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?

Architecture: The architectural legacy of Stephen Lawrence

The search is on for the winner of the James Stirling prize and a new award in memory of Stephen Lawrence is announced. By Nonie Niesewand

Property: Why a bad job can give you a shock

Having faith in your workmen is all well and good, but sometimes it is misplaced, as Clare and Audrey found to their horror. Penny Jackson finds out why

Architecture: Triumph of the pod people

In the autumn, Future Systems' 'techno-organic' media centre goes up at Lord's cricket ground. Before then, you can see their curious work at the ICA.

LAW REPORT: Unregistered architect could not use `FRIBA'

19 march 1998: Jones v Hellard; Queen's Bench Divisional Court (Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice Gage) 6 March 1998

Oil change for the British living room

Excuse me while I slip into something more uncomfortable - an intense spatial experience, in fact

Letter: Price of Green Belt

Sir: There is no doubt that the development of "brown land", including underused or empty property, should be encouraged ("How to save the green grass of home", 14 January). It not only reduces encroachment into the Green Belts, but enables the existing urban infrastructure to be used to its maximum potential, avoiding the costs of new schools, roads, clinics and so on.

Letter: On the road

Sir: Nigel Seymer and Carlton Reid (Letters, 10 January) take me to task over my suggestion (8 January) that vehicles capable of zero emissions will reduce congestion. The reasoning is that when such vehicles are on stream it will be feasible for towns and cities to exclude all but zero-emission vehicles from their centres. This could happen now, but with city centres in a fight to the finish with out-of-town megacentres, a zero-emissions policy could be a step too far.

People: London rains on Caprice's parade

Picture the scene. Two likely lads are planning an audacious robbery at the Cartier workshop on New Bond Street (and speaking in dodgy Cockney accents purely for comic effect).

Architecture: National Architecture Week begins today...

An Arts Council and Royal British Institute of Architects initiative, of over 150 events, will take place around the country.

Architecture: The smartest walk-in cupboard in Paris

A tiny apartment which uses new technology to utilise small spaces has been shortlisted for a major prize. Nonie Niesewand explores the revolutionary rooftop

Letter: Green buildings

ir: Whilst I subscribe to the diagnosis of our environmental problems outlined by Charles Secrett (letter, 11 October) I feel he is being hard on a government which has hardly had a chance to penetrate the inner workings of the mind of "Sir Humphrey." We should not underestimate the scale of the commitment by Tony Blair to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 per cent against 1990 levels by 2010.

Architecture: How the need for a dining room becomes a triumph for the spirit of enlightenment

Here are three projects to lift the spirits, particularly spirits trapped in the houses they already occupy: a glass dining room, an extension that takes a house's inside outside and, perhaps most pleasing of all, an idea that turns a bland basement window into a work of art. Not simply a matter of let there be light; also let there be excitement. Nonie Niesewand talks to the architects on site.

The pick of British architecture now

Stirling prize

Will Norman Foster and Anthony Caro cross the Thames in a blaze of glory?

The Millennium Bridge, from St Paul's to the Tate at Bankside, would be a wondrous sight and a wondrous walk. It would also be the first Norman Foster work to have a dramatic presence in London.

The house that Jack built. And Jill, and Fred, and...

...anyone else who wants to avoid the profiteering developers and their mock-Georgian estates. Felicity Cannell on the pleasures of self- build
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones