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Pure gold


A good Gold Medal evening at the RIBA had its odd moments, starting with the caption emblazoned on the big screen announcing Rem Koolhaas as the 'Royal Gold Medalist' (sic). Even for Rem, it is spelt medallist. Farshid Moussavi read a nicely judged homage/citation ('unbelievably accurate', said Rem), pronounced 'indefatigable'with complete aplomb, and hardly anyone except Astragal noticed she described Rem not as 'tireless', but 'tiresome'.

Perhaps 'some is more'. Alejandro Zaera-Polo conducted a conversation with the Great Man which was fascinating and revealing; AZP, having studied under and worked with Rem, came as close as anyone probably will to getting beneath the surface brilliance, articulate responses, witty one-liners and refusal to reveal much about the core of his beliefs and strategies. We can dismiss the notion of the heartless cynic, however: someone noticed during Rem's lunchtime lecture that the music currently on his laptop is (fashionably) The Darkness, with their 2003 hit, I Believe in a Thing Called Love.

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