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Tommy Sheppard, director of the new Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Fringe programme, proudly opens the door to a large ballroom decorated with an imposing crystal chandelier and some stunning, freshly painted cornices.

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Observations: The highlights of the East End, as seen from the saddle

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Architect and TV presenter Kevin McCloud

Architecture's Oscars: Kevin McCloud and Alain de Botton could be shortlisted for Stirling Prize after Riba success

Today, Kevin McCloud and Alain de Botton are positively pink-cheeked with pride. Buildings commissioned by the prickle-quiffed Grand Designer and Britain's favourite philosopher have just won national awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects - and their projects could be shortlisted for the profession's Oscar, the Stirling Prize.

For those who have gone before us: The Memo building will act as a memorial to all those species that have died out

For whom the bell tolls: £20m 'Memo' project takes shape on Dorset's Jurassic coast

It started as a stonemason's visionary idea – to commemorate all the species that have ever existed and are now extinct. Now it's a £20m project supported by The Royal Society and taking shape in an extraordinary new building on Dorset's Jurassic coast.

The Photographers' Gallery: A building that extols the calm virtues of still life

The new Photographers' Gallery reframes how we view images

One World Trade Center towers above the Lower Manhattan skyline

Will building boffins knock the Freedom Tower down to size?

At a symbolic 1,776 feet high (1776 being the year the Declaration of Independence was issued) above the New York skyline, 1 World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, was to be the ultimate symbol of America's fightback from the 9/11 attacks – stood in the place of the Twin Towers, the tallest building in America, nay, the western hemisphere would emerge. Except that, oh...

The Sou Fujimoto designed three-storey house in Tokyo

A perfect home for making an exhibition of yourself

If only there were a well-worn idiom about people living in glass houses. Perhaps "people who live in glass houses... really shouldn't live in glass houses"? Or at least not this one.

The penthouse at The Shard (right) will be the highest home in Europe

Live the high life: the penthouse apartment with the best view in town

A vast £50m penthouse as large a seven-bedroom house has been planned for the top of the Shard, Europe's tallest skyscraper, it has been reported.

Little Chef, A1 Markham Moor, Retford, Nottinghamshire.

The listed buildings certain to fuel discussion

Petrol stations are not known for fuelling aesthetic enlightenment (think more financial ruin, as we watch our money flow away in a blur of digits) but there was a time when filling up required a sophisticated setting.

Renzo Piano in the Shard

Renzo Piano: 'The Shard is my dream building'

Renzo Piano's latest design towers over London's skyline – but will the controversial 1,000ft construction come to be known as the Italian architect's finest work? Simon O'Hagan finds out.

GRAND MONUMENT ON MANSU HILL: 'The leader's image must always be placed in the centre of the architectural space,' writes Kim Jong-Il in his treatise On Architecture. 'Architectural space must be composed to ensure that the leader's image dominates all the elements of the space and that all the architectural components throw the leader's image in bold relief. This will help people to look up at the leader's image at all times and inspire them with the pride and consciousness that they are happy in the leader's embrace”

What do North Korea's buildings and landmarks tell us about the totalitarian state?

The country has some of the world's biggest – and most bizarre – buildings and landmarks.

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