Editor, The Architects’ Journal
Award-winning architecture journalist Isabel Allen has been editor of The Architects’ Journal, co-sponsor of the RIBA Stirling Prize, since 1999. She is a regular on the judging panels of architectural awards and by her own admission spends a good deal of working life looking around buildings with architects, not just in the UK, but in the United States and across Europe.
Isabel completed her BA at the University of Manchester before going on to complete parts I and II of her architecture degree at the Universities of Westminster and the South Bank. She is the author of Structure as Design: 23 Projects that Wed Structure and Interior Design.
Broadcaster and Writer
A highly respected figure in the world of media and the arts, Joan Bakewell may never be able to shake off Frank Muir’s description of her as “the thinking man’s crumpet” an epithet acquired during her early television days.
Born to working class parents in Stockport, Cheshire, Joan won a scholarship to study at Cambridge and began her broadcasting career in the 1950s. She made her TV debut in 1963 and first became well known presenting BBC2’s Late Night Line-Up in the 1960s and early 1970s. From there she moved to Granada Television to present Reports Action but later returned to the BBC to fulfil various roles, including a stint as Newsnight’s arts correspondent.
In the 1980s she presented the award winning Heart of the Matter, a programme dealing with the ethical questions arising from current affairs. She has recently presented two of her own series, My Generation and Taboo. Joan chaired the British Film Institute from 2000 to 2002, she writes for a number of national newspapers and is the author of two books, The Centre of the Bed, her autobiography and Belief, an examination of the religious beliefs of scientists and philosophers.
Max Fordham is a one of the UK’s foremost authorities on environmentally friendly engineering. He studied physics at Cambridge before completing a postgraduate engineering conversion course. He worked at Weatherfoil Limited and Ove Arup Associates before he founded his own partnership, Max Fordham & Partners in 1966. The firm, now Max Fordham LLP, currently employs more than 100 engineers and has contributed to some of the most advanced buildings of the past 30 years.
Max believes that the servicing of buildings should contribute to their design, rather than detracting from them. His firm specialises in developing sustainable solutions for building services, including heating, water and electrical installations, which will have a relatively low impact on the environment. His firm has won dozens of awards and has worked on high profile projects such as the Hackney Empire in London, The Poole Arts Centre, the Tate Gallery in St Ives and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
He is a visiting professor in Building and Design and the University of Bath and was President of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers from 2001 to 2002.
Architect, Writer and Broadcaster
A flamboyant and outspoken figure on the British architectural scene, Piers Gough specialises in housing design (he designed Janet Street Porter’s home in London) and is a strong believer in the transformative power of architecture. His work in the Gorbals area of Glasgow has been hailed as a hugely important piece of social regeneration. He is currently working with Frank Gehry, the designer of Bilbao’s Guggenheim, on the controversial King Alfred project in Hove, Gough’s native city.
Piers was a founding partner of Campbell, Zogolovich, Wilkinson and Gough (CZWG) which was set up in 1975. In its early days, the firm struggled, first to find the right clients and then, having found clients, against the conservatism of planners. This may explain why Gough is highly critical of councils and other bureaucratic agencies who lack the courage to back innovative projects. In the 1980s and 1990s CZWG won a number of commissions for architectural and design projects, including the rehabilitation of many buildings in London’s Docklands. More recently, Piers has worked on projects as diverse as the Westbourne Grove public lavatories and the Green Bridge in east London.
President of RIBA
Jack Pringle became the 71st President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in August this year, promising to use his presidency in order to ensure that public and private money would be spent on good design. He also pledged to look at education reforms, student debt and how to help small architectural practices become more competitive.
Public sector projects are close to Jack’s heart – he began his career at Powell and Moya where he worked on social housing and other public sector developments before setting up his own practice which in 1986 became Pringle Brandon. The firm has a host of high profile clients including Barclays, JP Morgan and the Bank of America, the law firm Allen and Overy and the cosmetics empire L’Oreal. He led Pringle Brandon’s important research project in the 1990s, 20/20 Vision, which ultimately led to the development of the flat screen technology dealing room at Barclay’s Capital, the first of its kind.
Jack is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has previously chaired the RIBA Education Committee.