April 30, 2018

This article was originally published in BD:Online, 30 April 2018.

Imagine an architectural pitch. A new housing project in the suburbs of London. You have been invited to submit proposals for 3,000 affordable homes on a 25ha site. You decide to go crazy and deliver a m...

March 5, 2018

This article was originally published in BD:Online, 5 March 2018.

Croydon is being talked about a lot in design and development circles at the moment. Something is afoot in this old market town at the extremities of south London.

BD seems to report successful planning ap...

November 10, 2017

McMorran and Whitby’s City of London Police Station (1965) appears like an architectural missing link. The rustication of its lower façade and oversized chimney-like ventilation shafts are strangely non-zeitgeist, and the proportional arrangement of the window openings...

June 1, 2017

“It’s a very cheery thing to come into London by any of these lines which run high and allow you to look down upon the houses like this.”

I thought he was joking, for the view was sordid enough, but he soon explained himself.
“Look at those big, isolated clumps of buil...

January 7, 2017

The Distance Between an Idea and its Fruition at The National Centre for Popular Music, Sheffield.

All major construction projects start with an idea that is driven by one person or a collection of like minds. Tim Strickland’s idea for The National Centre for Popular Mu...

March 17, 2016

“London’s contribution to architecture is simplicity”.

Some architects are best known for what they have produced, and some for what they have understood. There is no published portfolio of Steen Eiler Rasmussen’s built work, though we can be reasonably sure that he was...

January 10, 2016

In the autumn of 1981, a group of Parisian teenagers goaded each other into staying the night in The Panthéon, the national monument to French cultural heroes in the Latin Quarter of Paris. A dare, a double dare. At the end of tourist’s opening hours, they squeezed int...

June 4, 2015

Samuel Pepys did not like to stand still. He was an active participant in city life, in work and in leisure. Among his outings, he records more than twenty trips to Moorfields, a public open space to the north of the City.

For many years, Moorfields was unique in London...

July 28, 2014

Louis Kahn has been known as the architect’s architect. Others have had that title before him and a few have since. Aalto, Asplund, Stirling and Zumthor come to mind. But what makes these architects universally adored amongst their contemporaries while everyone else is...

May 22, 2014

There is a very small room in the National Gallery that contains a selection of Flemish architectural paintings. There is something surprisingly domestic about Pieter Saenredam’s interior painting of the Grote Kirk at Haarlem. A small dog is looking for attention adjac...

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