Architecture

‘The Yucca Motel’, 1995, by Fred Sigman

Geoff Dyer on the poetry of motels

22 June 2019 9:00 am

It’s to be expected. You take photographs in order to document things — Paris in the case of Eugène Atget…

‘Bolection’ and how the language of architecture was moulded

18 May 2019 9:00 am

A pleasant menagerie of words grazes in the field of architectural mouldings (the projecting or incised bands that serve useful…

How Camilla’s grandfather helped popularise the architecture Prince Charles detests

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Was the Bauhaus the most inspired art school of all time or the malignant source of an uglifying industrial culture…

Keble College chapel, Oxford, designed by William Butterfield, whose churches were an intentionally ugly rebuke to oppressive Georgian architecture

It’s ugliness, not beauty, that spurs us to action

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Timothy Hyde’s Ugliness and Judgment: On Architecture in the Public Eye is not about why we find things ugly. It’s…

Notre Dame from above (image: Lana Sator) and, right, Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster's Millau Viaduct (image: Bernard Jaubert / Imagebroker / Rex / Shutterstock)

Notre Dame is an architectural nullity

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Notre Dame is only important from a Shakespeare’s-birthplace point of view. Architecturally it is a nullity beside the cathedrals of…

A clear vision of Walter Gropius the man is hard to come by

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Walter Gropius (1883–1969) had the career that the 20th century inflicted on its architects. A master of the previous generation…

Polite postmodernism: Burbridge Close, Dagenham, by Peter Barber Architects is a recent housing development for the elderly that Roger Scruton approves of

Here’s what I want from modern architecture, explains housing tsar Roger Scruton

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The creation of a commission to examine beauty in new building created a stir in the media, with the chairman…

‘Wonderground Map of London Town’, 1914, by Max Gill

Not as good as his immoral brother Eric but still wonderful: Max Gill at Ditchling reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill (1884–1947) is less well known than his notorious brother, Eric. But was he less of a designer,…

Twiggy photographed by Justin de Villeneuve in the Rainbow Room at Big Biba, early 1970s. [JUSTIN DE VILLENEUVE]

A short history of art deco – from high art to two-tone shoes, garden gates to Twiggy

1 December 2018 9:00 am

On 10 September 1973 the 1930s Kensington High Street department store formerly known as Derry & Toms reopened as Big…

The Statue of Liberty, photographed during a partial solar eclipse. ‘Far from being a cheerful present from one nation to another, Liberty is a subversive and occult statement’

The Statue of Liberty is a deeply sinister icon

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Immigrants to the United States in the late 19th century discovered in Upper New York Bay, after a long, uncomfortable…

Gothic revival: Strawberry Hill House

Strawberry Hill revived

20 October 2018 9:00 am

We can’t know what Horace Walpole would make of the continuing popularity of serendipity, a word he coined in 1754…

‘Your Britain: Fight for it Now’, 1942, by Abram Games

Is modernist architecture unhealthy?

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Architects and politicians have a lot in common. Each seeks to influence the way we live, and on account of…

Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic

Modernist architecture only worked for the wealthy

4 August 2018 9:00 am

It was Le Corbusier who famously wrote that ‘A house is a machine for living in’ (‘Une maison est une…

One of Britain’s first mosques, the Shah Jahan,Woking, completed in 1889 and financed by the female ruler of Bhopal

The problem with British mosques

30 June 2018 9:00 am

My earliest memory of a mosque is being with my father in London’s Brick Lane Mosque. He was a member…

Extension of credit: the vaults, part of David Chipperfield’s redevelopment of the Royal Academy

How lucky we are to have the Royal Academy

26 May 2018 9:00 am

What is the Royal Academy? This question set me thinking as I wandered through the crowds that celebrated the opening…

Garden of earthly delights: horticultural apprentice Emma Love in the newly reopened Temperate House at Kew

The real stars of Kew’s newly restored Temperate House

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The glasshouses at Kew Gardens are so popular that they can be quite unbearably busy at weekends. And why shouldn’t…

The Church at Vétheuil, 1878

The public are quite right to love Monet

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Think of the work of Claude Monet and water lilies come to mind, so do reflections in rippling rivers, and…

In 1985 it was ‘the most expensive building ever built’: HSBC’s Hong Kong headquarters designed by Norman Foster

From Stansted to corporate swank: superstructuralism has a lot to answer for

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Amid the thick of the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale dispatched a plea to the Times deploring the lethal conditions of…

A blue-and-white loggia overlooks the entrance to the Residence in Tunis

Mission statement: the importance of a fine British embassy

16 December 2017 9:00 am

At first blush this looks like one of those run-of-the-mill coffee-table books published just for the Christmas market — expensively…

The Russian summer embassy at Büyükdere on the Upper Bosphorus, built in 1840 for General Nikolai Ignatiev. The Tsar’s envoy is said to haunt it still

A love letter to Turkey’s lost past

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Patricia Daunt’s collection of essays is a fascinating exploration of some of Turkey’s most beautiful and evocative places, from the…

The old ways

28 October 2017 9:00 am

I’m sitting across a café table from a young man with a sheaf of drawings that have an archive look…

More secrets and symbols

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Being reflexively snotty about Dan Brown’s writing is like slagging off Donald Trump’s spelling: it just entrenches everyone’s position. In…

The Factory (image: OMA/Factory)

The Bilbao effect

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Twenty years ago I wrote of the otherwise slaveringly praised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: I’m in a minority of, apparently,…

Perception vs objective reality

21 October 2017 9:00 am

I hate to tell you this, but every time you watch television you are being duped. In fact there are…

The Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, a beautiful ‘lost’ Victorian playhouse, is still used for concerts and music-hall evenings, and by small opera companies

Pleasure palaces and hidden gems

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Theatre buildings are seriously interesting – as I ought to have appreciated sooner in the course of 25 years writing…