The high life

Partying with architecture’s bigwigs, trading in architecture for musical fame and hob-nobbing on top of the Shard

Going swimmingly?

Former British land boss John Ritblat and his wife, Jill, entertained art and architecture’s great and good at their Regent’s Park home on Friday night.
Richard Rogers, Amanda Levete, David Chipperfield and Peter Murray were among those invited to admire the couple’s new underground party space — an all-white box with changing coloured walls and a pool.

The project has been ongoing for many years — which might explain the one notable absence: its architect, Ken Shuttleworth.

Showbiz confessions

X Factor contestant and TV presenter Rylan Clark gives a revealing interview to the Guardian this week, admitting that before he discovered the joy of cosmetic enhancement and a career in show business, he wanted to be… an architect.

“I was obsessed with architecture. The Lloyd’s building, Richard Rogers, all these designs, absolutely fantastic. Yeah, I was obsessed. I used to sit there drawing buildings, designing buildings. But my problem is, when I want something I want it as quick as I can, as easy as I can.” Clearly he made the right career choice.

History in the making

Boots imagines site meetings at Fitzroy Place might be a little awkward now, after Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands replaced its colleague Sheppard Robson on a controversial scheme in Hammersmith.

Anyone wondering how Lifschutz managed to scoop the west London job might be interested to note that the chairwoman of the local historic buildings society, a vocal opponent of Sheppard Robson’s scheme, lives a few doors down from its offices on St Peter’s Square.

The high life

The project architect of the Shard, William Matthews, is leaving Renzo Piano after 12 years working on the scheme. It would seem obvious, then, where his leaving drinks should be. The top of the Shard, naturally. And that is where it is being held next month. The scramble for invites has begun.

Trans-europe express

Peter Zumthor’s RIBA Gold Medal lecture has proved a huge hit, with tickets for the February event selling out in less than five hours. The talk, titled Thinking Architecture and scheduled to last 1.5 hours, will explore past and present projects by the eminent Swiss architect. Boots notes the scramble for seats is on par with the furore over tickets for Kraftwerk’s eight-night residency at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, which kicks off the night after.

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