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Academic interest

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This year will be an interesting one for Nicholas Grimshaw: not only in respect of his presidency of the Royal Academy but also for the Grimshaw practice, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next month. The practice looks better organised than the RA at present, so perhaps some lessons about structure and strategy can be transferred. (We still wait for an announcement about the academy's new professor of architecture - the rumour is that Peter Cook and Ian Ritchie might undertake it jointly. ) The only cloud on Grimshaw's horizon is the ongoing battle about product failure at Bath Spa. This terrific looking building, until it opens, is a terrible example of how the building industry (despite Latham, Egan etc) can fail, collectively, a client trying to do the best for its city. Those with long memories will recall the stick the practice was given over glass failure at Waterloo International. In the end the architect was blameless.

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