Have you thought of… June 2010

9 June 2010

... injecting some architectural excitement into your “stay-cation” ?

If the thought of a cramped caravan for two weeks gets you down, may we suggest contacting Living Architecture, which rents out brand new architect-designed homes to the type of holidaymaker who always makes a date with Grand Designs.

The company is the brainchild of popular philosophy writer Alain de Botton and Dickon Robinson, former Peabody Trust development director. The pair have commissioned several well-known architects to design houses to rent out at unusual sites across the UK.

Two of the first five houses, The Shingle House in Dungeness by Nord and the Balancing Barn in Suffolk by MVRDV (above), are available for booking from October. A third property, The Dune House by Jarmund Vigsnaes Architects, also in Suffolk, is available from January 2011. Prices start from £625.

... sending the accounts team onsite?

If you put through a purchase order for sky hooks or left-handed wrenches,
would your accounts team bat an eyelid? Recognising that not everyone in the office has a construction background, contractor BAM Construct has introduced half-day courses to familiarise staff in support functions with the basics of planning, procurement and project management.

The high point of the session is a lego competition, where teams compete to design and build towers to a brief that shows how interpreting a client’s requirements is not always straightforward. So how did they do?

“Er, the less said the better about some of the towers,” reveals CM’s spy. “There were one or two that fell down before the judging process. I have to say, from a health and safety point of view, it’s probably a good thing that the people who designed them aren’t going into construction...” 

... Getting into the party spirit on site?

Thanks to the Morgan Sindall team building The Point, the new conference and events venue at Lancashire County Cricket Club, for letting the rest of us know that they’re having a rip-roaring social life. You may remember we featured their Christmas party (CM January), and in February we also had a press release about how they celebrated Valentine’s Day. Now they’ve gone and had a picnic to celebrate British Sandwich Week!

Apparently, the Point’s new catering team needed to devise healthy option sandwiches for the venue’s new cafe, and needed some willing tasters. The samples were laid out on picnic blanket and a bunch of hungry construction works completed a timely demolition job. The project is due to complete this month, but we’re pretty sure that the site team has enough party spirit for one more celebration.

... taking a charity sporting event far too seriously?

Everyone knows that contractors are extremely competitive. But Wates has taken winning-at-all- costs to new levels by cheating at a charity go-karting event organised by Clerkenwell design firm BDGworkfutures, in support of the Whitechapel Mission. When the victors’ helmets came off, it became clear there was a ringer among the Wates team: Turner and Townsend partner Rob “The Stig” Edwards. And the glittering prize that was worth sacrificing principles and reputation for? A bottle of champagne. Well, it was for charity...


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