News Cyclists ride in central London where the proposed SkyCycle routes would be built

The proposed plans - designed to improve safety for cyclists - would cost over £200m

Architecture: 1999 - the year of the turkey

Fuelled by lottery cash and hampered by poor planning, the past year has been a delight for connoisseurs of design disasters. By Nonie Niesewand

Critics' Awards 1999 - Architecture: The year of the all-seeing eye

The past year has been a vintage one for architecture. After what seems like yonks of fudging and compromising, designers in Britain suddenly seem free to express themselves. Combine this with the millennium rush and lottery cash, and there have been some unique opportunities. What do we have to show for it? Well, in addition to the obvious - a very big but elegant tent on the Greenwich peninsula - the list is rather impressive.

Letter: Glass ceilings

YOUR ARTICLE on the design flaws coming to light in the all-glass structures favoured by some architects was most welcome ("Glass shatters architects' egos", 12 December). This will hopefully allow the Government to rethink the construction of a similar building for the Greater London Authority. Sir Norman Foster's "glass headlamp" structure will place a financial burden on Londoners, especially if maintenance costs spiral out of control, at a time when money is needed to improve our transport system and tackle poverty in inner London. I feel that a brand new building is an inappropriate symbol for the GLA. If the new authority is to make a real contribution to sustainability and urban regeneration then a far more fitting symbol would be to recycle and refurbish an existing building.

Foster hits back over Wembley

THE ROW over the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium took yet another twist last night when Norman Foster revealed he was considering suing a rival firm of architects which criticised his design, writes Robert Mendick.

Glass shatters architects' egos

TOP ARCHITECTS' obsession with all-glass buildings has caused the biggest wave of structural failures since the 1960s when flat roofs were in vogue.

Architecture: A beauty contest with heart and soul

The Stirling Prize, awarded by the Riba, is being given not for monumental architecture but for thoughtful design and social contribution. The shortlisted work shown below demonstrates this sensitivity to function and context, while Nonie Niesewand nominates her favourite

Architecture: Building up the future is child's play

Where can you see London's new Ferris Wheel, Heathrow's Terminal Five and Wembley's twin towers all in the same building? At Legoland in Windsor, of course, where a new scheme is encouraging children to think about the built environment.

Design in Britain: Coming up with the goods

From chocolate to needle-free syringes, each Millennium Product encapsulates a specific aspect of innovative British design. By Nonie Niesewand

Architecture: Mind the gap, in a robust and lyrical way

Norman Foster's new Canary Wharf station is a masterpiece of functional elegance.

BBC plans news HQ designed by Foster

THE BBC is considering plans for a huge "super newsroom", designed by Sir Norman Foster on the South Bank in London, which would cost about pounds 20m a year in rent.
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there