A bad Italian job

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

It is ironic that it should be David Chipperfield complaining about poor quality on a museum building he designed in Milan (in the Independent and picked up by the AJ). Not only because he is one of the most punctilious...

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The fascination of major works

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

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

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A nice paint job

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There is something surprisingly appropriate about Hugh Broughton Architects being appointed to restore the painted hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. There is something surprisingly appropriate about Hugh Broughton Architects being appointed to restore the painted hall...

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Give us nature – but not too much

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

‘The complexity of city life favours the clever’ sounds as if it could have been said by any of the great urbanists. In fact it is a statement by the sainted Richard Attenborough in the last instalment of his Life...

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Death of the middle class architect

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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'. The Architects' Journal is lamenting the...

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How does your building smell?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Smell is probably the aspect of buildings we think about least, so it was fascinating when architect Hugh Broughton gave a talk at the Royal Geographic Society about his Halley VI research station this week to discover how important smell...

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Why we shouldn’t keep old people in the dark

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Old people's homes can be pretty depressing places, and more light would certainly help them to be more pleasant places. But according to an expert on sleep and neuroscience, it could also improve their mental health, helping to counteract the...

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New Year’s resolutions – not mine

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Are you planning any resolutions for this year? I am, but I am not about to share them here. Instead I am going to present the resolutions that engineering practice Max Fordham believes we should all make - and follow....

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It’s not all the same

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

When you travel to a foreign city, you can usually be fairly sure that the key buildings will remain the same. They may have had a little restoration and there may be a new museum or arts centre, but fundamentally...

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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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When genius is dogged determination

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

It was great to see architects David Marks and Julia Barfield occupying the 'How we made' slot in The Guardian yesterday, talking about the London Eye. It was great to see architects David Marks and Julia Barfield occupying the 'How...

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Hate traffic jams? Avoid Jakarta

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Lists of the world's best (or commonly most 'liveable' cities) are often pretty bland, They are places where nothing much goes wrong, where the air is good and the schools can teach and the traffic moves and where, quite frankly,...

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A fond farewell

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

How important are journalists to the architectural profession? They certainly have a part to play in making their work better known, and in shaping the public face of the profession. Not to mention that sometimes they can destroy or at...

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Strangers in the house

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

We might say blithely that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' but sometimes there are strangers not only at the gate, but inside the fortress. On Saturday there was an extraordinary kerfuffle outside my friend Gilly Shaw's house in Tooting,...

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Depressing view of India

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There is a very downbeat interview with Indian architect Charles Correa published by AFP, in which the great humanitarian architect bemoans the rapid growth of towers in Indian cities which he describes as 'the kind of cloned building that used to...

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Unfair deal for housing

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

There really is something mystifying about the Conservative Party's proposal to sell off social housing under a new right-to-buy scheme. It's just so old-fashioned. First of all, who would exercise this right? When Margaret Thatcher first introduced the idea, the...

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When is it time to let go?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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. We all love old houses don't we? And we should...

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Railway cottage renaissance?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

The idea of railway cottages sounds charmingly quaint and the remaining buildings, while frequently small (after all they were built for workers not plutocrats) have a certain appeal. It is their very no-nonsense pared down nature that makes them attractive....

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Art for all?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Today in his column in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/10/urban-public-art-developers-decoy-strategy-draped-seated-woman Oliver Wainwright takes a pop at public art. Today in his column in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/10/urban-public-art-developers-decoy-strategy-draped-seated-woman?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter  Oliver Wainwright takes a pop at public art. In some ways it is too easy a...

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A hard-headed look at architectural education

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

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

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Smelling the city

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

After my recent blog post on smells in the Antarctic, I was intrigued to come across this article in the Sheffield Star about a woman called Victoria Henshaw who has been conducting smell walks. After my recent blog post on...

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It’s a chill wind that blows everybody good

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
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...

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Keeping up with the news

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

I've come across some great stories online in the past few days. There was a lengthy and clever article about how much we could learn about city planning by studying ways that insects organise their communities. I've come across some...

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Paying for privacy?

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Posted by The Rooflight Company
19
May

Yesterday the London Evening Standard reported that follow the sinking pound caused by Brexit, the country is experiencing a tourist bonanza. So I was surprised but relieved that the new extension to Tate Modern was relatively quiet. Relieved because, despite the...

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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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