Jay Merrick is Architecture Critic of The Independent. His novel, Horse Latitudes, was published by Fourth Estate in 2000.
Oscar Niemeyer: The last of the 20th century’s great heroes of architecture, who remained an obdurate outsider
06 December 2012 07:10 PM
He possessed a Matisse-like ability to convey potent shape and movement with few marks
05 December 2012 12:00 AM
At school, Rowan Moore would have been the standoffish boy whose demeanour conveyed distracted impatience, but who then asked a very good question. This intelligent and cultured book has those qualities. Why We Build is a humanist's plea for architecture founded – to borrow Paul Simon's lyric – on the "incidents and accidents" of lives and places, rather than on marketing scripts or architectural heroism.
17 October 2012 12:00 AM
Renzo Piano has made his mark in the Norwegian capital
Until the virtues of sport are accepted in our state education system, opening up private school playing fields won't make the tiniest difference
14 October 2012 06:32 PM
Our Architecture Critic responds to a familiar call from an outgoing Olympic chief
13 October 2012 12:00 AM
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.
30 August 2012 10:00 AM
As the Olympics of architecture opens in Italy, Jay Merrick surveys the unexpected
25 August 2012 12:00 AM
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.
18 August 2012 12:00 AM
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.
How England Made the English: From Hedgerows to Heathrow, By Harry Mount and A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain, By Owen Hatherley
30 June 2012 12:00 AM
Critics from both ends of the political spectrum inspect the damage done to our urban fabric
Architecture's Oscars: Kevin McCloud and Alain de Botton could be shortlisted for Stirling Prize after Riba success
21 June 2012 12:00 AM
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.
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