A day of BIM

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

It was very interesting yesterday to chair a panel discussion at BIM Show Live with three architects discussing the benefits that they were enjoying from employing BIM. Particularly enlightening was David Miller of David Miller Architects, an enthusiastic proselytiser for the technology, even...

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Egg with everything

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I have been following the blog of artist Stephen Turner since I had the pleasure of visiting him last week in his temporary home, the Exbury Egg.  This extraordinary structure has caught the attention of the world's media (apparentlyVogue magazine is interested) and...

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In a pickle over bins?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Earlier this week I visited a small social housing project that was using some innovative techniques. Most of these were hidden, and the housing association had requested a conventional layout and appearance.  Nevertheless, the architect had managed to select solar...

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Stirling, Lubetkin and Singapore

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Grant makes good

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

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

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Barbie, dresses, a pioneering architect and a disability

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Gehry puts his finger on…the wrong target

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Media appearances are usually so sanitised, with big-name architects acting almost like film stars, that it is fascinating to watch when somebody like Frank Gehry loses his cool. ArchDaily reports an exchange with Frank Gehry at a press conference in...

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Friday funny teaches lessons about safety

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Twitter can be a great source of useful information. It is often the first place where news items appear, it is great for having a sense of community and for seeking information and comment. And sometimes it is just good...

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Kew gets a Corten house

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Tim Lucas of Price & Myers is one of the most talented structural engineers around. So you would hardly expect him to live in a boring house. And indeed he does not - or will not. Working with architect Piercy...

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Remembrance and future in the Olympic Park

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I went to an event on Saturday that was both enjoyable and sad. It was the celebration of the life of John Hopkins, the landscape client of the Olympic Park who had much of the responsibility for making it so...

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Don’t be afraid of the obvious

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Good housing should be robust enough to cope with alteration

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Canada house and Tokyo Ito in the pink

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I was amused to see that the top news story on the AJ's newsletter this morning was about plans to revamp Canada House in London. The building is certainly prominent, sitting on Trafalgar Square, and it will be a great opportunity...

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Should the UK learn to be more like Denmark?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There is a fascinating nugget buried in the AJ's story about the go-ahead for BIG's waste incineration plant. One might argue that the whole story is fascinating. A celebration of a waste plant? With a ski slope on top? It looks...

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Life isn’t always simple

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

In the run up to April Fool's day, it is worth remembering that even the wisest can make errors of judgment sometimes. Step forward veteran PR Giovanni Forte, who despite having moved away from this area of work was tempted...

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It’s time to ask for help

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

As we approach the end of the financial year, it seems a good time to talk about business matters. Running a practice is difficult , especially a small one, or even as a sole practitioner - the way that many...

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Space really is the final frontier

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There is a fascinating and only slightly belated obituary in the New York Times of an architect called Danforth W Toan. He was, apparently, one of the first to think about designing for space, coming up with simulations of the way that...

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Shanghai is bund to get better

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Yesterday on the AJ's Footprint eco blog, architect Rab Bennetts reported from Shanghai. His reason for going was to visit the nascent Ecobuild. For which he deserves my respect - I couldn't even face the trek to Excel, let alone halfway...

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Small is not beautiful – when it comes to homes

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

In the latest blast in its campaign to see more spacious and lighter homes, the RIBA has issued the results of a poll by IPSOS Mori showing that natural light and space are the most important consideration in our homes....

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Antarctic proves a great school for design

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Last week's AJ published my review of the Halley Research Station in the Antarctic, a curious piece to write, not least because I haven't been there. Normally the rule when writing a building review is that you have to visit to...

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Remembering the ever-youthful Rick Mather

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

It was sad to see on the AJ website today that the architect Rick Mather had died. Sad because one never likes anybody to die, sadder because he had done and was still doing some excellent work. And somehow even sadder because,...

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Is the Orbit really too small?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

The most contentious statement at a seminar that I chaired last week came from Clive Dutton, executive director for planning, regeneration and property at the London Borough of Newham, host borough for the Olympics. 'The only thing wrong with the...

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Could biogas be the answer?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There is something very appealing about the use of biogas to generate energy. Animal waste is a great source of pollution (not least with methane, which is a terrifyingly potent greenhouse gas) and yet it could be a 'free' source...

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Should we be allowed to get up to no good?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Horticulture Week reports that Richmond Council in southwest London has rethought its new policy of leaving parks unlocked overnight. Apparently it introduced the policy on 1 April, only locking one particular garden after that date. But it has now bowed to...

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Harsh financial truths about architecture

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Last week The Architects' Journal published the AJ100, its annual survey of the UK's biggest practices. Much of it is a celebration of success, with awards, new entrants and even the respondents feeling reasonably upbeat about the future. But it also contains some...

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