Life and Style Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) is to celebrate the work of Richard Rogers, among others

High and mighty: A major new exhibition will show how UK architects changed post-war building design around the world

The show will include coverage of recent projects such as Lord Foster's Reichstag building in Berlin and Lord Rogers' work on Madrid-Barajas Airport

Alain de Botton: 'We need a Jamie Oliver of architecture because architecture is now where food was 20 years ago'

We need a Jamie Oliver of architecture to save us from uninspiring design says Living Architecture founder Alain de Botton

We get what we deserve when it comes to the uninspiring buildings devoid of design in which many of us live and work, according to a panel  member of the first government-commissioned review into architecture in more than a decade.

The conversation: Grammy-award winning singer Angélique Kidjo on African resilience, her own made-up language and dining with Vampire Weekend

"Growing up, if I didn’t understand the language, I’d make my own"

The FAT collective (left to right): Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob

FAT’s all folks: Architecture’s biggest jokers sign off in style

The London-based design collective which has stuck two fingers up at the modernists will call it quits at Venice

Astley Castle harbours a holiday home within its ruins

Stirling Prize 2013: Astley Castle in Warwickshire wins architecture award

Royal Institute of British Architects commends 'exceptional' redesign of ancient monument, which is now a holiday home

The living space in new homes has fallen by more than one-third since the 1920s

'Rabbit hutch' housing to be curbed by Government

The living space in new homes has fallen by more than one-third since the 1920s

Zaha Hadid, architect

Page 3 Profile: Zaha Hadid, architect

Another award? Another honour?

Galaxy Soho building in Beijing by Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid accused of 'destruction' of Beijing old town with futuristic swirling shopping centre Galaxy Soho

A Chinese heritage group has accused the architect Zaha Hadid of “destroying” Beijing’s old town after a futuristic new development created by her practice was honoured with a top award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Park Hill Phase 1 - Hawkins Brown and Studio Egret West, Sheffield

RIBA's Stirling Prize: For architecture's biggest gong, small is beautiful in 2013

The shortlist for the Stirling Prize is admirable, says Jay Merrick – it’s just a shame that designers of excellent but ordinary buildings are ignored

RMJM's 1,299ft Gazprom tower in St. Petersburg is designed to look like a twirling gas flame

Leaked emails reveal turmoil at top of architects behind Europe’s tallest tower

Managing director quits amid investigation into alleged failure to pay staff and creditors

Letters: Pessimism about our planet's future

These letters appear in the Monday 1st April edition of The Independent

Air apparent: Pan Am at JFK

Designed for the Jet Age

Britain's airport heritage has been sadly neglected, says Chris Beanland, but in New York mid-century gems have been rescued for future generations

The News Matrix: Friday 23 November 2012

Government stands firm on prison votes

National inquiry suggests UK housing revolution could be easy to fund

300,000 extra homes could be built in the UK every year without an extra penny of Government spending or debt, claims new report

Be careful where you hang your coat: Offset mortgages only work for some - do your sums first

300,000 extra homes need to be built every year to curb housing crisis, urges report

The UK needs a threefold increase in the number of new homes to help end the “blight” of poor housing, a report has concluded.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?