Expansion Joint


Gathering Momentum at the Barbican

It’s very, very dark, the gloom only lifted by strange lights, some swinging above your head, others seemingly gliding like mini spacecraft. An otherwordly soundtrack completes the disorienting experience, which feels like being inside some sort of giant walk-through scanning machine... 

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Part L: A whole load of hot air

Jan-Carlos Kucharek - PIP
So, the 2014 Part L Regulations will be out this month, which should be received by an underwhelmed profession’s collective raspberry, with new build homes falling short of the government’s original proposed targets by 2%, at 6%, and the 9% uplift in efficiency standards for non-domestic buildings  in fact 11% down from the 20% the consultation was asking for. BRAC’s own Peter Caplehorn, in this month’s RIBA Journal, said that it ‘diverges from the trajectory we need for a zero carbon 2016’. 

Prison break

Jan-Carlos Kucharek - PIP
If you were allocated a cell on ‘B’ block, or insubordinate enough to have earned a stay in one of its solitary confinement cells, your fellow inmates would have called you one of the luckiest men on Alcatraz

Horses for courses

Jan-Carlos Kucharek - PIP
A flamboyant stair dominates the equine-themed conversion of the Napoleonic Stud to a stylish hotel.

Respirate to Innovate

Eleanor Young - PIP
 ‘The demands of carbon reduction mean that a pipeline of innovation is needed,’ said Peter Hindle bluntly. Not such a surprising statement for someone who has the words ‘sustainable habitat’ in his job title.

War effort

Hugh Pearman - PIP
“Clear away the clutter” we say, when restoring an old house back to something approaching its original appearance. 

Enter the RIBA Journal's drawing competition

When we launched Eye Line last year, 250 of you entered, from all over the world. Clearly our idea – that this award should recognise the pure art of architecture, as distinct from functionality or buildability – struck a chord...  

Gathering Momentum at the Barbican

Pamela Buxton
It’s very, very dark, the gloom only lifted by strange lights, some swinging above your head, others seemingly gliding like mini spacecraft. An otherwordly soundtrack completes the disorienting experience, which feels like being inside some sort of giant walk-through scanning machine. 

Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess

Pamela Buxton
If Giovanni Battista Piranesi were around today, he’d be thrilled with the opportunities of 3D printing. So says Jerzy J. Kierkuć-Bieliński, curator of the new exhibition Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess, which explores the important relationship between Soane and Piranesi, the Italian architect, printmaker and antiquarian. 

New housing: old models – Estate of the Nation

Jo McCafferty 
Having spent a stunning winter’s day in the sun on the Whittington Estate in Camden, I walked back home reflecting on CABE’s ‘Estate of the Nation’ seminar hosted by NLA, writes Jo McAfferty of Levitt Bernstein...

Designing with Nature

Pamela Buxton
Designers have long looked to nature for inspiration. But the Architecture Foundation’s new installation Designing with Nature is rather more complex than merely burrowing form. 

In the making

Pamela Buxton
For the Design Museum exhibition In The Making, designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have pressed the pause button during the production process to capture everyday objects in unfamiliar states...

Photograph | St Mary Woolnoth church

Hugh Pearman
St Mary Woolnoth church, City of London, 1716-24, Architect Nicholas Hawksmoor

Kimbell Art Museum, Texas

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
Renzo Piano's Kimbell extension is both reflection and antithesis to Louis Kahn's museum, light to its dark...

Exhibition preview | One giant leap

Hugh Pearman
A critical shift took place in the development of architecture when a post-war blaze of High Tech swept aside the old ways of building...

Louis Kahn and the Commodores

Theo Bishop
In 1972 Louis Kahn travelled to London to receive the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. What is not commonly known is that the next day...

A letter to a column

Marwa Al-Sabouni
People get sentimental about ancient architecture, but express their appreciation of modern architecture so fulsomely...

Empire Builders at the V&A

Pamela Buxton
Just as China and the Middle East have provided an architectural feeding frenzy for many a UK practice of late, for the entrepreneurial architect, the British Empire offered plenty of opportunities to win juicy commissions on a whole different scale to that back home...

Bonhams auction house, London

Hugh Pearman
Bonhams' recreated headquarters has swept to completion with a flourish, despite complications en route

Great Mosque at Djenné, Mali

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
It’s ironic that Berlin-based photographer Christian Richters chooses his image of the 19th century Great Mosque at Djenné in Mali as one of his personal favourites, for it has, in recent history, been...

An American in London

Pamela Buxton
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was a dandy. With his luxuriant curls, jauntily worn hat and immaculate attire, this man about town might have been expected to restrict the subject matter for his work from the fashionable people and places of the day...

Rebuild radiant architecture | Homs, Syria

Marwa Al-Sabouni
One feature of the Syrian society is the coexistence of many different religions. Christians have always lived next to Muslims here, mosques were built near to churches with a peaceful harmony...

Confidence tricks | Maria Smith

Maria Smith

Do awards like YAYA really make you feel good or do they just feed youthful insecurities?

High-rise exhibition, Peter Bobby

Pamela Buxton
High-rise, the exhibition by artist Peter Bobby, offers a very different take on the tall, iconic building. Instead of familiarity and individuality, his photographs depict buildings that are anonymous despite their height, and are cut-off, dislocated from the city...

Pop Art Design, Barbican Gallery

Pamela Buxton
Pop Art Design is an immensely appealing show – exuberant, colourful and packed full of work by the big names such as Warhol, Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Sottsass, Eames. 

Tomorrow in Homs

Marwa Al-Sabouni
War zones can clear the way for new architecture, but for those living in them there are more immediate concerns

Architecture in Antarctica

Pamela Buxton
Architecture in Antarctica is among the most cutting-edge built today, yet it is only a century since buildings were first constructed there...

V&A's fashion collection | Pamela Buxton

Pamela Buxton
A Victoria & Albert Museum conservator is carefully handling tiny doll’s house furniture made out of the stems of feathers. Nearby, a flayed mouse – complete with tiny ears - makes for a suitably grand doll’s house rug...

RIBAJ120: Blurring the Boundaries

RIBAJ120 evening debates
Eleanor Young

Beyond the building and beyond the profession, Blurring the Boundaries, the last in the RIBAJ120 Series talks supported by Gerflor, was an energetic evening of discussion. With panel experience of regenerating, designing, analysing and advising in cities...

RIBAJ120: Home and Away

RIBAJ120 evening debates
Eleanor Young

‘Winning International Work’ is the subject of many seminars on markets and strategies, writes Eleanor Young. But for this RIBAJ 120 discussion, supported by Gerflor, the focus was firmly on the big questions of why practices choose to work abroad...

The voice of pain | Daniel Libeskind

Kate Clare
Hearing voices is most commonly associated with insanity and lunacy. Daniel Libeskind, the iconic US-based architect, artist and designer turned this notion on its head at the RIBA’s Annual Stephen Lawrence Memorial lecture...

Endless Stair by dRMM

Pamela Buxton
Given the task of creating an installation out of cross laminated tulipwood to mark this month’s London Design Festival, dRMM’s Alex de Rijke was keen to create something that wasn’t just art but was ‘useful art’.

Paul Smith's tantalising shopfront by 6a

Pamela Buxton
It’s a busy time for Paul Smith. Not only does he have a retrospective at the Design Museum coming up this Autumn, but he’s just opened a new London flagship on Albemarle Street in Mayfair.

100% Design

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
100% Design 2013 runs from 18-21 September 2013 at Earl’s Court, London. From the hundreds of products there, these nine caught Jan-Carlos Kucharek's eye

Making Friends

Pamela Buxton
Sir Hugh Casson Making Friends is a delightful exhibition of a remarkable career. This relatively small but packed show is staged fittingly at the Royal Academy, which Casson (1910-1999), revitalised in his stint as president from 1976-1984.

New Industrial Revolution

Pamela Buxton
The Industrial Revolution took place ages ago, right? Wrong. The Design Museum’s stimulating new exhibition The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution

RIBAJ Briefing | CBRE

RIBA Journal briefing
Join us and our partners CBRE as we examine the current trend in office design and development as we case study Derwent London's new White Collar Building...

We Made 2012

Pamela Buxton
One of the few sour notes of last year’s Olympics extravaganza was the restriction on the architects and designers involved promoting their work for the event...

RIBAJ120 series: Collective Conscience

RIBAJ120 Evening Debates
Collective Conscience | 11 July 2013: The Fight Back. One of the big questions about conscience is when and where it comes into play, writes Eleanor Young. ​Full video highlights here.  

Newcastle's new phase

Pamela Buxton
With its high-level views over the Tyne, arriving by train in Newcastle has always been an exciting experience. Now Newcastle’s riverside is about to enter another phase of regeneration.

Wood Awards | Wonderful wood

Wood Awards 2013
This year’s Awards have turned up more exquisite and imaginative projects, painstakingly reduced to a shortlist of just 30

RIBAJ120 series: Counting the Difference | 27 June 2013: The Fight Back

RIBAJ120 Evening Debates
Counting the Difference | 27 June 2013: The Fight Back. Fighting back was the mood of the architects gathered to discuss Counting the Difference as part of the RIBA J 120 Series with Gerflor, writes Eleanor Young. ​Full video highlights here.  


RIBAJ 120 Evening Debates
To celebrate our 120th anniversary, the RIBA Journal, in association with partner Gerflor, presents a programme of debates. ​Book your place.  

Changing face of Victoria

Pamela Buxton
When I first came to London over 20 years ago, my first job was in Queen Anne’s Gate not far from London’s Victoria Station. Yet despite its proximity both to the station and to Westminster, the area around Victoria Street was decidedly sleepy...

Lead Sheet Association | RIBA Journal promotion

The RIBAJ in association with the Lead Sheet Association wants to find the best examples of new buildings using this material.  The RIBA Journal will publish the best examples as part of a special feature...

Britain's Secret Homes

Pamela Buxton
If walls could talk, what stories could they tell us asks Britain’s Secret Homes, yet another tv programme about houses...

Calder After the War

Pamela Buxton
There’s an exquisite piece in the new Alexander Calder exhibition entitled Rat, whose whiskery form only crystallises in its carefully cast shadow...

United Micro Kingdoms | A Design Fiction

Pamela Buxton
Dunne and Raby's latest exhibition United Micro Kingdoms – A Design Fiction is not so much a design show but an exploration of four different ways of living in the future...

10 Instagram photo sets to giveaway

RIBAJ giveaway
We’re giving 10 readers who use the photo-sharing site the chance to win a set of their Instagram photos printed onto custom Polaroid, courtesy of our friends at Origrami...

Designs of the Year 2013

Pamela Buxton
The Design Museum’s annual Designs of the Year show is always a curious mish-mash of an exhibition, but in a good way...

The Banality of Good

Pamela Buxton
With triptychs and a hint of an altar, The Banality of Good: Six decades of New Towns, Architects, Money and Politics show at the RIBA draws on religious iconography...

Time Team | Archive detectives

Michael Blair
Any doubt over the value of archives is lavishly dispelled by the forensic refurbishment of the elegant Art Deco entrance to Claridge's Hotel...

Exclusive giveaway | Deck the walls

Surface View giveaway
To celebrate the arrival of spring, RIBA Journal has teamed up with digital wizard, Surface View, to offer readers the chance to win one of five 1500 x 1500mm canvas prints, up to the value of £400 each. Best bit? You get to choose which print will give an industrial-style edge to your living space...

Thai cafe culture

Pamela Buxton
Naamyaa, located in the Angel Building in Islington, London, is the first of what is hoped will be many of the new café concept, whose highly eclectic menu encompasses everything from...

BDA Innovation Day | Video

BDA Innovation Day
Last month, the Brick Development Association (BDA) which represents the UK brick industry brought together a variety of speakers from artists and architects to manufacturers, contractors and engineers as part of their Innovation Day...

Prototyping Architecture

Pamela Buxton
It’s refreshing to encounter an architectural exhibition that’s not about the finished article. Prototyping Architecture is instead interested in the process behind the development...

Video: In conversation with Zumthor

Tony Chapman
RIBA Journal exclusive cut: Tony Chapman of the RIBA went to Switzerland to interview Peter Zumthor on his home turf on craft, clients, Stonehenge in Devon and conversation versus trust.

Spas in their eyes

Pamela Buxton
Of all Peter Zumthor’s works, the Thermal Baths at Vals in Switzerland tends to be the building that architects rave about the most.

Your Zumthor: Instagram

Thanks to our growing Instagram community for sharing some wonderful images of Zumthor and his architectural masterpieces.

Excalibur's end

Pamela Buxton
It’s lasted more than 60 years, but this Spring, time finally runs out for the Britain’s largest prefab estate, the Excalibur.

Retail therapy

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
When American Harry Gordon Selfridge opened his eponymous department store in London in 1909, one of the many attractions of his retail emporium was his Silence Room.

V&A Furniture Room

Pamela Buxton
“People are fascinated with how things are made,” says Nick Humphrey, co-curator of the new permanent furniture gallery at the V&A – surprisingly the museum’s first devoted to the subject...

Ronchamp revisited

Pamela Buxton
If ever a setting was naturally perfect, it’s the hilltop location of Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp. On a clear day, the views away from the chapel towards the Vosges mountains...

The Perfect Place to Grow

Pamela Buxton
As it expands its Battersea campus and greatly increases its student numbers, the Royal College of Art is fast-changing. This hugely enjoyable anniversary exhibition of work by alumni and staff...

Jewels of the Soane

Pamela Buxton
Ever fancied dangling the plan of the Pantheon from your ears or sporting the Colosseum around your neck? If so, that’s another good reason to visit the Soane Museum...

Exclusive giveaway worth £2,300

Hosu chair by Coalesse
The best dressed office will be wearing bright, confident and solid blocks of colour like this zesty yellow ‘Hosu’ chair by Coalesse. Designed for laidback working by Patricia Urquiola the chair, worth £2,300, could be yours! Simply enter our giveaway for your chance to win...

The housing revolution starts here

After a year of thorough, wide-ranging research involving all the key players in new housing around the country, the RIBA’s Future Homes Commission, chaired by former CBI director Sir John Banham, has produced its report.

Win in our Oct giveaway

Our October giveaway is a stylish ampersand lamp created by London-based designers Goodwin+Goodwin and worth £125. Casting a soft glow, the little typographic lamp has been fashioned out of white powder-coated...

Class of their own

Pamela Buxton
The government’s new edict for cut-price school buildings made me appreciate the last hurrahs of the previous government’s BSF school building programme as I made the long pilgrimage...

V&A Prism break

Pamela Buxton
The most successful art installations are those that tell you something about the location, as well as the art itself. In this way Prism, created at the Victoria & Albert Museum during the recent London Design Festival...

Video: Tent London highlights

The buzz around Tent London gets louder every year. Our digital editor Sara Loane paced around the Old Truman Brewery in the lively Brick Lance area of east London to soak up the show's many highlights... Watch the footage.

Win in our September giveaway

Sheffield-based design studio, Psalt Design, is giving away one of its eye-catching fishbowls, retailing at £295 and reminiscent of a drop of water just about to run over the edge. It's like FInding Nemo but in the Twilight Zone!

Weird, Wonderful and Wacky

Pamela Buxton
So many exhibitions seem overstretched and thin. In contrast the Royal Academy’s diminutive Weird, the Wacky and the Wonderful display feels like a fertile subject crying out for further treatment in a bigger space...

Letter from Helsinki

Pamela Buxton
London’s not the only city with the 2012 suffix. Helsinki is World Design Capital 2012 – an accolade, given for accomplishment in design, which anyone who spends even just a few short days in the city will agree is an excellent fit...

Hard Landscaping

Eleanor Young
Public spaces are hard. Argent’s new Granary Square in London’s King’s Cross designed by Townshend Landscape Architects shows some of the problems...

Inadequate housing, period

Eleanor Young
Period features’ is a much used phrase in estate agent speak. Yes, ‘period features’ are selling points. But it turns out that what people are longing for is not architraves and ceiling roses but the generous windows, large rooms and high ceilings...

Climb the Titanic

Eleanor Young
Eric Kuhne’s design for the Titanic Belfast rises to the height of the deck of the long sunk ship and, inside, there is the grand first class staircase immortalized in James Cameron’s movie. Installing a ‘piece’ of the ship seems an obvious move. But it was no such thing...


Eleanor Young
One hundred days to the Olympics? Can it be still so far away?

Who is my neighbour?

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s new report on sustainable urban neighbourhoods was launched at the end of last month at the RICS HQ, facing the Houses of Parliament. Stage and hall were packed, but wasn’t it just preaching to the converted?

Torch bearer

Gymnast in the 1972 Munich Olympics Yvonne Arnold took her skills to Bexley where, with her husband, she set up the Europa Gym with dance, boxing and martial arts...

Hermann Hertzberger Gold Medal lecture

With the expectant audience at the RIBA’s Jarvis Hall sitting in front of the Jarvis Hall’s computer controlled projection screen, waiting to hear the 2012 Gold Medal recipient Hermann Hertzberger’s Gold Medal lecture...

Attitudes to low carbon homes

Eleanor Young
As debate rages over methods of assessing and labeling sustainability the NHBC Foundation has asked the views of industry and occupiers...

Design Museum

Eleanor Young
The Design Museum has revealed its £80 million plans for the grade 2* listed Commonwealth Institute...

Box of delights

Clad in golden shingles and sparkly bricks in honour of its position on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, designed with a tall window to frame the Blackpool Tower itself, this is a squatter rival tower, dubbed the “Tower of Love”...

A feed-in pushmi pullyu

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
The latest figures on solar energy make for painful reading. Since the coalition government’s decision to cut feed-in tariffs by over half after December 12th 2011, solar electricity installation has all but collapsed in the UK...

Civic Trust Awards

The Civic Trust Awards shortlist has brought out the best and worthiest buildings and projects.

Drawing in the City

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
A wrong turn has raised £82,000 for charity at the 10x10 ‘Drawing in the City’ event, an ‘art by architects’ auction that took place last week at London’s German Gymnasium for UK Development and disaster relief charity Article 25.

A brave new world - RIBA President’s Medals 2011

Silver Medal winner Kibwe Tavares stole the show at the presentation of the RIBA Presidents’ Medals last night. His Robots of Brixton Part 2 project has already proved a hit on YouTube and Vimeo for its animation elemen...

Housing help?

Eleanor Young
A new housing strategy for England has pulled together a plethora of announcements on planning, development, mortgage finance and housing benefit...

From Palace to Palazzo

Hugh Pearman
When opened in 1915 by the Lyons organisation, London’s Regent Palace Hotel, just north of Piccadilly Circus, was Europe’s largest...

Pavilion of Protest

Robert Pike reports on the architecture student creative protest at the RIBA’s Florence Hall (until November 15)...

OMA: Show and (don’t) tell

Jan-Carlos Kucharek
The new OMA ‘Progress’ show,  documenting the last twenty years output by the now world-famous architectural firm is full of some big gestures, but none so big as the main move they made to open the never before opened west entrance of the art gallery at level three...

Facade to flame

Eleanor Young
Krzystof Wodiczko is professor of art, design and the public domain at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard. But, more than that, he is an artist of the city...

The new Central St. Martins

Words:  Hugh Pearman
Photos: Hufton+Crow

The King’s Cross Railway Lands have been slated for redevelopment for at least a quarter century. And finally - what’s this? The former badlands are suddenly inhabited with the gorgeous peacock students of the famous...

Galloping Nouvel

Across the river from Manhattan in DUMBO, Brooklyn is a new attraction...

Golden horn

Carlos Kucharek
For a city that was based around the orthogonal grid of a Roman garrison town, my first question would be why architect Rafael Viñoly chose a spiral form for his Colchester Visual Arts Centre.

2012 legacy design chief

Eleanor Young
Kathryn Firth has joined the Olympic Park Legacy Company as chief of design. Eleanor Young spoke to her about how she plans to influence the design there...

Poster pediments and post modernism

Eleanor Young.
Opening this weekend the Postmodernism show at the V&A is likely to attract more attention than its recent show on the Aesthetic movement but probably fewer visitors...

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