This from a man who designed a crude slab and dropped it right in the centre. Has he not read any Jane Jacobs? This inverted cone is the opposite of how design and land values work. Still, it's an easy image to get in the press. Sigh.
This is typical of the increasingly risk-averse approach of the public sector (and in particular their procurement teams). They are in effect, marginalising the vast majority of architectural practices (who are small practices of less than 5 people) and favouring those with huge PI cover. As a practice of 14 people, we have recently been precluded from bidding a new, £5m civic HQ for Halifax Council as a result of their financial criteria despite the fact that we carry £10M PI cover and have delivered schemes of up to £31M. More recently, we were shortlisted for a new, £15M leisure centre by Exeter Council only to have to pull out because they wanted £15M PI cover. Something has to be done and I for one would like to know that the RIBA are pro-actively addressing this matter as a priority.