Words v. Vision

Words v. Vision

The cheapest brick box with a concrete tile pitched roof, plastic windows and a bolt-on porch is not “traditional design”. Winding ribbon tarmac roads, random plots, car dominated layouts, a few token patches of planting and a handful of fortunately protected trees does not make a sustainable place. Yet the...

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 Astronomy, mathematics and architecture.

 Astronomy, mathematics and architecture.

Sir Christopher Wren was one of Britain’s most remarkable renaissance men. Prior to his intellect being drawn to the topic of architecture in his early 30s, he had studied Latin, philosophy, all aspects of mathematics, anatomy, surveying, mechanics, optics and meteorology. He had been Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College and...

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The Crack that lets in the Light

The Crack that lets in the Light

If a journey begins with a single step, so an architect’s design begins with a single line. Yards multiply to become miles, lines on blank paper may emerge as no more than a walk to the bus or expand into a great adventure. A journeyman’s best attempt, or a path...

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How, why and where do we go from here?

How, why and where do we go from here?

Should we be surprised that the lockdowns have caused an alarming rise in mental illness across all generations of our society? Is this an outcome of the lack of human interaction that we crave or is there more? Why is it that Covid outbreaks have hit more deprived urban communities...

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Wanted: “Head of Placemaking”.

Wanted: “Head of Placemaking”.

If you fail to maintain the tyres on your car and are unlucky enough to hit a cluster of potholes puncturing all four tyres at once, speeding up will not solve the problem of arriving at your destination. You may lose all control and arrive in a ditch at the...

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Build Back to Health

Build Back to Health

Britain’s current government is good at sound bite slogans, it’s how they won the election and tipped the close-run Brexit referendum vote. Boris has recently announced the intention to invest in infrastructure, hospitals, schools, transport and housing. He, Rishi Sunak and their advisors will need to do more to speed...

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Iran, or is it Persia?

Iran, or is it Persia?

Persia has one of the longest, most inventive and sophisticated, yet least known or understood civilisations. Like all Empires, it has had eras of dreadful bloodshed and wars. The Persian Wars against Greece ended with the iconoclastic sacking of the Parthenon in 479 BC. In 515 BC, Darius I had...

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Between the Mountain and the Water

Between the Mountain and the Water

Emerging from the riverside in Shanghai, Thomas Heatherwick Studio’s latest imaginative building complex is nearing completion. Planning permission had been granted for two conventional shopping mall blocks. Developer, Tian An China wanted something that spoke to the context of water and the adjacent park. The adventurous design of two tree...

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Breaking New Ground

Breaking New Ground

The art and process of building has always required a mixture of skills, teamwork and perseverance. It is in large part heavy, dirty, physical hard work. To build a major construction company takes courage, time, perseverance and wilful organisational ability and drive. It is a risky business, predicting the pricing...

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