Weather Architecture acknowledges the creative stimulus of inclement weather in the emblematic Rousham Garden by architect William Kent (1685-1748), whereby Jonathan Hill portrays the sense of the picturesque and rural idyll that pervades it.
Here the English empirical garden transcended the ancien régime by mixing allegory from ancient Rome with gothic and Arcadian symbols referring to [...]
German architect and publisher Philipp Meuser describes Pyongyang, the North Korean psycho regime’s capital, as ‘arguably the world’s best-preserved open-air museum of socialist architecture’. This publication offers a solid armchair trip through it. Volume 1 has photographs and descriptions furnished by the official Pyongyang Foreign Publishing House, without critical comment, but Volume 2 includes critical [...]
Just off Brick Lane, on Wentworth Street in London’s East End, is the Dellow Centre, new premises of the charity Providence Row that supports the homeless in Tower Hamlets and the City of London. London-based architect Featherstone Young has just completed a new arts and activity building on a site opposite the charity’s exisiting [...]
As a practice that prides itself on impacting on, but also extending beyond, architecture, the Dutch practice UNStudio has long had a resolute approach to the architectural discipline that stressed the importance of research and testing. What started as an art historian-architect collaboration between Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos 24 years ago has eloquently morphed into [...]
Aside from hardline left-wingers, no one would probably claim wholeheartedly that the failure of the big banks and massive bailouts in 2008 that led to rising unemployment, among other things, was a good thing. Can failure ever be for the good? It’s difficult to come to a conclusion because nobody likes to talk about their failures. The public [...]
Ever since Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mile-High City, architectural visions of self-contained, mega-scaled vertical cities have rarely gone far from the drawing board. However, one has just physically arisen, spectacularly and in public.
A fleet of 20 flying robots built a 600m-high vertical village – well, a 1:100 scale model anyway – designed by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, both [...]
In a bizarre and endearing moment of self-definition, the Bouroullecs once described themselves the ‘Fox’ (Ronan) and the ‘Hedgehog’ (Erwan), employing philosopher Isaiah Berlin’s categorisation of intellectuals, which divides them into ‘Foxes’, who know ‘many things’ and ‘Hedgehogs’, who know ‘one big thing’.
We used this as our starting point…
The Fox: Ronan Bouroullec
The elder of the [...]
The Notting Hill Carnival now attracts more than a million people to the streets of west London to join in what, after Rio’s, is the world’s largest street festival. It is one of the most diverse and exciting spectacles of social solidarity in the capital, and estimates say the annual event injects more than £90m [...]
What do Elizabeth Fry, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Sir John Houblon, Matthew Boulton and James Watt have in common? Have a look in your wallet and you may well see Fry, Darwin and Smith peering back at you from the fivers, tenners and twenties. You’re probably less likely to see Boulton and Watt as they’re [...]
‘100 bloody storeys! My god!’ exclaims Sir Terry Farrell, full of pride, craning his neck to take in the full 442m height of the just-completed KK100 tower in Shenzhen, China. ‘When something is finished, it takes a while to take it in, particularly when so many don’t get built. Is it real, is it there?’ [...]
When Union General Sherman led his troops across Georgia in the American Civil War he was not prepared to be moved from his course of destroy-and-conquer by any resisting faction, let alone by a single town’s charm. However, when he arrived in Savannah, instead of razing its buildings like Atlanta before it, he decided to [...]
Following his acclaimed films about fonts and industrial design, Helvetica and Objectified, the final instalment in director Gary Hustwit’s design trilogy focuses on 21st-century cities. Urbanized was conceived in 2007 while Hustwit was on screening tour with Helvetica. ‘I didn’t start these films with a thesis or agenda; they’ve really been explorations into subjects I’m curious [...]
The story of Pruitt-Igoe, the Fifties’ public housing project that Charles Jencks famously used to pinpoint the exact time of modernism’s death, is not a simple tale of blighted aesthetic ideals. Pruitt-Igoe is commonly used to illustrate modernism’s misgivings about public space and private dwellings, which are also attributed to Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. Now documentary The Pruitt-Igoe Myth [...]
‘Small’ can instinctively imply an unappealing, claustrophobic space. However, in Nano House: Innovations for small dwellings, Phyllis Richardson presents a collection of 43 ‘small’ dwellings and examines the feasibility of mini living spaces.
Where space is limited and energy use is a global concern, ‘nano’ houses, with versatility and appreciation for materials in their design, could [...]
‘Libraries Give us Power’ was the slogan above the door of Pillgwenlly Library, a statement that was adopted for the opening line of the 1996 Britpop anthem by the Manic Street Preachers, A Design for Life. The irony of beer-soaked ‘lads’ in Ben Sherman shirts swaying violently while extolling the virtues of democratic access to [...]
The Parrish Art Museum sits low and long under a deep roof among potato fields and tall grass. It is not yet complete but already its barn-like profile is a feature in the landscape, a silvery horizon. The museum in South Hampton, New York, has been designed by Swiss architecture practice Herzog and de Meuron [...]
Sat on the edge of Bute Park, in the shadow of Cardiff Castle (a gothic fantasy built for the 3rd Earl of Bute in 1873) is the home of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Founded in 1949, the school had a purpose-built facility erected in the Seventies on North Road, a major [...]
On a page well in to this generously proportioned and beautifully designed book, Saul Bass, a Life in Film and Design, is a photograph of Bass, taken in 1980, the protean designer sitting on an elegant Thonet bentwood chair, the visual fruits of his creative life mounted on a wall behind him: logos, pack designs, [...]
Rem Koolhaas, along with his OMA cohort, were hard to miss in October as the month saw the opening of their Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow and a mighty exhibition of work-in-progress at the Barbican, London. With the Rothschild HQ nearing completion in the City of London the Dutch practice has been busy in London since [...]
Blueprint has joined forces with the Design Museum for this year’s Designers in Residence and the call is going out now for applicants. The scheme gives recent graduates – within the past five years – a chance to explore work around a given theme and grow as a designer, with a bursary provided by the [...]