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Astragal: The Stirling Prize’s his-story boys

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A recent event held at the RIBA ahead of October’s Stirling Prize has come under fire for its lack of women. AJ editor in chief Christine Murray was the only female on the stage at the Dudefest, sorry Stirling Stories event, which gave each of the shortlisted practices 10 minutes to describe their project. 

It caused uproar on Twitter with James Mackenzie tweeting: ‘The All Male Architects Club (exception @tcmurray)’ ,while Jeremy Till chipped in: ‘Were there really no women involved in these “stories”. Completely unacceptable.’ 

According to one of the shortlisted practices, and in a move sparking memories of the Brexit referendum, the RIBA was in touch with them after the event to ask what could be done to improve the situation next time.

Diamond geezer

Baragan ring

Baragan ring

A row has broken out after an artist transformed Luis Barragan’s ashes into a diamond. The Pritzker-winning Mexican architect’s ashes were turned into a 2.02 carat diamond, then set into a ring by American conceptual artist Jill Magid. But it has now emerged that Magid had only asked permission from distant relatives, and the architect’s actual heirs are not happy. The family, who only found out about the ring after reading an article in The New Yorker, are now demanding it be handed over so it can be buried in the architect’s grave.

Nightmare at 567 feet

British Airways i360 Drone image 5 Credit Visual Air

British Airways i360 Drone image 5 Credit Visual Air

The operators of Brighton’s newly opened i360 observation tower have blamed a ‘technical hitch’ after 180 people were temporarily stuck up the Marks Barfield-designed landmark. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it sent two fire engines to the 173m-tall seafront attraction last Thursday when the pod, according to one passenger, ’juddered to a halt’. It is understood that ‘specialist engineers’ were able to sort out the issues, and the private party in the capsule was lowered to the ground after being stranded for about two hours. By that point the situation had become so ‘desperate’ that staff aboard wheeled out a bucket-like ‘emergency toilet’ – though once they viewed it, stranded passengers apparently decided that maybe they could hang on a bit longer.

Basket case

Big basket derek jensen

Big basket derek jensen

The asking price for Ohio’s Big Basket building has been dropped to $5 million having struggled to find a buyer. The 60m-tall picnic basket-shaped office went on the market 18 months ago for $7.5 million after the Longaberger company moved out of its quirkily shaped headquarters. The building, in the city of Newark, was constructed in 1997 for around $30 million, with its form intended as an enormous replica of one of the company’s woven baskets. 

Neighbourhood watch

Clock house

Clock house

AJ 2016 Small Project finalist, Archmonger’s Clock House – a 1960s townhouse given a distinctly jazzy makeover – made its debut in Open House London this year. Its real claim to fame, however, is not the quirky detailing, which has a kind of Heath Robinson feel, but rather its location: it’s right next door to the home of Jeremy Corbyn. Perhaps if the embattled Labour leader loses the forthcoming leadership contest he might find the time to replace those awful uPVC windows.

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