PRESIDENT'S AWARD

Winner Peter Wynne Rees

The City Planning Officer, Corporation of London. The President's Award is a new feature, introduced to recognise a particular contribution made to the art and science of office development and/or to the BCO itself.

The inaugural Award goes to BCO Board member Peter Rees, The City Planning Officer, who has presided over one of the most extensive periods of redevelopment in the City's long history.

All Planning Officers occupy difficult territory, striking a balance between the preservation of the past and the needs of the future, and often having to mediate between camps that represent only one of these interests. In this respect, the City of London is unique - encompassing buildings and open space which, individually and collectively, add up to a heritage of worldwide significance; but which also house an engine room of the nation's wealth. This creates an enormous pressure to play it safe, and this might indeed have been the instinct of many public servants - but not Peter.

He has acted as a champion for the City all over the world, building up its status as a financial capital. He has also recognised the importance of protecting those qualities of the fabric of the City that give it its special character - its grain, its built heritage. Throughout, however, and in the right place, he has also championed boldness and drama - the best of modern architecture, so that the skyline of the City can continue to show all ages of its history, including our own.