Do Ho Suh’s magical fabric spaces

Do Ho Suh’s exhibition, Passages, at the Victoria Miro gallery focuses on the spaces we easily overlook; the spaces between spaces, the corridors, hallways and lobbies that link the significant places in our lives. He gets us to see them afresh in a novel way – by presenting them as sheer gauze walls in zinging colours. Continue reading

Flying fish and warring roses – what kind of bank is this?

Lloyds Bank Law courts BranchThe thing about London is, stuff gets reused. Buildings get reused. There used to be a restaurant at Aldwych called Bank because, you guessed it, the building used to be a bank. And the most fantastical bank in town used to be a restaurant.  Continue reading

Aga Khan Museum Toronto 

Aga Khan Museum Toronto2016 seems to be my year for visiting brand new museums. After the Tate Modern extension last month, I can add the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto to my haul. Not quite so new as the Tate, as it opened in 2014, but my excuse is it’s further to go. And a spectacular catch it is too, particularly impressive on the day we visited when the sun blazed down and the temperature was in the thirties. Continue reading

The Big Zipper – the Serpentine Pavilion 2016

Serpentine Pavilion 2016Every year the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens commissions a temporary summer pavilion to stand next to the gallery and showcase new architecture. They’re always amazing structures, innovative and completely different to each other, and the architect is always one who hasn’t yet built anything in the UK. This year we’ve been spoilt – besides the main pavilion there are four summer houses by different architects to choose from. Continue reading

The new Tate Modern extension

Tate Modern extensionThe new extension to the Tate Modern opened this week. It’s a ten story brick structure called the Switch House, that towers over the original six story Tate Modern, now called the Boiler House. Naturally, I headed down there as soon as I could, to take a look before the shine wears off. Here’s what I found.

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Winter in the Sky Garden

Sky GardenI was a bit dubious when Yannick suggested going to see the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie building on a rather grey December day. I’d seen all those lovely sunny photos people had taken back in the summer and I couldn’t help feeling we just weren’t going to get the right light. But you know what? We got something just as interesting – an atmospheric smoky glow with a charm all its own. Plus a bonus as the early sunset showed us the garden after dark as well. Continue reading

The loveliest staircase in London – at St Pancras Hotel

St Pancras HotelIt’s a bit like a fairy story where the princess is stolen from her parents and raised in poverty until her beauty and grace identify her as a true aristocrat. Only the princess in this case is a building; the present day St Pancras Hotel, which began life in 1873 as the Midland Grand Hotel, one of the most beautiful buildings in London, fell on hard times, and was triumphantly rescued by a prince in the form of the Poet Laureate, John Betjeman. Continue reading

Hornsey Town Hall – Rescue or Ruin?

Hornsey Town HallHornsey Town Hall is a Grade II listed Art Deco building in the centre of Crouch End, an urban village in North London popular with actors and artists. It was built in 1935 as the Town Hall for the Municipal Borough of Hornsey and has been looking for a new function ever since Hornsey became part of the London Borough of Haringey in 1965.  Continue reading

Architecture for the Instagram Generation – the Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine PavilionHave you taken your photos of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion yet? I have. It’s irresistibly psychedelic, as though the sixties had come back to life in Kensington Gardens. The pavilion may look odd as you walk past it on a sunless day, but go inside when the sun’s shining and you won’t be able to resist getting out the phone and snapping away.  Continue reading

Book Review – The Art of Japanese Architecture

THE ART OF JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE

I’m an ebook person most of the time. I like being able to download a book and start reading instantly, and I like that when I’ve finished I don’t have a book to clutter up my shelves. But I’ll make an exception for a beautifully illustrated book like The Art of Japanese Architecture. Continue reading