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...While spirits ran high at the exhibition launch party

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How many of the country's hottest young architectural talents can you get in a former warehouse in Liverpool on a Wednesday night?

Answer: 225. And what happens when you mix those architects with more than a splash of booze and all 112 models entered into the AJ/Urban Splash Infobox competition? Answer: a bloody triumph.

Partygoers spoke of 'an embarrassment of riches' and one of the 'best gatherings of precocious talent in a decade' as they took in the delights of the exhibition at the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre.

Urban Splash's Tom Bloxham and guest Roger Stephenson of Stephenson Bell mingled cheerfully with the young upstarts, who included tousled-hair competition finalist Robert Jamison, local talents Alex Flint and David Shanks, and a wealth of London newcomers such as teams from Black Architecture and Foster Lomas, also shortlisted.

Nobody would have known from the slick displays that the show, on the third floor of the Grade-II listed building, had been put together in tricky circumstances. A couple of models came a cropper in transit and the venue's lift broke early on, meaning back-breaking work for those putting the exhibition together.

Typically the lifts started working just as the guests were leaving – albeit momentarily. Urban Splash's Ian Wilson and Ursula Walls and the AJ's James Macleod found themselves stuck in one of the steel beasts after it decided to have another impromptu strike.

But these minor blips couldn't quell the triumphant mood. The carousing, Astragal has been told, went on till late...

The exhibition is showing until 27 June.

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