Jay Merrick

Jay Merrick is Architecture Critic of The Independent. His novel, Horse Latitudes, was published by Fourth Estate in 2000.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Cities Are Good for You, By Leo Hollis

M ore than half the world's population live in cities, and the percentage will continue to rise. We accept our place in cities passively, whether stuck in a gridlock in Sao Paolo, or ambling across Hyde Park. But what, exactly, are we in for in the next decade or two?

The Serpentine Gallery 2013 Pavilion, designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, in central London's Kensington Gardens

Cloud of steel: Sou Fujimoto's temporary pavilion for London's Serpentine Gallery unveiled

How do you make a cloud out of steel? If you’re the Japanese designer Sou Fujimoto, one of architecture’s rising international stars, you take 28 kilometres of thin metal tubing, cut it up into 27,000 sections, join them together in 10,000 places, and put the structure on the grass next to London’s Serpentine Gallery.

The pinnacle of The Shard

The lights are off and there’s no one home

A year after it opened, the Shard is reported to be virtually empty of tenants

Art by Damon Albarn's father is anything but Blurry

The scene is ostensibly retro: Colchester's Minories Gallery packed with artists and liggers, jigsaw-puzzle pieces being exchanged for free drinks, the walls and floors covered with Op Art and trippy digital prints. And centre-stage is a tallish man in a mustard-yellow corduroy suit.

Vinyl meets Victorian London to become Op Art

How do you turn an art school into a work of art? You call in the Swiss artist Felice Varini, give him a vast amount of weatherproof silver adhesive vinyl, and let him do his thing. And that's why the surfaces of the buildings at Central St Martins new campus at Granary Square, King's Cross, are glinting with a 542-metre- long artwork.

Starchitect’s Maze peace centre forgot the Irish

There are two things about Daniel Libeskind’s design for the peace centre on the Maze prison site that are disappointing. The first is that the design language is unremarkable. This is yet another Libeskind signature building, a generically shattered architecture that, in this case, expresses loss, violence and a degree of reconciliation. But the design is not inherently different to Berlin’s Jewish Museum, which made Libeskind a starchitect, or his Las Vegas buildings.

Norman Foster's interest in art surfaced quite early on

The arty side of Norman Foster in France

The world's most famous architect, Norman Foster, 77, designed the Carré d'Art in Nîmes, France, more than 20 years ago. Now he's about to curate his first art show in it, largely made up of works by the artists he collects.

How to Read a Graveyard, By Peter Stanford

Poetic and humane, this tour of resting-places turns the mind to last things, and to first principles.

St James's Gateway building is London's newest startling building

A new prospect for Piccadilly: St James's Gateway building is London's newest startling building

Eric Parry is a highly cultured member of the establishment. Cambridge education, member of the Royal Academy, and regarded as one of Britain's finest architects. Why, then, do the double-storey windows in his revamped building in London's Piccadilly appear to be spattered with blood? And, in a designated Conservation Area, why are the colours and syncopations of Richard Deacon's cornice wilder than Rio Carnival?

The Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona

What makes a cult building?

Every city in the world is commissioning architects to design iconic architecture – a production line of ever flashier-looking objects of grim bread-and-circuses banality. Why does it takes a tramp-like Catalonian vegetarian, and a young Italian with Mussolini on his mind to remind us that architecture – really engrossing architecture – is worthy of cult worship.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor