Published  03/08/2006

Will Alsop for Tsar

Will Alsop has applied for a new post, that of a kind of design 'Tsar' to encourage London to consider more Landmark buildings. The Greater London Authority's architecture and urbanism unit is planned to merge with the London Development Agency's own design team.

Senior-ranking officials in both organisations invited Alsop to put his own name forward, in some way to act as design Director, as a counterbalance to the entrenched power of Lord (Richard) Rogers, who is everywhere these days.

Will Alsop initially applied to share the post with guru Paul Finch, erstwhile editor of the Architectural Review and Architects' Journal. Alsop is concerned that as yet there is no properly 'coherent' vision. Alsop has recently moved from his own practice, selling on his outstanding portfolio but worn down by petty antagonisms from outside.

He needs a clear sheet, and if appointed will achieve all that the Mayor of London would actually hope for. A 'Planning Forum' would not solve the problem either, but the design Tsar would require a strong and ebullient personality as well as total commitment and a strong streak of vision and individual creativity. The Post seems ready-made for Alsop, and perfect timing. Fingers-Crossed.

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