevering band pressed on for what was intended to be a bit of R & R after the rigours of temple, palace and archaeological site visiting. The targets were that former outpost of the Empire - Ooty (or Udhagamandalam to give it its current name) and then on to Cochin in Kerala.

In Ooty they just happened to encounter the local correspondent for the nationally circulated and influential newspaper - The Hindu who took the opportunity to get a few quotes and the photograph.

While bookings will shortly be taken for the 2009 study trip - to West Coast USA - Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco - it cannot be guaranteed that national press coverage will result from the tour itinerary of any extension of it.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Home are the hunters,

Home from the Hills ………………

In instalments, the various members of the Company’s recent architectural study tour to South India have made it back to Blighty. While some were, temporarily, the worse for wear, a good and definitely educational time was had by all.

The Master ensured that the long hours of coach travel between the various sites and cities visited were lightened with a series of daily broadcasts from the front of the coach detailing the adventures (or misadventures) of that legendary Cornishman Denzil Pemberthy. There will almost certainly be a full, illustrated and scholarly report on the trip appearing in the next edition of the newsletter and on the Company website in due course.

Literally thousands of photographs were taken – not a lot, sadly by the Master who, early on, inadvertently managed to drop his camera down the toilet (best not to enquire about the circumstances). Happily there were others who recorded the occasion on Shrove Tuesday when the assembled group met at an enchanting lake side site on the outskirts of the 16th century of Bijapur to watch the sunset, to observe the rituals normally associated in the City with that day – pancake races and to partake of sundowners.

Disappointed by the fact that the Company would be precluded from taking part in the annual inter-livery Pancake day races in Guildhall Yard on the day, the Master contrived to purchase the wherewithal to replicate the event. A couple of oversized stainless steel vessels (a cross between a wok and a salad bowl) served as frying pans with what passed for the pancakes being sourced from the restaurant where lunch had been taken. That the consistency of these items was somewhere between a chapati and an over-cooked omelete proved to be of assistance to those less dextrous at the tossing element required of the contestants. Marks were awarded by the race supervisor – Common Councillor Michael Welbank – for both outright speed and tossing style and Team A (pictured above) were victorious – not least because they managed to complete the course without serious mishap or spillage.

To say that the few assembled locals, our driver and guide were somewhat mystified by this eccentric behaviour would be putting it mildly!

Pictured here are most of the assembled party relaxing and taking 'gimkas'* after the exertions of the race.

* a curious beverage consisting of a lemon flavoured soft drink suitably reinforced with a slug of Mr Gordon's finest - the latter thoughtfully procured by the Master at the duty free emporium in Dubai.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008