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Astragal: Peter Cook’s cake pays tribute to Archigram

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Happy birthday to Peter Cook, who celebrated his 80th birthday recently. The Archigram founder partied in style with his students and fellow tutors at the Bartlett, where he teaches. 

Following a speech from Thom Mayne, the octogenarian was presented with a brightly coloured jelly cake made by food-art specialist Bompas & Parr, carried in on a palanquin. 

More than 2m long, the towering cake, inspired by Cook’s iconic drawings, was a celebration of architectural model-making techniques in edible form, with the multi-tiered structure involving CNC milling, 3D printing and laser cutting. 

According to Bompas & Parr: ‘The patisserie techniques involved were chosen to replicate the aesthetic ethos of Archigram drawings – domes of mirror cake ballooning like inflatable domes, modular boozy jellies and a melting, sinuous topography of marbled icing and rice krispies

Birmingham New Street just too dazzling

Birmingham New Street station - cladding (September 2015)


The shiny panelled façade of AZPML’s Birmingham New Street station is set to be dulled down. According to local reports, the building’s stainless-steel cladding panels have been blamed for dazzling taxi drivers as they pick up passengers from the train station. 

Councillors have backed plans for a coating to be added to some of the station’s 8,000 panels, while others will be replaced.

Zaha’s vision for Brit Awards

Zaha brit crop

The late Zaha Hadid – a fan of Drake, Bryan Ferry, Sam Smith and Adele – has been revealed as the designer of a new trophy to be handed out at next year’s Brit Awards

The chairman of the music awards, Jason Iley, chose Hadid to ‘create something modern and culturally relevant’ for the prize. 

Hadid, who had attended last year’s Brit Awards, apparently exclaimed: ‘I know exactly how I want to do it! I have a vision for it!’ and had started working on a family of five statues ahead of her death in March.

Am I getting Walmer?

Walmer yard 1


The Architecture Foundation celebrated its 25th birthday last week with a party in Peter Salter’s Walmer Yard. 

The bash was a who’s who of the architectural community, with guests including Salter himself and client Crispin Kelly, Rowan Moore, Joseph Rykwert, Farshid Moussavi, Ted Cullinan and all three FAT founders Sam Jacob, Charles Holland and Sean Griffiths. 

The four interlocking houses turned out to be an interesting party venue with their unusual sequences of spaces meaning guests were continuously lost or wondering where their friends had disappeared to.

At one point Patrik Schumacher was seen on the steel stairs shouting down his phone to what must have been another partygoer: ‘I’ve looked on every roof terrace and I still can’t find you…’

Melbourne echo for pub rebuild

Carlton Tavern


If there is one thing that Australians and the English have in common, it is their love of a beer. You may recall last year’s sorry tale of the 1920s Carlton Tavern in Westminster, illegally demolished by developer CLTX – an act that led to Westminster City Council ordering it be rebuilt brick by brick. In a remarkable twist, the case now has a spooky parallel down under.

The Carlton Inn, a historic Melbourne pub, was demolished on 15 October, and the State of Victoria’s planning minister, Richard Wynne, has decided to ape Westminster’s hard line. 

‘I first heard about the Carlton in Westminster,’ he said, ‘when people started sending me news clips, suggesting the same rebuild order should be levelled at the owners of our own Carlton pub. 

‘Rebuild orders for two Carlton pubs in separate hemispheres serve as a warning, people will not stand for illegal demolition of their history.’ 


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