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Now that Sheppard Robson has been appointed to replace Richard MacCormac on Broadcasting House ( ajplus 04.11.05), it's appropriate to learn from this sorry affair, which has seen a master architect replaced on such an important commission at its midway stage.

Surely the time is now right for us to consider the process used in the US, where there is a marriage at the beginning of major projects between the design architect and the architect of record (a much more elegant title than executive architect).

If this approach had been adopted at the BBC, then MacCormac could have retained his involvement throughout the project as design architect, while Sheppard Robson would have taken on the executive role as the architect of record, responsible for the project's implementation and delivery.

When this relationship works effectively, as it does across the US, each architect retains ownership of their particular element of the scheme and the divorce between architect and client that we've seen at the BBC is avoided.

John McAslan, John McAslan + Partners

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