Friday27 November 2015


July 31

Homeland insecurity: Of castles and flatshares

Parisians’ instinctive response to the terrorist attacks - throwing open their doors to strangers - is one demonstration of our changing attitude to ‘home’, says Eleanor Jolliffe

Comments (11)

Postmodernism logo

We face a race against time to save our exceptional post-modern heritage

Po-mo is threatened by a building boom and its own fleeting unpopularity. But it’s not the first style to face this peril and we need to stop reinventing the wheel, writes Adam Nathaniel Furman

Comments (8)

David Shepherd

How small practices can adopt BIM without hiring an expensive BIM manager Subscription Required

The author of a new BIM handbook for smaller architects has some practical advice for those hesitating to take the plunge

Comments (3)

Hank Dittmar

Climate change will force us to think much bigger than floating houses

It’s good news that urbanism will be on the agenda at next month’s climate talks, but they’re unlikely to do more than scratch the surface of a topic that will engage architects and planners for decades to come, writes Hank Dittmar

Comments (15)

Gillian Darley index

Elisabeth Scott's passport out of the shadows

Once the most famous ‘girl architect’ in the country, Elisabeth Scott spent the rest of her career in relative obscurity. Her appearance as one of only two women in the new passport is welcomed by Gillian Darley

Comments (3)

contracts cartoon

Is it ever worth calling in the lawyers? (by a lawyer)

David Chipperfield is the latest high-profile architect to take a client to court, but every architect will face that dilemma at some point in their career. Lawyer Laurence Cobb urges caution

Comments (3)

July 31

The future of architectural education – can it work in practice?

Giving students more practical experience is a good thing - but it could place an unbearable burden on small firms, warns Eleanor Jolliffe

Comments (18)

Amanda Baillieu

We need to build homes the Netflix generation actually want

Amanda Baillieu welcomes Venice’s focus on the housing of the future

Comments (17)

Burntwood School by AHMM

Why you need to go to an elite university to win the Stirling Prize

Where architects study is a depressingly good predictor of whether they’ll succeed, argues Paul McGrath

Comments (33)


You might as well knock down the London Eye as demolish Hyde Park Barracks

Basil Spence should be celebrated for his efforts to give people access to ‘light, space, greenery’, says James Dunnett

Comments (13)


Why Hyde Park Barracks deserves to be demolished

The campaign to save Basil Spence’s lowering landmark ignores the building’s utter failure to engage with its urban context, argues Ike Ijeh

Comments (46)

LA aerial

Los Angeles looks to Europe for help with its reinvention

Los Angeles is undergoing its biggest construction boom since the 1980s but regeneration plans are having to battle against suburban spread, economic and racial segregation and a reluctance among locals to leave their cars. Ike Ijeh takes a look

Anthony Thisleton-Smith of Waugh Thisleton

Britain must tie planning consent to architects not sites if we are to halt insane land speculation

As soon as a site is sold on with consent, quality is compromised. We need to create a financial incentive to encourage developers to build their schemes, argues Anthony Thistleton-Smith

Comments (7)


Will someone please sort out this mess

The Housing Standards Review has spawned a litany of inconsistencies. Julia Park knocks some heads together

Hank Dittmar

When will Stirling laureates be allowed to quote from Wren?

If pastiche is so bad, why is it OK to be influenced by Breuer or the Smithsons, asks Hank Dittmar

Comments (29)

Burntwood School by AHMM

Burntwood School Stirling Prize win an underwhelming choice

This year’s Stirling Prize proved an unusual choice, but could it be a political one too, asks Ike Ijeh

Comments (11)

Julia Park, head of research at Levitt Bernstein

The Housing Bill simply doesn’t add up

The new laws will only help people who can already afford to help themselves and does nothing to address the real problems, argues Julia Park

Comments (11)

Gillian Darley index

When collaboration works

Mutual respect, like that between Kim Wilkie and Niall McLaughlin at the Natural History Museum, is key for partnerships to flourish, says Gillian Darley

Reiach and Hall - Maggie's Lanarkshire

If the Stirling Prize was about sustainability, who would win?

Ahead of next week’s ceremony, Simon Sturgis takes a critical look at the carbon performance of the six finalists

Amanda Baillieu

Protesters are wrong to target Neo Bankside and hipsters eating cereal

We should be less worried about gentrification than about the complete failure to provide for communities like Barking Riverside, says Amanda Baillieu

Comments (17)

Temple of Baalshamin, Palmyra, Syria, in 2005. Dating from the second century BC, it was rebuilt 131AD. Destroyed by IS in August this year

IS's attack on humanity's shared origins exposes the weakness of its ideology

Blowing up Palmyra is about power and money not cultural cleansing, says Eleanor Jolliffe

Comments (14)

Chamberlin Powell Bon

Is brutalism the new Victoriana?

Do National Trust tours of brutalist icons mark a yearning for the return of 1960s and 70s socialist utopias or is the brutalist revival simply down to fashion?

University of East Anglia by Denys Lasdun

You’ve got to hand it to post-modernism

It took capitalism and consumer nostalgia to rescue our brutal utopias, says Hank Dittmar

Comments (15)

Roddy Langmuir

Architects must be allowed to finish what they start

It’s time to end the damaging separation between concept design and delivery architect which was highlighted by the RIBA Client and Architect report, argues Roddy Langmuir

Comments (3)

Sonnenhof, Jena, Germany, 2015 by J. Mayer H.

Architecture and freedom – a contested connection

With architectural production becoming ever more beholden to the needs of capital and the building industry, the Royal Academy’s Owen Hopkins introduces a season of events that explores what freedom might mean for architects – and architecture – now and in the future

Gillian Darley index

Fraying at the edge

Barking Riverside? This isolated settlement is neither, finds Gillian Darley

Comments (5)

RIBA president Stephen Hodder

Hodder: Industry values architects for our creativity, passion and technical ability

There is much for the profession to be optimistic about, says Stephen Hodder as he steps down as president of the RIBA

Rab Bennetts

This report on clients is required reading

Rab Bennetts says the RIBA report on clients is a wake-up call for the profession

Comments (1)


Flood-proof? Designing against the tide

Our attitude to rising sea levels remains as defensive as ever. With 20% of British homes now at risk, this is a mistake, says Robert Barker

Comments (1)

A Syrian child refugee

Why aren't architects talking about the migration crisis?

The profession has a vital part to play in addressing the challenges confronting Europe, argues Richard Gatti

Comments (1)

AYA party 2014

The continuing evolution of the BD Architect of the Year Awards

BD editor Thomas Lane explains how the awards have got bigger


Tall buildings: Height vs heritage

London’s lack of a coherent tall buildings policy has led to controversial ‘carbuncles’ such as the Walkie Talkie crowding its skyline – and a further 200 tall towers are proposed for the capital. Ike Ijeh wonders if other old cities offer lessons in how to integrate tall buildings into their historic fabric

Amanda Baillieu

Most clients would dispense with architects if they could

Architects have become the whipping boy for clients’ failure to produce great buildings, says Amanda Baillieu

Comments (11)

Rafael Vinoly: An architect of two parts. His RIBA Award-winning maths institute at Oxford, left, and his Carbuncle Cup-winning Walkie Talkie

Carbuncle Cup: There but for the grace of God go all of us

Many of the architects nominated for the Carbuncle Cup are also RIBA Award-winning practices. How do talented professionals sometimes get it so badly wrong, asks Eleanor Jolliffe

Comments (10)

Hank Dittmar

London's housing problems are beyond the power of market forces to solve

The global pressures shaping London’s built environment now include the Airbnb effect, says Hank Dittmar

Comments (9)

Gillian Darley index

Philip Webb can't avoid the limelight for ever

In his centenary year, it is time to make a fuss of William Morris’ unassuming collaborator, says Gillian Darley

Comments (2)

We did all that research and you did what?!

Cabe’s reports were admired for their quality but too often gathered dust on influential desks. Writing exclusively for BD, former chief executive Richard Simmons offers some advice to those struggling to influence policy today

Comments (4)

Amanda Baillieu

Honest House – the real reality property show

If programmes like Ugly House and Grand Designs had any basis in reality the results would be rather different, suggests Amanda Baillieu

Comments (9)

July 31

Job-hunting for part IIs

Eleanor Jolliffe on the terror of the architectural job hunt, the fevered world of CVs, portfolios and secret knowledge

Comments (35)

Hank Dittmar

London needs a walker's charter

The first two London mayors championed buses and bikes. The next one should put pedestrians first, argues Hank Dittmar

Comments (12)

A Made City Builders workshop

Shaping the next generation of city builders

A project that broadens access to the built environment professions is having some success in the Midlands. But it’s a constant struggle to keep the programme afloat, writes David Tittle

Gillian Darley index

On what might have been

Unbuilt, unused and unappreciated. Gillian Darley explores architectural waste in all its forms

Comments (5)

Darbishire Place housing in London by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Ike Ijeh damns the Stirling Prize shortlist

This year’s shortlist compares badly alongside a building like No1 Poultry, writes BD’s architecture critic

Comments (7)

Amanda Baillieu

Why Osborne was right to take back planning powers

We had our chance and were found wanting, says Amanda Baillieu

Comments (9)

Goose Green Primary School in Southwark by Cazenove Architects, singled out in the book as an example of good design

What will our schools look like in 10 years?

Not much has changed in 60 years, say the authors of a new book on school design - but that doesn’t mean we don’t have important lessons to learn

Abercrombie plan for London

Healing the rift between architecture, politics and finance

It’s in everyone’s interests to reform the planning system but those with the power have no overview and those with the overview have no power, argues Ruth Lang

Comments (10)

BD student columnist Eleanor Jolliffe

On finishing part II

BD’s student columnist looks back on the last seven years of study and assesses how much has changed

Comments (10)

The High Line in Manhattan

The High Line has a lot to answer for

Hank Dittmar questions whether landscape urbanism offers cities anything more than window dressing

Comments (10)

Amanda Baillieu

Architects have a long way to go to convince the public that Robin Hood Gardens is worth saving

Out-of-touch dinosaurs are not helping the cause, argues Amanda Baillieu

Comments (18)

Gillian Darley index

Scream if you want to go faster

As Dreamland in Margate reopens, Gillian Darley gets all nostalgic about the future

Squire & Partners' Shell Centre scheme

Shell Centre redevelopment 'to add to the necklace of cultural pearls along the Thames'

The end of the legal wrangling over the Shell Centre redevelopment is good news for London, argues the scheme’s masterplanner, Michael Squire

Comments (9)

Abode housing Cambridgeshire by Proctor and Matthews

Proof we can build exceptional housing that is profitable, sustainable and desirable

RIBA president Stephen Hodder hails this year’s winners of RIBA National Awards

Harriet Harriss

Can we build it? Not on our own!

A reformed architectural education must promote collaboration and the value of existing buildings, argues Harriet Harriss

Comments (52)

Mzo Tarr Architects' Nash pursuit tower

How John Nash’s Beautiful Mind could live on in a new generation of buildings

Adam Tarr of Mzo Tarr Architects argues that architects who don’t learn to use game theory are missing out on a valuable tool

Comments (18)

Looking through the clock at No1 Poultry

I'm not convinced by plans for No1 Poultry, says its project architect

As C20 Society tries to get Stirling’s icon listed, Andrew Pryke, who knows the building intimately, sounds a warning over Buckley Gray Yeoman’s redevelopment plans

Comments (4)

Top Valley Academy by Ryder Architecture - approach

Another brick in the wall

It’s not easy designing great schools under the new funding regime – but it is possible, says Ryder Architecture’s Richard Wise after his practice’s latest academy got a pasting at committee

Maccreanor Lavington's passivhaus development in Rainham, Essex

Don't forget everything before Part L

There is much to be learnt from our forebears before we even reach for the air-con, writes Eleanor Jolliffe

Comments (3)

Tomorrow Today by Pope and Guthrie for NW Cambridge Development 2014

Using art to breathe communities into life

Assemble’s Turner Prize nomination is recognition of the role public art and storytelling are increasingly playing in placemaking, says Fabienne Nicholas

Houses of Parliament

Don’t scrap the Palace of Westminster

The idea that we should build a new, literally transparent parliament is simplistic and learns nothing from recent history, says Hank Dittmar

Comments (26)

Dolls House

Trips worth making at the London Festival of Architecture

BD picks out some of the best events at the festival which opens on Monday

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