Archive of posts in category “architecture”

  • A beautiful building, designed by Marc Thorpe, that appears to float over the surface of Crystal Lake in New York.


  • Architectural Review has a great piece on Peter Barber, the revolutionary architect who has designed and built some of the most forward-thinking social housing in the UK.

    Barber himself is a product of an era in which social housing was prioritised and popular:

    “Barber was a student in 1979, the year when the proportion of the British population living in council housing peaked at 42 per cent (today the figure is approximately 8 per cent). Britain’s first few council houses were built in the 1860s… but it was only in the aftermath of two world wars that central government ramped up funding – first in 1919 and then again in 1945 – for council-house building to gain real momentum. Completions peaked with around 150,000 homes built each year.”

    His work is a direct challenge both to the Thatcherite view that social housing is inevitably unpleasant, shameful, and unliveable, and the modernist view that social housing should be built on a towering scale.

    I particularly like the bright-white, Mediterranean-inspired Donnybrook Quarter in Bow…

    Donnybrook Quarter, Bow, London E3

    …and the stately brick car-lessness of this development on the Becontree Estate in Dagenham, which cleverly built on a cut-through between two roads while maintaining the pedestrian access:

    Burbridge Close, Ilchester Road, Dagenham


  • Oliver Wainwright sums up the cycles of pessimism that we’ve had when it comes to tall office buildings, ending on a bullish note:

    “But a chorus of urban theorists argue that it will ultimately be impossible for the human species to resist the lure of density. In their new book, Survival of the City, Harvard economics professors Ed Glaeser and David Cutler write that ‘the ability of cities to enable the joys of human interactions and shared experiences may be their greatest protection against urban exodus’.”