Of the many architects present at the RA dinner, several had cause to look pleased with themselves. David Chipperfield, BBC victor in Scotland, was congratulated by all and sundry, but claimed he was still only getting commissions abroad.Nicholas Grimshaw, Piers Gough, Ian Ritchie, new Architecture Foundation chairman Will Alsop, Colin St John Wilson, Michael Manser, Charles Jencks, Ed Jones, Sir Philip Dowson, Sir Richard MacCormac, Gordon Benson and Sir Michael Hopkins were among those attending.
Also delightful company were Eva Jiricna, Lord St John of Fawsley (non-hereditary and therefore still a power in the Lords), Guardian cartoonist Posy Simmonds, Hayward Gallery director Susan Brades and philosopher Sir Alan Ryan, whose latest design enthusiasm is the American studies centre in Oxford, designed by KPF. Sculptor Phillip King was suitably presidential and the Band of the Grenadier Guards was terrific. Sourpuss Janet Street-Porter (who was not present at the dinner) attacked Stoppard in The Independent on Sunday , quoting with approval the fact that Gilbert and George had left a Stoppard play because it had 'too many words'. Does she think people should read newspapers?