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Golden loss

astragal

The excellent Rafael Moneo is a fine choice for this year's Royal Gold Medal. However, you can't help wondering why so many overseas gold medallists have never built anything in this country. Are we so very unfriendly?

Perhaps the tide is turning now that Frank Gehry is building for Charlie Jencks, and working with Piers Gough in Brighton, and Renzo Piano is trying at London Bridge.Niemeyer is to design this year's Arup/Serpentine Pavilion, so the trend may be in the right direction, though it is probably too late for other recent medallists like Harry Seidler. But surely Jean Nouvel, and indeed Moneo, must do something here before too long.

Perhaps we could arrange swap schemes with home-grown talent.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for the bridesmaids at the Gold Medal feast, Alvaro Siza and Bob Venturi. Surely the latter must eventually get the medal. Not many architects force the rest of the profession to rethink their entire attitude to architecture and urbanism. And he has built here . . .

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