On Notetaking and Thrilling Wonder Stories II

Yesterday I attending a portion of Thrilling Wonder Stories II at the Architectural Association. The Cautionary Tales segment I sat in on included author Jeff VanderMeer, author Will Self and artist-author Paul Duffield. Will Self made a habit of walking from central London to Heathrow Airport and then walking from his destination airport to his… Continue reading On Notetaking and Thrilling Wonder Stories II

FAT Saturday: Thornton Heath Library & The Museum of Croydon

Thornton Heath Library Facing a weekend with nothing to do for the first time in ages, yesterday I set off to see the newly refurbished Thornton Heath Library by FAT Architects (or, more formally: Fashion Architecture Taste). It was also a good excuse to venture south of the Thames, something I don’t often do. Thornton… Continue reading FAT Saturday: Thornton Heath Library & The Museum of Croydon

Book review: Visual Planning and the Picturesque by Nikolaus Pevsner

While not truly a “lost” Pevsner book, this represents a monumental effort by editor Mathew Aitchison to pull together a huge amount of material compiled for a book on Picturesque town planning by Nikolaus Pevsner. While Pevsner intended to publish the material as a book, he never finished the manuscript and much of the material… Continue reading Book review: Visual Planning and the Picturesque by Nikolaus Pevsner

Nineteenth Century Landscape Urbanism at the Brent Reservoir

Within a short distance of where I live there is a large urban lake, The Brent Reservoir (or commonly known as the Welsh Harp, after the pub that used to stand next to it) that supports one of the most important bird habitats in southern England. Covering 110 acres, the reservoir is surrounded by mostly… Continue reading Nineteenth Century Landscape Urbanism at the Brent Reservoir

Timber Frame Construction: What’s wrong in the UK?

I spotted this article in Building Magazine about insurers threatening to pull cover for timber frame buildings.This, combined with highly publicized recent fires in London on building sites in Camberwell and Peckham. While investigations are ongoing, the whole thing seems a bit strange to me. Nearly all non-high rise apartment buildings in California are timber… Continue reading Timber Frame Construction: What’s wrong in the UK?

Brian Sewell: I don’t care what Clement Greenberg thinks about Arshile Gorky

In an article for today’s London Evening Standard titled Mother’s Boy art reviewer Brian Sewell discusses the new show at the Tate Modern, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective. In a¬†review that reveals far more about Sewell’s artistic preferences than the contents of the show, he states that Gorky, who escaped the Aremenian genocide as a young… Continue reading Brian Sewell: I don’t care what Clement Greenberg thinks about Arshile Gorky

Housing Showdown: Donnybrook Quarter and Robin Hood Gardens

Donnybrook Quarter is a recent award-winning low-rise scheme in Bow, London (map) by Peter Barber Architects, seen by many as as the antidote to the modernist tower and built as mixed-tenure housing for a social landlord. Robin Hood Gardens is a well-known and oft-disparaged brutalist structure from the 1970s by Alison & Peter Smithson,¬†stretched out… Continue reading Housing Showdown: Donnybrook Quarter and Robin Hood Gardens