RIBA president Paul Hyett has taken an MP who said architects 'should be shot' on a tour of London's highest-calibre buildings to make him see sense.
Hyett's walkabout with Barry Sheerman took in some of the capital's most controversial blocks - from the Lloyd's Building by Richard Rogers Partnership to No 1 Poultry by Stirling and Wilford.
The tour was prompted following comments made by the chairman of the education and skills' select committee at a meeting last December (AJ 21.2.02). But Hyett, who was at the meeting, said the remark was 'light-hearted, off the cuff and throwaway'.
The pair walked from Foggo Associates' and Arup's Broadgate phase one to offices at numbers 27 and 50 Finsbury Square by Eric Parry and Foster and Partners, respectively. Stirling and Wilford's No 1 Poultry followed before the men taxied to Horselydown Square by Julyan Wickham.
After a brief lunch, they took in views across London, including 'fairly ugly stuff in the City', said Hyett. Sheerman liked the Lloyd's Building and Michael Hopkins and Partners' Portcullis House, which is where the tour ended.
'Sheerman is an MP who is very appreciative of design and pretty sophisticated, ' said Hyett. 'We are not going to exploit this issue. He is hugely interested in the problems that construction and development face in delivering good design.'
RIBA head of government relations Jonathan Labrey said the meeting was positive and he hoped the RIBA would have more chances to speak before the select committee on education.
'We wanted to move the conversation forward rather than dwell on the past. Sheerman is also chairman of the design and innovation all-party group and one of the most informed MPs.'