Enter the Serpentine Pavilion 2017 by African architect Francis Kéré

This is Diébédo Francis Kéré’s gentle architectural installation for the annual Serpentine Pavilion project. It will sit here on the lawns of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park in London until October encouraging the public to enter, sit, read, eat, interact. The 2017 Pavilion is a far cry from last year’s jazzy unzipped wall of cold, hard-edged metallic boxes by Bjarke Ingels. Whereas that was a brilliant visual statement and picture-perfect... Read More

Minimalist, utopian, playful: The Japanese House

‘Life can’t be contained within a single slot. People’s sense of living expands beyond it, effectively erasing all borders,’ says Ryue Nishizawa. I’m thinking of this as I roam around the life-size model of the Pritzker-prize winning SANAA architect’s Moriyama House. Built in Tokyo twelve years ago, it is a kind of living organism, working on the concept of the house as a small city, of urbanity nestled inside a building. Moriyama... Read More

Exploring the narrative of shopping

I try to shop locally, favouring smaller groceries, the butchers and fishmonger, fruit and veg markets, the independent bookstore and the few boutiques in my neighbourhood who support smaller designers. It involves a little more effort trekking from shop to shop and navigating crowded markets in the rain, but the experience is hugely rewarding. Each one of these establishments offers a very different experience, an unexpected find, fun conversation,... Read More

Residents: Inside the iconic Barbican estate

The Barbican, that twentieth century utopian vision, and one of the most documented housing projects in the world, is taking us for an intimate tour. A select group of its residence are letting us glimpse into their homes and hear their thoughts – all of which is documented in an intriguing new book Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate. #gallery-4 { margin: auto; } #gallery-4 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top:... Read More

Switch House opens at Tate Modern

This week saw the opening of London’s latest gallery dedicated to the display, screening and performance of contemporary art. Switch House at the Tate Modern is designed by Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron, and is the result of a twelve-year scheme. The £260m extension to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s former Bankside power station is the largest cultural project in London since the British Library was opened in 1998. #gallery-6... Read More

BIG’s Serpentine Pavilion and summer houses

There is a delicate neo-classical building on a little hill in the middle of Kensington Gardens nestled in thick grass and wild flowers and with views over the Long Water. You can see Henry Moore’s Arch across the water from here. I often run in Kensington Gardens stopping briefly by this romantic summer house. There is an old tree to its right – the trunk is a good size and perfect for a hand stand. Upside-down, the summer house is even more... Read More

Good design, better society

Navigating the streets of London these days can leave a blue note. This beautiful city has in the last few years transformed into a giant construction site – cranes occupying the skyline like arrogant robots. Central London, in particular, is a messy sight. In the years following the Second World War, a similar scale of construction saw buildings designed and erected to help restore a society. So we saw schools, hospitals, social housing... Read More

Exploring the power of architectural photography

The power of architectural photography, how it shapes our senses and directs our experience of space is explored in Building Images. The exhibition, currently running Sto Werkstatt in London until 25 March, features a selection from the 2015 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards. On show are work by overall winner Fernando Guerra, and short listed entrants Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre, Doublespace, Christopher Frederick Jones, Laurian Ghinitoiu, Mark... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by Selgascano

A series of colourful plastic cocoons lighten up Hyde Park on this unseasonably cold, wet summer’s day. They invite us to walk in and wander around the psychedelic maze. This is the Serpentine Pavilion as envisaged by Madrid-based architect Selgascano. And today it provides a much-needed refuge from the downpour. Sitting here in the central space whilst sipping coffee by Fortnum & Mason who are running the café, I cannot help but smile... Read More

House of Essex in picture

This is House of Essex, a fantasy world and a fusion of art and architecture. Overlooking the Stour estuary in north Essex, not so far from London, the building sits amidst Wrabness, awakening this otherwise sleepy village with its fantastically eccentric appearance. There is something of Hansel and Gretel about this collaboration between architect FAT and the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry for the Living Architecture series. #gallery-20... Read More

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