PRESIDENT'S AWARD

Winner Sir Stuart Lipton

There was a time when the term "property developer" conjured up a sharply suited, rather louche individual with an expensive gold watch interested only in destroying historic infrastructure and local communities in the obsessive pursuit of money. It is fair to say that Sir Stuart Lipton has almost single-handedly changed that perception. This is a developer who is passionate about good architecture; passionate about the design of public spaces and impressively well informed on subjects as diverse as modern art and sculpture and antiquarian books.

Sir Stuart Lipton

 

Sir Stuart began his career in property development during the 1960s. He spent the recession years in the early 1980s learning all he could about development and construction techniques used in the US and launched these new ideas in London at the start of the 1980s property boom. He founded Stanhope Properties Plc in 1983 and, in joint venture, was responsible for the Broadgate Development (3.5million sq.ft) which overturned previous thinking in relation to central London office projects and Stockley Park (2million sq.ft) which, on a giant landfill site out at Heathrow, blossomed into the UK's first Californian style business park. Both were hugely successful. Both have been much emulated on other projects. So much so that the methods of construction with they adopted, the focus on use of talented designers and the obsession with the public realm characterised by them are now almost old hat.

Sir Stuart has shaped large parts of the environment in which we work - Ludgate, MidCity Place, Paternoster, Chiswick Park, The Treasury Building have all be developed under Sir Stuart's eagle eye.

Sir Stuart was also perhaps the first developer to be truly interested in the construction of buildings and to understand the importance of the construction process to good development. He can debate knowledgeably double-handling of materials and hook-time with the best logistics contractor.

As this were not enough, Sir Stuart has been enormously generous in giving his time and using his influence to ensure the delivery of landmark buildings in the arts sector. He has been involved with the Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, Sadlers Wells: indeed on most major public buildings, Sir Stuart's name pops up in some capacity or another.

When the government decided to set up the Commission for Architecture and the Building Environment to promote good architecture, planning and regeneration, he was the natural choice as Chairman. From scratch, under his stewardship, CABE established itself as a widely respected and hugely influential body always pushing the best and fearlessly criticising the mediocre.

Indeed, Sir Stuart is a man of many parts, with many friends in all parts of the development and construction world.

A lifetime achievement award would normally mark the end of a glittering career. But Sir Stuart has just launched a new venture with his long-time friend, Elliot Bernard. Forget the past - Sir Stuart's enthusiasm for development remains undimmed. We look forward to awarding him another lifetime achievement award a decade hence.