Sunday, August 12 saw the start of the English Premiership's soccer season, with the Football Association's Charity Shield match between Manchester United and Liverpool, which the latter won 2-1.
The architectural significance is that this was the first full professional soccer game in Britain to be played under the closed retractable roof of the HOK Sport-designed Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Due to the design of the stadium, it had been decided to use a new kind of turf — the Greentech Integrated Turf Management system — which is used by the New York Yankees and is currently being grown for Michigan State University's Spartan Stadium.
Back home, I had a look at progress on the Norman Foster-designed Greater London Assembly's new headquarters being built next to Tower Bridge on the banks of the Thames. The steel work is complete and the distinctive glass cladding is almost half way to completion. It is due to finish in Spring 2002, despite criticism over its size and claims it already has "sick building syndrome."
Work is also well advanced on the second phase of the Greenwich Millennium Village next to the Millennium Dome, which is a development of 1,400 mixed-tenure, environmentally sustainable houses and flats. The village is reminiscent of the Byker Wall housing development in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in northern England. Not surprisingly really: architect, Ralph Erskine designed them both.
From sunny London,