2008: the architectural year in numbers
27 – number of spikes removed for health and safety reasons from Thomas Heatherwick’s B of the Bang sculpture in Manchester. There were originally 180.
£1.7 million – compensation paid by Heatherwick and his design team to Manchester City Council in a one-off ‘out of court’ settlement over the ‘defective’ B of the Bang. The sculpture only cost £1.42 million to build.
5 – years Frank Gehry’s £290 million Tin Can Alley remained on the drawing before being officially scrapped this November. Josh Arghiros, the director of Karis the development company behind the scheme, allegedly spent £13 million on the failed project.
£600,000 – money wasted by Brighton & Hove City Council on Gehry’s doomed Brighton scheme.
0 – number of schemes built in the UK over the last 14 years under the Europan competition banner - the pan-European housing contest for up-and-coming architects.
0 – number of UK sites entered into Europan 10 – CABE was unable to find any suitable landowners or developers willing to enter their ‘plots’ into next year’s contest.
4 – percentage of Europan award winners to come from the UK. Out of the 512 competitors to be recognised by the judges only 20 were British (and only two UK architects scooped awards –both runners-up - for schemes in the 22 countries outside England).
£5.8 million – the amount Kent County Council is hoping to recover in ‘wasted costs’ from Norwegians Snohetta over the doomed Turner Contemporary Centre Mark I. Co-designer Stephen Spence was surprisingly omitted from the High Court Writ.
2 – per cent annual staff turnover at Make. Partly on the back of this Ken Shuttleworth’s practice won of the Employer of the Year Award at the AJ 100 bash in May. However In December the firm announced its staff headcount had dropped from a peak of 130 in the summer to nearer 100 and was also shutting its Edinburgh office.
15 – number of years since Ted Cullinan first designed a visitor centre for Stonehenge. The architect is now on a shortlist in the contest to mastermind a new facility for English Heritage which has reportedly spent £1.8 million on consultancy fees on the heavily-delayed and controversial project.
50m – the height already trimmed off the height of Rafael Vinoly’s original proposals for a 300m-tall glass chimney at Battersea Power Station. The £4 billion scheme was first unveiled in June.
3 – number of housing ministers so far in 2008. Margaret Beckett’s appointment in October followed a nine month stint by Caroline Flint who in turn had taken over from Yvette Cooper.
£1400 – amount spent by the ARB on lollipops over the last two years (since March 2007). The board has also splashed out £600 on bubbles.