Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s [THING] OF THE WEEK. Ephemeral enjoyments and fleeting fancies from the past seven days.
FESTIVE MARKETING GIMMICK… What do you buy the shopping centre (it’s not a shopping centre, it’s “a unique retail and leisure destination”, ed) that has everything? In Liverpool ONE’s case an augmented reality, or superimposed cartoon, app for mobiles that allows users to experience fairies flying around the 30-foot tree on Paradise Street when they look through their camera phone. If you take a detour on the way back from your works’ party you could add seeing stars to the experience.
WHITTAKER’S WORLD… Rummaging around Companies House the other day looking for something-or-other, Place happened upon John Whittaker’s appointments page. Can you guess how many directorships, current and previous, the Peel owner and peerless property magnate has in his name? That would be 412. Four hundred and twelve. And counting. That’s one seriously crammed Filofax.
PERFORMANCE… BBC Philharmonic on Tuesday became the first orchestra to play at the £8m Stoller Hall at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, borrowing the space for rehearsals from the friendly folk at Chets. The sumptuous and hi-tech hall will undergo months of acoustic tests by engineer Arup before the first public concerts in April 2017.
FACTOID… Friends from Catax Solutions dropped a great factoid over coffee; the busiest bunch of claimants for research and development tax relief are not cutting-edge science companies or advanced manufacturers but taxi companies, who, quite legitimately, claim against newly installed software systems for managing calls and directing drivers. No flies on those taxi bosses.
BUSMAN’S HOLIDAY… Place’s editor took getting out of the office to extreme levels with a trip to Sydney this month, where the highlights of his architour included billionaire art collector Judith Neilson’s new concrete house, Indigo Slam, designed for her by local practice Smart Design Studio, a work of art in itself. And the gob-smackingly impressive 2014 masterpiece by Jean Nouvel with PTW Architects at One Central Park, anchoring the redevelopment of an old brewery site. Absolutely crazy beautiful and surely one of the best new buildings in the world, excitable Ed said. Irresistible apartment living at scale dripping with enough green balconies and walls to appear like a vertical rainforest. Inside, an airy shopping mall-art gallery-event space-food court opens out into a new park. Oh and that bonkers solar shield cantilevered between the two towers displays a laser art show at night using power it collected during the day. Bonza!
AWWW… Developer Capital & Centric gave a fitting farewell to development director Louise Pearson as she went off on maternity leave, colleagues forming a guard of honour to see her out of the building. As one would expect from a property company, the human arch was very well structured, but Louise looked suitably embarrassed to be walking underneath it. We wish her the best of luck.
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