Would it be possible to build Michael Wilford's British embassy in any British city, we wondered, as we sipped Sekt at a reception there?
The spectacular entrance foyer, dramatic geometries and use of colour for an official building made a strong impression, and most of the property people present liked the building, though some of the architects were less certain. The urbane Chris Strickland, BCO president, introduced Herr Liebkin, Berlin's equivalent of Ken Livingstone for the past decade, who confidently presented the credentials of the new city. Nuggets of information included the fact that more than 100,000 Russians have moved (legally) to the city during the decade. I hesitate to mention the architects who met some of them in nightclubs later. The city needs people, by the way. It is wonderfully spacious - partly because it is short of a million people the planners once calculated would be there now.
Paris (or Greater Paris) is the same size, but has a population of 11 million. Berlin has less than 3.5 million.