An excellent night at the RIBA for Jean Nouvel's Gold Medal presentation.
A packed Florence Hall (they will have to get air-conditioning eventually), a splendid presentation from the Gold Medallist and good food afterwards made the event one of the most successful of recent years. And it was nice that Nouvel stayed all the way through, rather than sneaking off to the River Cafe a la Frank Gehry last year.There was also the hilarious impersonation of two new honorary fellows who could not be there on the night:
Cedric Price was Phyllis Lambert, while Zaha Hadid played Rem Koolhaas. One was irresistibly reminded of the popular television show Stars in Their Eyes , in which members of the public impersonate their showbiz idols. Of course, in this case the stand-ins on the night were just as famous as the actual recipients, but it was amusing to think of Marco Goldschmied as Matthew Kelly, and imagine the television dialogue: 'Tell us something about who you are going to be tonight, Cedric.
'She lives in Canada but is a frequent visitor to London; she is a very nice person who had the good sense to buy lots of my drawings.' Later in the show: 'What made you admire the person you are going to be tonight, Zaha? ' 'We were all at the Architectural Association together with Alvin Boyarsky; I admired this person, and, of course, he worshipped me.'