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hellman

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'The messages and energy will be analogous to Piccadilly Circus, but it will be more like walking around inside a Henry Moore or a Gaudi cathedral space . . . I know this is the biggest job of my career. You certainly don't have Panorama filming in your studio when you're doing the trade shows.' Jonathan Swabey, designer of the Millennium Dome's Body Zone. IoS, 13.9.98

'Architects don't like to think they're in a service industry. But trade shows, that's a service culture. If someone needs a sign making at midnight, it gets made . . . The thing that appeals is to take something completely naff and make it completely cool.' Tim Pyne of 'ideas company' Work, designer of the Dome's Living Island (the environment zone). Ibid.

'Ron Arad's problem is that Chris Smith's creative Britain is not actually yet ready for real creativity . . . When President Chirac has to be impressed at an Anglo/French summit the safer, duller talents of Sir Terence Conran are employed. Lottery projects go to Sir Norman Foster. There is no room for Arad in the Dome. A designer who might really wake us all up is kept in the margins.' Rowan Moore. Evening Standard, 8.9.98

'Those with a taste for the sinister inanities of Spanish Catholicism will be comforted by the cathedral, with its copious collection of fetishes, instruments of psychological torture and tools of subjugation. Those without [such] a taste will require little bidding to discern the correlations between this institutionalised manifestation of madness and ad-hoc displays of voodoo.' Jonathan Meades at Burgos Cathedral. The Times, 12.9.98

'We have to accept that a small minority would rather have a branch of Fortnum and Mason's in Ludlow.' Nicole Lander, corporate affairs manager for Tesco. Guardian, 9.9.98

vital statistics

Britain's employees take an average of eight-and-a-half days off sick a year, costing a total of £11 billion. Public sector employees were shown to be more vulnerable, taking two days more than those in private firms, while from the latter category those in media and broadcasting were the most susceptible.

Half of those who die on building sites have been working there for less than two weeks.

Of 800 people polled, 41 per cent chose Constable as their favourite artist, closely followed by Monet with 34 per cent, van Gogh (31 per cent) and Turner (25 per cent). Monet was most popular with women, van Gogh with 'older' people and Picasso with those under 35. Damien Hirst came in last with 2 per cent, while 70 percent say they have no opinion of his work at all.

Availability of City of London office space in the second quarter was down 22 per cent on last year. Take-up of floorspace rose to a record 75 per cent.

The annual growth of house prices has been slowed to 9.2 per cent for August, after its January high point of 13.1 per cent.

56 per cent of those asked in a poll said they definitely did not intend to visit the Millennium Dome.

In the year to March 1998 councils in the uk made an average of 62 per cent of planning decisions within eight weeks. The government target is 80 per cent.

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