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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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
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Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...