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Cost planning

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The question of cost loomed large in a Radio 3 Night Waves programme, recorded at the RIBA and broadcast this week. Panellists Sir Richard MacCormac, Michael Cassidy (ex-City Corporation), developer Roger Madelin, Amanda Levete and the AJ's Paul Finch discussed the value of architecture for an hour, ranging across subjects including the difference between private and public sector, and the role of cost planning in architectural education. On the latter, MacCormac declared he believed it should form part of the syllabus in all schools. Levete was not impressed: school was the one place where you could exercise your imagination unfettered by financial considerations.

MacCormac admitted that he wouldn't much have enjoyed being immersed in it himself, but argued that it is now essential.

Finch quoted Pevsner: 'The English spare no expense to get something on the cheap.'

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