Christopher Beanland

Christopher Beanland writes about architecture, the arts and the media.

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Martin Roth director of the V&A since 2011

All of This Belongs To You exhibition: The V&A is a hotbed of popular subversion

The design institution is questioning the very notion of what a museum is for

Can a revamped Dreamland help to reinvigorate the Kent town of Margate?

Margate's historic theme park is being rescued with a chi-chi makeover. But will it be up or down for the locals?

Facebook is planning a new company town - but would you want to live so near work?

Company towns aren't a relic of the industrial revolution - they're part of the future of tech firms, with Mark Zuckerberg being the latest entrepreneur with plans to create one for his staff
Memmo Alfama hotel, Lisbon

From Lisbon to Lyon: Five city break destinations you should try

If you've 'done' a lot of Europe's classic destinations, why not try somewhere new? Christopher Beanland picks urban alternatives

Going underground: the Hyde Park Corner 'traffic untangling scheme' in 1962

Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

From Dublin to Sydney, there's a worldwide trend for burying roads – and even Boris wants a Hammersmith 'flyunder'. Christopher Beanland digs out the reasons

Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year

Tower blocks: do we love them or hate them?

High-rises are now shunned by all but the super-cool, yet a new project is celebrating the remaining stock

Photograph of Mackintosh, 1893 by James Craig Annan (c) T&R Annan, courtesy GlasgowMackintosh.com)

Return of the Mac: How a disastrous fire put architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh back in the limelight

The new Mackintosh Architecture exhibition at Riba in London will capture the full spectrum of his artistry, including his stunning ink drawings

Credit Lyonnais, 30 Cannon Street, London, was the first building internationally to be fully clad in double-skinned panels of glass-fibre reinforced cement (GRC)

English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Safety fast: a sprinkler system goes
into action as soon as a fire is
detected in the Euro Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel's ultimate sprinkler system: How fire is a tunnel's worst enemy

It took a million litres of water to put out the recent fire in the Channel Tunnel. A million?!

The Airlander in its Bedfordshire hangar

The return of the airship: Once the stuff of history, dirigibles are making a surprise comeback - from Nasa to Bedfordshire

Christopher Beanland looks at the rise, fall and possible rise again of the giant dirigible and asks if this comeback will fly
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...