Arts and Entertainment

The tech giants are getting architectural – but their plans are big, not clever

Disney Miller at the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Diane Disney Miller: Daughter of Walt Disney who spent much of her life tirelessly preserving the film mogul's legacy

Diane Disney Miller was the daughter of Walt Disney and one of his inspirations for Disneyland. "He'd take me and my sister to the merry-go-round at Griffith Park and stand there all day until we were ready to go," she recalled. "As he stood there, he kept thinking there should be more for parents and children to do together, and the idea for Disneyland was born."

Apple: the 2.8 million sq ft 'Spaceship' campus, due to open in 2016, has drawn comparisons with the Death Star in Star Wars. It will house around 14,200 employees and cost an estimated $5bn (£3.25bn) to build. It will also contain a 1,000-seat auditorium, a gym and 300,000sq ft of 'research' space

Cathedrals to an internet age: Google’s new Kings Cross HQ is among the more outlandish designs by online giants

Not so much vaulted ceilings and soaring towers, the British headquarters that Google means to build just north of Kings Cross Station will be more of a soil-hugging affair. To be made of steel, glass and laminated timber with designs meant to echo the industrial heritage of the area, the building will rise only to 11 storeys at its highest but will stretch 330 metres from end to end. That’s longer that the Shard is tall.

Open office: More room, less privacy

Open-plan offices affect employees' ability to concentrate, new study finds

Workers who spend a lot of time on tasks requiring focus find them difficult to complete when too close to colleagues

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

Big One Rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The rollercoaster index

It's not just about height and speed – big rides can say a lot about the places they're built in. Chris Beanland discovers how ambitious new theme parks reflect economic ups and downs

Dwight Eisenhower, left, and, from left to right, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich

Rupert Cornwell: Why Republicans need another Ike to lead them

Out of America: Swearing eternal fealty to Reagan, presidential candidates try to outdo each other in an insane stampede to the right – leaving Obama delighted

Deals of the week: Bilbao, Avoriaz skiing, Antigua

Less than £200...Basque break

Bilbao offers playful modernity in the form of Frank Gehry's landmark Guggenheim Museum, along with Gothic churches such as the Basilica de Begoña and a terracotta-roofed Old Town. EasyJet Holidays will fly you out to this intriguing Spanish city next weekend with three nights' B&B at the Petit Palace Arana, for £192 per person. The deal includes flights from Stansted departing Friday 25 November. Holidays.easyjet.com

Abu Dhabi museum island hit by more delays

Branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim art museums being built as part of an ambitious cultural district in Abu Dhabi could now open at least a year later than planned, the developer and an official with knowledge of the projects said today.

Guangzhou tower: The sky's the limit

It's the ninth tallest building in the world, with 400ft on The Shard and room for the dome of St Paul's in its atrium. Jay Merrick climbs the Guangzhou tower

Last Night's TV: The Secret Life of Buildings/Channel 4<br />One Man Walking/Channel 4<br />Great Thinkers: In Their Own Words/BBC4

If the cover star of the current issue of the Radio Times happened to be watching the box last night, he doubtless enjoyed what he saw. The Secret Life of Buildings was right up Prince Charles's avenue, with the architectural critic Tom Dyckhoff skewering a variety of extravagant modern buildings for being soulless novelties rather than functional spaces. Top of his hate list, the building that he thinks made it acceptable for architects around the world to indulge their fantasies at the expense of what actually works, was Frank Gehry's famously outlandish Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Dyckhoff thinks that "architects have forgotten the purpose of social buildings" and that "the Bilbao effect" has produced an epidemic of Guggenheim clones, turning this memory lapse practically into a credo.

Why bad design is cramping our style

A new TV series explores the impact the built environment has on the way we live. By Yvonne Cook

Serpentine Gallery Pavilions, By Philip Jodidio

The opening of the 11th annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion on Friday marked what has become a celebrated event in London's summer diary.

Can interiors heal?

Why Maggie&rsquo;s is the charity of the design industry, by Annie Deakin

Jay Merrick: Serpentine commission is a real coup for gallery

A handful of living architects – notably Frank Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer and Alvaro Siza – can be described as unique. The word seems crude when applied to Peter Zumthor. With him we are, to borrow a Van Morrison album title, into the mystic.

Ten top...cultural hotspots

1 Miami

A visit to the Frank Gehry New World Center (nws.edu) will be as much about admiring Gehry's architecture as the music made within.

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Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
peopleTerry Sue-Patt played Benny Green in the classic children's TV show
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

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12 best statement wallpapers

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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?