Should we review architecture like restaurants?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
13
Mar

Jay Rayner is a well-loved restaurant critic, not only because he knows a lot about food but because, when he hates a restaurant, he really lets you know, and does so by using language creatively. So, in his latest review,...

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New year, new hope?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
22
Jan

Our housing might actually get better. Rowan Moore, in this week's Observer, outlines a utopian version of the future of housing. Utopias are easy of course - dreaming costs nothing. But what Moore argues is encouraging - that the seeds...

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You mean you have never seen it?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
18
Jan

It's always nice to tick off the omissions There is a radio programme called 'I've never seen Star Wars' in which people confess the popular things they have never done - and then do them. I have never seen Star...

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Is construction broken?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
16
Jan

The Carillion disaster poses questions for the industry and the country. Amid all the shock about Carillion, one of the most interesting pieces is in the FT. Matthew Vincent writes about why the company has gone into liquidation rather than...

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Why Sadie makes us smile

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
3
Jan

If you are feeling a little gloomy at the start of the year, I suggest you read the latest interview with the bundle of energy and enthusiasm that is Sadie Morgan. She is profiled in today's Evening Standard, partly on...

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Architects should stop being dozy

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
1
Jan

I remember talking to a recently qualified architect about somebody who was considering training in architecture as a mature student. The man I was talking to thought it would be a bad idea because he doubted that she would be...

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Using a building for real

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
27
Dec

Unless a new building is a gallery or performance space, or perhaps a restaurant, the architectural writer tends not to make use of it. True you may look at photos, read about it or even visit, but that is not...

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A jewel of an architect

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
17
Dec

Looking through today's Observer I saw a two-page ad feature for 'Not on the High Street' which showed a face, and even more a name, that was familiar. The name was Cari-Jane Hakes (well, you wouldn't forget a name like...

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Architecture as headache

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
15
Dec

I know that headaches, and particularly migraines, can be no laughing matter, but this made me chuckle. Thanks to Stephen Donald, who posted it on Facebook. It both shows how hard architecture can be and just how preoccupied with their...

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From council house to millionaire’s pad

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
12
Dec

Thanks to architect Robert Evans for pointing out on Facebook what he describes as 'the end of the high-quality council housing dream'. Ham & High Property has highlighted a gorgeous Modernist house for sale in Hampstead Heath. The sting in the...

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When we need complexity

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
5
Dec

I stayed with a friend in Somerset at the weekend, in a marvellous house that had been sneaked into a narrow gap between two others a long time ago and had grown backwards and upwards on its long site. She...

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How to be happy at work

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
23
Nov

I am pretty well inured to noise. When I sat my exams at university there was a demonstration taking place in the hall in the first year that we were just expected to ignore. Another year (not sure if it...

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The Beauty of Conservation – with thanks to SPAB

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
21
Nov

Last week I read “The SPAB Approach to the Conservation and care of old buildings”. The report is a passionate argument for the protection of the UK Heritage buildings. What really struck me was the almost romantic way in which...

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In praise of Brutalist housing – or not?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
15
Nov

Tim Abrahams has written a thoughtful piece for The Economist on the decision to preserve a part of the demolished Robin Hood Gardens at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He entitles his piece 'Robin Hood Gardens and the divisiveness of...

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Beauty in the mundane

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
14
Nov

I saw this lovely print by artist Jane Smith at the Archivist Gallery, on the Regent's Canal between Islington and Hackney. The print is of an exit from Old Street station, with the Bezier building (unkindly but accurately dubbed 'the...

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A delight for the eyes

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
6
Nov

A friend, Kris Kalinski, posted this lovely photo of a cottage in the Polish village of Zalipie which apparently, unsurprisingly, has the moniker 'the most beautiful village in Poland'. The ladies of the village (it would be the ladies!) repaint...

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Hooray for Hastings

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
1
Nov

There is something heartwarming about Hastings Pier by dRMM winning the Stirling Prize. It is a publicly accessible building (building? structure? who knows or cares) and one that happened only because it was driven, first by the determination of the...

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Death of an unknown architect

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
22
Oct

Of course, you don't get a full-page obituary in The Guardian if you are truly unknown. But I suspect that the level of awareness of most of the architecturally aware in the UK of the work of  Vann Molyvann, who...

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My voted counted!

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
12
Oct

How exciting, and how apposite, that the Halley Research Station in Antarctica won the prize for best project of the past 30 years at the British Construction Industry Awards. As I said in a recent post, I voted for it....

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Designing to Trump’s agenda

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
6
Oct

Finally it looks as if Donald Trump's dreaded wall on the Mexican border may go ahead. Footage has been released of four prototypes. Doubtless, this is quite an interesting engineering problem - looking at robustness against cost and logistics. But...

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Barcelona remembered – rioting architects

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
3
Oct

The recent horrifying events in Barcelona reminded me of some very different demonstrations when the UIA (International Union of Architects) held its conference there in 1996. The conference was the victim of its own success. On the first morning, there...

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Timber’s homes for the future

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
30
Sep

On Thursday evening I chaired a seminar for Wood for Good on the technology of timber houses. The centrepiece of the event was the launch of Peter Wilson's book, 'The Modern Timber House in the UK', which combines a fantastic...

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The Benefits of Heritage

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
29
Sep

Last week we read an interesting report from Historic England - Heritage Counts 2017. The report analyses research into how Heritage can affect your happiness. Upon reading the report, one of the facts that surprised us the most was that...

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Is Halley the best of the best?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
28
Sep

I was prompted on Facebook by Peter Ayres, who was the engineer on Halley VI, to vote for it in New Civil Engineer's poll of the 'best of the best' British Construction Industry Awards winners. The awards are now 30...

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What did the Georgians do for us?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
26
Sep

The RIBA's exhibition by Pablo Bronstein, 'Conservatism - The long reign of pseudo-Georgian architecture' is both seductive and perturbing. There is no question that the architect draws beautifully and makes us look again at buildings that we might otherwise dismiss....

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