Good housing should be robust enough to cope with alteration

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

How many people - how many architects? - live in Georgian or Victorian houses? Plenty. Many of those houses are in conservation ares, and some are even listed. But even the listed ones will have been altered prior to achieving that status. If nothing else, they will have had bathrooms added, and probably the ubiquitous back extension. And the AJ has ...

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Living in a bubble

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I was recently in Den Bosch in the Netherlands. The reason for the visit was to see the Hieronymous Bosch exhibition, celebrating 500 years since his death (fantastic exhibition but I can't recommend that you go because it is completely sold out). While there, we went out to an ordinary suburb to see these far from ordinary houses.

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Don't be afraid of the obvious

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I had lunch with an accountant today (and I bought him lunch, even if it was only a Costa sandwich). We were talking about what architects need to know when they were setting up their own practices. Although he was obviously well informed and canny, his prime piece of advice was a statement of the absolutely obvious. 'You have to invoice,' he said, ...

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All change

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I doubt if many who voted in the EU referendum were thinking about Building Regulations, or even about the EU Drinking Water Directive or the prospects for UK architects in the EU (although it was interesting how many of those in this year's AJ100 saw that as their prime market).

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Plumbing the shallows of Twitter

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

One of the ways that you may have come to read this story is because I have tweeted it. I wouldn't say I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter - more a blowing hot and cold one. Rather like those annoying people in relationships who sometimes are all over you and at others just can't be bothered and would rather tidy their flat or drink with their ...

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The age of uncertainty

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Many of the practices in this year's AJ100 reported a downturn in orders in the last few months due to uncertainty about the EU referendum. Clients didn't know which way it would go, and what the impact would be.  Now of course we have certainty - of a kind. We are leaving the EU - aren't we? Despite the actions of those desperate to find a way ...

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Can we shed light on reform of rights to light?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

The AJ and BD have virtually identical headlines on the proposed reforms to rights of light. 'Architects welcome right to light move' says the former, while the latter goes for 'Architects hail light laws reform'. But BD is intriguing. Its story is on page 3, and opposite on page 2 is its second leader. Its headline is 'Don't put out the light in our ...

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Making a drama out of architecture

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

It's always fun to see architecture featuring in a drama and new televison series New Blood really makes a meal of it. Its second case, featuring a young policeman and his pal who works for the Serious Fraud Office, involves dodgy goings on surrounding the construction of London's tallest new building.

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Temporary becomes permanent again

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

It is pleasing but unsurprising that the 'temporary' Skyroom built on top of the Architecture Foundation's home near London Bridge is to become permanent, as BD reports today. From the Eiffel Tower onwards, there is a long tradition of so-called temporary structures acquiring a permanent life. In London of course the most prominent example is the ...

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A nice paint job

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There is something surprisingly appropriate about Hugh Broughton Architects being appointed to restore the painted hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

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Zaha Hadid on page 3

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

A week of unexpected news (who could have predicted that we would be discussing the damage caused by meteorites, the resignation of the pope and the death of Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend?) ended with an architecture story in a hugely prominent position in theObserver. Zaha Hadid was talking about misogyny in the profession, following up on the disappointing ...

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Railway cottage renaissance?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

The idea of railway cottages sounds charmingly quaint and the remaining buildings, while frequently small (after all they were built for workers not plutocrats) have a certain appeal. It is their very no-nonsense pared down nature that makes them attractive.

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What's in a name?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

When I worked at The Architects' Journal, the news editor used to take especial pleasure in finding sobriquets for the latest tower proposal (he probably still does, but I don't see him so regularly). He was particularly proud of the 'can of ham', a title that was subsequently taken up by the Daily Mail. And no less a figure than Peter Rees ...

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Essex - what a dump

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Today on the radio they were talking about the changes to overnight flights in and out of Heathrow, as discussion still rages about whether there should be a new runway there or not.

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What is a reasonable way to work?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There is a discussion on the AJ's LinkedIn page about methods of working that can reduce the long hours culture. It was kicked off by the decision of architect Baumann Lyons to start working 38 hours in a four-day week, and shut the office on a Friday. The thinking, presumably, is that most people will feel after they have done a solid ...

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Anybody know this hidden house?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I saw this little gem on a walk near Constantine Bay in Cornwall this weekend.

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Was Monday good news day?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

A week ago on Monday was 'blue Monday', the day of the year when we were all meant to feel most depressed. For the construction industry though it seemed as if this Monday was more like 'golden Monday'. It was extraordinary to wake up to news which seemed to be all about creating construction work. First there was the confirmation of the proposed route ...

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Mission impossible

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I have spent the day looking at architects' websites - a lot of websites. I was trying to distil from them a succinct description of what the practice had been up to in the last year. And what did I learn? Very little.

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The right time for consultation

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There is an old story about a man who ran a raffle to win a horse. When the winning ticket was drawn, he apologised that the horse had died and refunded the winner's money, keeping all the rest. John McAslan and Partners must be feeling like that unlucky lottery winner - getting the prize and having it snatched away at the same time - in Glasgow's George ...

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When a tower is a symbol

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Today The Guardian devotes several pages, including the front, to the tower at St George's Wharf in London. It talks about how much of it is empty, how expensive it is, and how much of it is owned by non-resident foreigners.

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