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Yes, let's give clientsall the awards

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I thought Clyde Malby's suggestion that the riba Awards scheme should be devoted to clients, not architects, was an excellent one (aj 29.1.98).

It's all very well giving prizes to ourselves but, if we are sincere about promoting good architecture, what better way than to encourage (and reward) those people without whom we cannot produce anything.

Interestingly, for the 1998 riba Awards, I see that the entry fee alone costs £205.63 (for all projects with a value over £500,000), which must mean that either there are a lot of very self-confident gamblers in the profession, or they've somehow already managed to persuade their clients to foot the bill, presumably on the advice that, if successful, the award will in some way redound to their credit. Well, isn't that the point? - so why not just give the award to the client - he's paid for it and, who knows, he might even be so flattered he'll want to do it again.


Avery Associates, London SW1

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