This evening I attended Professor Peter Millican's (Northumbria University) inaugural lecture.
The venue was the magnificent Kings Place building Kings Cross. And the subject of the lecture was the multi-award winning Kings Place building Kings Cross that he developed.
The title of the lecture was "Why a successful office development doesn’t have to exclude the community". It was inspirational and points of note I took from this were:
- With a building development you have to make the finance work. But before you go into detail, it must work on "the back of envelope first". I took from this that sometimes you know something will work. You know it's right and you must follow your instincts and then get into the detail.
- The project was a design-build project, but with a tight specification as part of the employers requirements. This ensured certainty of cost without compromise on quality.
- Many times Peter stressed that creating a good team was the most important thing on a project. I think this is true regardless of the project or the industry.
- Finally, the main thread running through the lecture was the value of both quality design and the creation of public space within a commercial development. This has so clearly been achieved and the pictures showing local school children attending music concerts under the offices of the staff of The Guardian demonstrated this nicely.