The dangers of living on jelly

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
Sep

The awful things seem to keep on happening, and the Mexican earthquake is just the latest. How is it that, even with earthquake codes and drills, people keep dying? It was ironic that this happened during an earthquake drill on...

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Mondrian in the suburbs

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
18
Sep

I had great fun at London Open House this year, and the most entertaining part was a trip to a house that its owner had dubbed 'The Pearl of Metroland (Mondrian house). A between the wars house that the owner...

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Placement Matters

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
23
Aug

When a rooflight is added to a space, the user will no doubt gain light and, if the rooflight is openable, ventilation. But how much light will they actually get? Adding a rooflight shouldn't just be about the aforementioned, it...

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The Benefit of Experience – Roof Window Considerations

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
14
Jun

There are more roof window manufacturers than ever in the UK today. Below are some of the key considerations you should be thinking about when specifying a roof window. U-Values Manufacturers must be able to declare a whole unit (Uw)...

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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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What is a good employer?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Last night's celebrations of the AJ100, The Architects' Journal's event centred around the UK's 100 largest practices, was highly enjoyable (thanks to BDP, rated as number 2, for inviting me). Last night's celebrations of the AJ100, The Architects' Journal's event...

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Getting the wind up about tall buildings

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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. Poor old Walkie Talkie. If...

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The nicest man I never met

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

One of my regrets is that I never met the acoustician Derek Sugden, who by all accounts was an enchanting man as well as the virtual founder of acoustic engineering. And I never will, so have to make do with...

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Corten and consequences

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

We all know how much architects love Corten, so when you see somewhere that is positively crawling with it, you think that somebody must have given their architect a really free hand. We all know how much architects love Corten,...

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A tale of good chair for design

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I spent  a brilliant day on Wednesday at the Royal College of Art, where students working on a project initiated by the American Hardwood Export Council are designing timber chairs that will be exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum...

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The satisfaction of a job well done

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There can be few things more satisfying than seeing a project in which you have been involved, however minimally, come to fruition. At the start of this year I was involved in judging a competition to find a design team...

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Wood can be both exciting and dull – and dull is important

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Thursday was a very 'woody' day for me. In the afternoon we judged the shortlisted projects for the Wood Awards (spoiler alert - there are some great schemes and the winners and highly commended projects are very exciting). Then in...

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Steeled for change

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I was surprised how shocked I felt when listening to discussion on the radio this morning about Tata Steel's decision to withdraw from the UK altogether, and about the improbability of finding a buyer. I was surprised how shocked I...

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Any colour you like as long as it’s hard – and bring on the clowns

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

This week the Guardian became very excited about the fact that hard hats are to be colour-coded according to job function - and Bob the Builder yellow will disappear. I suppose there is a point about being able to identify...

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Flight of the footprint

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I was recently given a charming document by Edward Cullinan Architects - its annual sustainability report for 2011. It talked abut green projects but also about the practice's own environmental behaviour, detailing, for example, how its own carbon footprint has...

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Cycle of success

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There was a great article in the Guardian yesterday by the designers of the Brompton bike, What was so interesting was that fact that willingly admitted their early failings, and that they are still not satisfied with the end product....

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Fishing for compliments

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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. Yesterday evening at the Wood Awards ceremony, The Fishing...

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Mission impossible

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Drawing on history and the future

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Architect Sam Jacob has written a long and thoughtful piece for Metropolis on the 'post-digital age of drawing'. There is quite a lot of fairly difficult theoretical argument in his piece, but the gist is that, sometime after we had...

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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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Will we live densely outside the big city?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

One of the most interesting pieces I have read recently is Tom Holbrook of 5th Stuido's description in the AJ of his idea for a garden city - a riposte to the suggestions in the Wolfson Prize. If you aren't...

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When you have to love a star

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Fifty shades of concrete?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Christopher Beanland is a self-confessed (or maybe that should be self-professed - nothing to be ashamed of) lover of Brutalism. Christopher Beanland is a self-confessed (or maybe that should be self-professed - nothing to be ashamed of) lover of Brutalism....

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Change for the better

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

It is a tribute to the talent and imagination of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano that the Pompidou Centre, their first and only collaboration, still seems so contemporary and even challenging. It is a tribute to the talent and imagination...

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Celebrating houses from around the world

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There was an extraordinarily international gathering at the Grange Hotel in the City of London yesterday, as 10 out of 12 of the winners of the Architectural Review's House awards attended the awards ceremony - quite an achievement as they came from...

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