Many Sizes

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Many Sizes

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Still a place for the word and reading? Most definitely

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I chaired a great discussion at BDP's offices on Thursday evening, on the subject 'In the image-driven world of architecture, is there still a place for the word?' The answer, to mine and most people's resounding relief was 'yes'. It came from two directions - the research that BDP had carried out among its own architects, and the experiences and research ...

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Light from Above

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Light from Above

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Why nature is not just nice but necessary

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Fine autumn days are a great time to get outside and enjoy the natural world, walking or running or maybe just looking around at changing colours. We all enjoy being in nature, but recent research by mental health charity MIND indicates that this can have an actual effect on our mental wellbeing. Being in nature, it seems, makes people with ...

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Sundial

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Sundial

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Long live the straight line

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

On Monday I was at the Building Centre for the judging of the IBP Awards. The judging was in the basement, which is now pretty hard to get too, because the front staircase has been shut. You have to go to the back of the building, down a kind of processional stair and then work your way forward again.The reason is not hard to guess. Following that route ...

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Building schools for the past

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

What a bittersweet triumph the success of Burntwood School at this year's Stirling Prize was.

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Can architects ever retire?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

The current successful celebratory exhibition in honour of Richard Rogers' 80th birthday, coupled with the incredible vigour of his former colleague Norman Foster, could make one think that architects never get old. They are not the only examples of architects being vigorous and professionally engaged well into what many would consider the twilight ...

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A most unusual listed building

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

This morning I visited a most unusual listed building, although 'building' is stretching a point. I went to the deep shelter tunnels that lie underneath Clapham South Underground station, one of seven built on the Northern Line during World War Two (there was also one at Chancery Lane on the central line). You go down 180 steps through an entrance ...

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Happy holidays for the Lords

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

The House of Lords had a real tidy up before they set off for their holidays yesterday. On their very last day, they announced the plans for changes to the Building Regulations - already delayed but at least this time there is a date for their introduction, next April. And although some of the proposals have been watered down, not all.There are planning ...

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The fascination of major works

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

It is quite likely that you have watched a video online of a massive yellow machine building a bridge in China.

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Fracking hell for Sussex?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I felt outraged when I heard that they are planning to explore for oil in Balcombe in Sussex, and that if successful they may consider fracking.I have always been uncomfortable about the idea of fracking, not least because we really don't need to find ways to extract more greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels. But although I was unhappy when ...

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When is it time to let go?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

We all love old houses don't we? And we should do everything that we can to save them, shouldn't we? Well, not always, Catherine Bennett argued in the Observer yesterday.

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Is today architecture day?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

It seems as if occasionally there is a day when all the news is about architecture. Of course it helps that today is the day that the Stirling Prize shortlist was announced. It was interesting that the radio news focused on Park Hill being on the shortlist, in a 'from loathed to loved' kind of way. Always frustrating though when they focus on one story ...

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Why publicity isn't fluff

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Last week the British resident in Saudi Arabia Karl Andree was released from prison. He had served a sentence for supplying alcohol, which is illegal but was still being held, awaiting a vicious punishment of lashes which, as an unwell man in his 70s, he may well not have withstood.

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Solo performance stars at theatre

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

I had a great night at the theatre yesterday. It was not so much the play, a surprisingly old-fashioned three hander called Daytona that was watchable with some longueurs, as the environment and the company.Consultant Hoare Lea had invited a group to the new Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, 15 minutes from central London. This is a new theatre, only a ...

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Don't just talk but understand why

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Anybody remember that BT campaign 'It's good to talk'? It was a good tagline, but we all know in our lives that it is not just talking that matters - it is what you say, and to whom, and when. This is true in our personal lives, at work and particularly if you are a communications professional.

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Will all our cities have a Taksim Square?

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

It seems that Istanbul's Taksim Square has been saved, at least for now, from development. The AJ reports this, along with an eye-witness report on recent developments from one of its team, who happened to be there last weekend. The battle may be over, but the fight goes on, with the park shutting just after opening because of further riots, ...

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Fishing for compliments

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

Yesterday evening at the Wood Awards ceremony, The Fishing Hut, designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects, won not only its category (private) but also the top prize, the Arnold Laver Gold Award.

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Willow sparks imaginations in Waterbeach

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Posted in The Architecture Blog by Ruth Slavid
19
May

In last Friday's glorious sunshine, I was standing in a wood in Waterbeach between Cambridge and Ely. It was hard to believe that this was a millennium wood, planted only 13 years ago, as the trees soared overhead and the cottonwool from the willow catkins filled the air. It was the willow that was the reason for being there. Engineer Simon Smith of ...

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