Wood Warbler

May 25, 2015


Shortly after dawn the shaggy New Forest ponies shuffle around in the low mist with the cows on the meadow as the sun slowly starts to heat the day. Among the trees the birds are vocally excited by the new day and there is warmth and shelter enough to keep the moisture at bay. The […]

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Posted in: Nature, Trees

Igloo Building

November 1, 2012


All roads out of Bucharest are closed. The first heavy snow of the season is proving a challenge, even for seasoned Romanians. As the locals continue to persevere with their daily business, a group of marooned IARD (International Architectural Regeneration & Development) students turn their attention to the virgin snow of their nearest park. The […]

The Neuse Museum

August 30, 2011


If the 21st century has a defining style so far, The Neuse Museum in Berlin could certainly be the face of it. This recent emergent from under the knife of David Chipperfield is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In a time of reclamation and touchy-feely tendencies, when the word ‘vintage’ is grossly over-used […]

The Midgets of Dreamland

April 2, 2011


Fire rages across the fantastical cityscape of Dreamland, the painted faces of the midgets melting in the heat as they face off against the flames from their half-sized fire truck. The drama of Hades tearing into the starry night sky is projected on the passive, sleeping mass of the ocean only yards away. A constant […]

Living Willow Dome Construction

January 15, 2011


The charismatic willow has a well-established presence in our minds, and not surprisingly, it has all sorts of cultural roles and traditional applications. Poets and writers are continuously captivated. It’s even possible the tree once stood at the very centre of spiritual folklore in this country when pagan belief said that a willow gave birth […]

Abha – Traditional Architecture

December 19, 2010


Amidst the mountain tops of the Asir region in the far south-west of Saudi Arabia lies the town of Abha. The place is green and a good ten degrees cooler than the desert, only half an hour’s drive below. The air is clean and pure and from your lofty foothold you frequently face fantastic thunderstorms […]

The Female Form

November 24, 2010


Is there such a thing as feminine architecture? Or architectural gender at all? For 99% of our history buildings have been designed and built by men. Only very recently, relatively speaking, have women been able to enter the fray. It’s perhaps natural that in the beginning they had to emulate men in order to gain […]

Posted in: Architecture

Unknown Legend

October 21, 2010


The edges of the long vanishing stretch of tarmac are obscured by great swaths of sand, merging it with the desert on either side. Gusts of wind blow lacey waves across our path, dust dancing lightly on the surface, continually in motion, never settling to cover the road. A nine year old boy behind the […]

Posted in: Saudi Arabia, Writing

Architecture For The Poor

October 3, 2010


In the 1940’s Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy attempted to start an architectural revolution. Soon after dedicating himself to rural or ‘peasant’ architecture and starting work with the Nubian Vault roofing and mud brick building techniques, Fathy took on the enormous and not-so envious task of re-locating the inhabitants of the village ‘Gourna’, near Luxor in […]

It’s Only Words

September 30, 2010


Words are funny old things (I hope your weren’t expecting a more original opening sentence). I find that words have the ability to provoke the most inappropriate irrational response and I mean solely based on their own merits, nothing to do with the context in which they’re used. Maybe it’s just me but I despise […]

Posted in: Society