Architectural party of the year so far had to be the formal launch of Caruso St John's Walsall Art Gallery last Thursday. Four 'love coaches' travelled up from London for the occasion, the biggest thing to hit the town since the Corn Laws. Architect guests included the partners of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, whose own contribution to the town, the new bus station, opens later this year. The opening was a massive crush, followed by a party in the Sergison Bates pub next door which forms part of the overall scheme. Many drinks were had by all.
Astragal only missed one face - Tony Fretton, founder member of the architectural tendency of which Caruso St John are part, which is still in search of a suitable name (materialists?).
Given the modesty of the final bill, the Walsall Gallery is a massive achievement, putting many other Lottery projects of three times the budget to shame.