The argument put forward by Foreign Office Architects (FOA) and Allies and Morrison (A&M) as to why they deserve to remain involved in the 2012 London Olympics (AJ 14.07.05) is simply not valid and does a disservice to the profession.
Many good architects, keen to impress, go 'above and beyond the call of duty' on early-stage projects, only to have the client re-tender subsequent stages of work, because they are required by law or corporate purchasing policy. Practices knew this going into it, so it should be no surprise to them now. Architecture is a competitive business and we try to distinguish ourselves from each other by adding unique value to our projects, but it is every firm's responsibility to their own business, and to the profession, to know when enough is enough, and it is also every firm's choice as to the amount of commercal risk they are willing to take. This business would be much easier if we all were given more work without competition simply because we went further for our client, but that is just not reality.
Of course, it would be unfair for the London Development Agency to risk losing the public's investment in the ideas they purchased from FOA and A&M, and I do hope they are commissioned for some of their schemes, but no one ever said business is fair.
Richard Nelson, business development director, Llewelyn Davies Yeang