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Well chaired

ASTRAGAL

Top marks to the RIBA for a reception to mark the start of construction of Will Alsop's latest Southwark enhancer - the Palestra building on Blackfriars Road, opposite Richard MacCormac's Jubilee Line station. Alsop was on ebullient form, telling his audience that in designing the building he was allowed to go for it since the neighbouring area was 'crap' (barring the Tube, which he thought showed MacCormac getting better as he gets older).

Lord St John of Fawsley praised Alsop for not using too many four-letter words, and had some nice things to say about the design, which he thought would be a great building when finished in 2005-06. Well he might, since he is the chairman of the company carrying out the development.

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