Glass act: the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo

London's got the Shard – Oslo has the Comb-over

Renzo Piano has made his mark in the Norwegian capital

Beyond bricks and mortar: Zaha Hadid's latest structure is impressive but already seems dated

Zaha Hadid's latest building has just opened in Montpellier, France. It's 200m long, weighs 80,000 tonnes, and resembles the superstructure of a vast, avant-garde cruise liner. The building took a million man-hours to build and cost more than €140m. But what's really interesting about it are the words that made it happen. And the fact that this new building, originally designed in 2004, looks automatically dated, compared to the much more organic designs that Hadid (inset) is now pursuing.

No more noddy boxes! Design judges' dismay at British buildings

Excellence is now the exception, say experts on jury panel for top architectural award

Rare images have emerged of the pyramid shaped 105 storey building in Pyongyang which was labelled by Esquire magazine in 2008 the

After 25 years of construction a glimpse inside North Korea's still unfinished 'Hotel Of Doom'

Work began on the imposing structure in 1987, but construction was stalled for 16 years after the money for the project ran out

Chicken cottage or stone mansion, it doesn't matter to your chooks

Former Tory MP Sir Peter Viggers infamously claimed £1,645 on parliamentary expense to build a house for the ducks at his constituency home, but Crispin Odey has gone one better or, in fact, several times better.

On the 40th floor of 'The Gherkin', the 360-degree views of London are stunning

Your chance to be top of the town

Welcome to the top of 30 St Mary Axe, or, as it's more affectionately known, the Gherkin. At 180m tall, this shimmering glass monolith, with its distinctive shape and tessellated exterior, is visible on London's skyline for miles around.

Open secrets: The best of this year's Open House Weekend

Next weekend, almost 800 buildings will fling open their doors to let the public enjoy spaces usually closed to them. It is, says Matthew Bell, one of the highpoints of the cultural year.

Banging techno architecture? It’s all happening in Venice

As the Olympics of architecture opens in Italy, Jay Merrick surveys the unexpected

Observations: Intelligent anarchy for the UK

The Venice Biennale is the Olympics of architecture. But it's not just about the profession's heroes this year – those architects picked by the architectural grandee, Sir David Chipperfield, to exhibit in the vast Arsenale at the end of August. At the British Pavilion's concurrent Venice Takeaway exhibition, the great game of architecture will be about intelligent anarchy.

From a balcony: (Clockwise from top left) Kate and William, the Pope, Julian Assange and Claire Danes as Juliet

Architecture: The in and out club

When Julian Assange addressed his public from a balcony, he chose a platform employed to effect by popes, politicans and pop stars

Architecture: The £500m first step to 'Spaceship Earth'

British architects have just delivered a £500m mega-project in Singapore that may change the default perception of the city whose obsession with panoptic civic order, and financial services, has reportedly made one in six of its residents a dollar millionaire in terms of immediately disposable cash. The Bay South Garden conservatories are the centrepiece of the development, and their two gleaming glass biomes, designed by Chris Wilkinson, feature the world's largest glazed gridshell, a doubly curved grid-like structure.

The basketball arena in the Olympic Park

Temporary buildings: Should they stay, or should they go?

Some of the world's most famous buildings were – like much of the Olympic Park – not built to last. So why have they stayed put? Chris Beanland investigates.

Observations: A glittering extreme makeover (with added Jamie Oliver) for a Fringe favourite

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.

Inside the houses that Brad Pitt built

Brad Pitt has revealed the £130,000 home he asked star architect Frank Gehry to design to revive New Orleans. Simon Usborne looks at the results

The High Marnham cooling towers in Nottinghamshire

Cooling towers: Will you miss them when they're gone?

Love them or loathe them, they are becoming ever more rare as the demolition squads move in. And tomorrow another set will vanish forever

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