It's a chill wind that blows everybody good

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There have been two really good events in the last week related to the launch of the book Ice Station: The creation of Halley VI.I may be biased of course, because I wrote the book. But it was pretty easy to do, because it is a wonderful project. It seems that you have to go to the other end of the world to allow architects and engineers to work in the way that many would like to and most feel that ...

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Death of the middle class architect

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

The Architects' Journal is lamenting the end of the middle class architect, following a report in the Financial Times which sees architects as among professional groups being displaced by the new 'uber middle class'.

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We will all suffer in London's housing fiasco

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Oliver Wainwright has written a damning indictment for The Guardian about the way that housing developers in London wriggle out of their obligations to provide affordable housing - and the fact that too often the 'affordable' is unaffordable.

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One scoop or many?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I was both pleased and amused to see that Rick Mather Architects has won planning for its sixth-form centre in Newham, London. Pleased not only because this is a good practice that deserves to win work but because it is able to continue to do so after the death of its founder and figurehead - and after at least one client, the Peabody Essex museum, ...

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Getting the wind up about tall buildings

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Poor old Walkie Talkie. If it were a person it would be the one who gets their dress stuck in the door, and then the next week falls down the stairs and breaks its ankle.

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A hard-headed look at architectural education

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

In the latest issue of RIBA Journal (not yet online) Maria Smith argues very intelligently about architectural education.

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When you have to love a star

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Brad Pitt has been at it again. Building that is. And not for himself. Unlike most celebs who may do a bit of mouthing about fashionable causes, he seems to really care - and what he cares about is housing for poor people. World Truth TV reports that the superstar, whose engagement with architecture started when he set up a charity post Hurricane Katrina ...

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Barbie, dresses, a pioneering architect and a disability

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

How much do you think about what you wear to work? US architect Kelly Hayes-McAlonie has had reason to think about it a lot, and she made her thoughts the subject of a fascinating TEDx talk(TEDx is like the little local cousin of TED, and the best talks compete to get on the main TED site).

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In praise of getting my hands dirty

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I recently spent a few days with friends in the southwest of France. They needed to consult the mayor of the village about some proposed alterations to their house, and she said, come and see me at the eco-house I am building.

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Talking architecture in Singapore

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

This year's World Architecture Festival is heading towards its conclusion in Singapore, with the announcement of the World Building of the Year due in a few hours' time. It is a truly international event, with delegates from 68 countries and a great spread of projects yet, like last year, the greatest interest comes from Singapore itself. This is not ...

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Wheee! A celebration of the obvious

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Sometimes architects come up with an idea that is so original it changes the way you think. And sometimes they come up with something that is so obvious that it is, frankly, brilliant. So hats off to Bblur architecture (just how do you pronounce that?) for proposing a helter skelter alongside the Orbit which everybody has already known looks like... a helter skelter.

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Grant makes good

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I have found myself spending quite a bit of time over the past few months on the website of Grant Erskine.

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A timber building I'd love to visit

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Next week the site visits for the shortlisted buildings in the Wood Awards begin. It will be, I am sure, as every year, fascinating, enlightening and occasionally disappointing. We won't however be visiting this building: Not because it didn't make the cut, but because it is not eligible as it is in China. You can see more on the ArchDaily website. ...

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Stirling, Lubetkin and Singapore

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There is always something nice about confounding expectations, and presumably a few lucky punters cleaned up when Astley Castle, unexpectedly, won the Stirling Prize. It is, by all accounts, a superb project and in a sense relatively democratic, since anybody who wants to stay there can rent it - if, of course, they can afford it, which seems to be ...

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I told you I was cold

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

For a couple of years I went to Singapore to run the news website of the World Architecture Festival. The work was interesting if demanding, the company was congenial and I knew plenty of people. But I was unhappy. Why? Because I was cold. Singapore has a climate that rarely dips below 30C, with high humidity, so wearing summer clothes seemed a no-brainer. ...

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Underground Writing

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I have just got round to reading one of the best pieces in a weekend newspaper that I have read for a long time. It was Robert Macfarlane writing about urban exploration - the coupling of a superb writer with a fascinating subject. Macfarlane writes about the international fraternity of people who like to get onto, into and under parts of ...

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It's a little early for Christmas stockings...

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

...but I wonder how many will be getting one of these?

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Light, lies and ... video next?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There are plenty of very competent journalists around in the specialist press, and some who are very perceptive, knowledgeable or persistent. But there aren't all that many who are funny. One who is, is Ray Molony, publisher of Lux magazine, and one of the best informed people writing about lighting today. I shared an office with him for a ...

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Three cheers for research

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

There is a great article in The Architects' Journal about research that Cartwright Pickard has carried out with the Mackintosh into the design of new homes, asking if they are making people sick. The conclusion? Probably yes. It looks at CO2 levels, a good indicator of air quality, and concludes that many homes are inadequately ventilated. There are ...

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Let's table a change

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

If you were looking for inspiration for a new dining table, you could do worse than go to 100% Design, the interiors show in Earls Court that is looking sprucer and more 'designy' than in years. You would probably not decide however to buy 'Worldscape' by Atmos Studios, although it is for sale. Crucially, it is designed by an architect not a furniture ...

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