The Corporation of London is preparing to honour the UKarchitecture scene next week with a lavish lunch for 43 of the UK's top architects at the Mansion House. The move signals a change in tack for the City authority which has traditionally focused on promoting financial services.
The Lord Mayor, Clive Martin, has drawn up a list for the event which includes figures such as Lords Foster and Rogers who are labelled 'outstanding architects' while Zaha Hadid and Jacques Herzog are described as 'world class architects'. Other architects invited to the 'Britain Creates' event include Chris Wilkinson, Piers Gough and Graham Morrison. The architects will sit down at next Tuesday's event with big names from the worlds of TV, film and design.
Martin estimates that the creative industries are now worth £60 billion per year to the UK economy with £7.5 billion of that accrued through exports.'I am anxious for Britain to see itself as others now see it - as the cultural beacon of Europe, 'Martin said.
Martin has made the City's built environment the keynote of his year in office and has been running an initiative to encourage the businesses located in the Square Mile to invest in the streetscapes close to their offices.
The selected architects are intended to 'represent a good cross-section' of the UK profession but the list includes no architects based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Names were forwarded by the RIBA, the Architecture Foundation, English Heritage and the Arts Council.