There was a feature on TV this week about the grotesque golf trophies that the unfortunate professional is forced to model in front of the cameras should he or she triumph on tour. These ranged in design from various enormous jewel-encrusted totems, to a porcelain tiger, to an unrecognisable cast of Nelson Mandela. Competitors presumably are prepared to go through this humiliation as long as they have the huge winner’s cheque secured away in their pocket.
One of the outcomes of completing a building, or buildings, is that it can be put forward for an award. These trophies also come in many shapes and sizes, but are generally more tasteful than the golfing versions: a simple glass shard for an RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award; a sculptural twist of steel for a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Award; a modest glass triangle for a Civic Trust Award, or an acrylic cube for a LEAF (Leading European Architects‘ Forum) Award. Sadly, there are no cheques to accompany these. In fact, the awards process is quite costly with entry fees to start the process off, then dinners in far-off places for the fortunate shortlisted teams.