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20 years young

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Can it really be 20 years since the founding of Avanti , whose 'oldfashioned' belief in the virtues of public buildings for the public good has underwritten many fine pieces over the years? Indeed it can, and the practice, headed by John Allan, celebrated its birthday in style at a tabernacle in Notting Hill last Friday. Astragal spotted too many luminaries to mention, other than Allies & Morrison's Robert Maxwell, with us again after a bout of hives (honestly). AJ publishing supremo Paul Finch proposed the toast, recalling from the year 1981 the public inquiry into Coin Street. That proposal failed, but he reminded us that the players involved had done rather well:

Richard Rogers now a lord; his client, now Sir Stuart Lipton and chair of CABE; Sir Stuart's planning QC, now Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor; Ken Livingstone, now mayor of London; and protestor Iain Tuckett, although awaiting ennoblement, doing very nicely as quasi-proprietor of the Oxo Tower! Finch might also have mentioned that in 1981, the Architects Registration Council marked, as AJ said at the time, '50 years of existence'. Not progress or achievement, you notice.

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