Jay Merrick is Architecture Critic of The Independent. His novel, Horse Latitudes, was published by Fourth Estate in 2000.
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.
06 June 2012 12:00 AM
The new Photographers' Gallery reframes how we view images
26 May 2012 12:00 AM
Can a large, cork-lined hole in the ground in London's Hyde Park – with a steel disc floating above it, mind – be architecture? It can if it's designed by Herzog & de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist considered a threat to cultural order by his country's political apparatchiks.
19 May 2012 12:00 AM
Jason Flanagan, one-time employee of Norman Foster, and who is now a director of BFLS Architects, has just rolled out the prototype of Soundforms, a sophisticated, shell-like, soundstage, whose components can be set up in a few hours.
19 May 2012 12:00 AM
A sprawling study of structural flaws which reveals the fine line between history's successes and failures
20 April 2012 12:00 AM
What on earth is that goldy-looking thing in the middle of Maidstone, that supersized Benson & Hedges fag packet pretending to be a building? Ah, it must be one of those World-Class Places that the government is promoting – as in "iconic" architecture. Not so. The new extension of Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery, designed by Hugh Broughton, is a counter-blow to the government's witless, developer-friendly assumption that places, and lives, can be transformed by blinged-up buildings marketed as world class.
12 April 2012 12:00 AM
Jan Kaplicky knew how to fail, brilliantly, better than any other architect in the 21st century. The practice that he and Amanda Levete ran in London's swish Holland Park was called Future Systems, and it became famous for losing architectural competitions with building designs that ranged from gleaming amoebas to towering, ribbed condoms. Even so, they delivered two of Britain's most extrovert buildings, the periscopic Lord's Media Centre, and the glittering supersized basque known as Birmingham's Selfridges.
28 March 2012 12:00 AM
An ambitious survey of British postwar design shows just how much today's artists and architects owe to their innovative forebears
23 March 2012 12:00 AM
The glimmering darkness of the building's facades may give the new Jerwood Gallery in Hastings a faintly disappointing air of mute architectural stealth. Its form – a dark podium facing Rock-a-Nore Road, from which an oblong first storey rises on the beach side – doesn't signal the building's purpose. But the inside story is something else entirely.
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books
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- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
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