Thoughts

A house in the country…

  • By Amanda Reynolds
  • Jun 6th, 2012
  • Thoughts

A trip to the Suffolk seaside for fish and chips on the beach (well, in the pub…) included a stop along the way to visit the Snape Maltings home of Benjamin Britten’s Aldeburgh Music empire, a great pile of accreted, secreted and converted Victorian industrial buildings looking over the reedy marshes and the river estuary towards the distant shingly shore… …which sensitively reflects its traditional fishing character… The Snape Maltings is romantic, grand and serious with only a modicum of tourist tat confusing the central mission, but then there’s this: A funky little house plonked in the middle of an…

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The Thousand Lives of the Thames Gateway

  • By Amanda Reynolds
  • Feb 21st, 2012
  • Thoughts

East London’s Thames Gateway is the UK’s most highly celebrated and important urban regeneration project. For decades, it has performed as a testing ground for a wide range of tools and policies prior to their deployment elsewhere in the country. Revisiting its story allows us to unveil the evolution of urban regeneration, its successes and its failures. It also highlights the actual effects of Conservative and Labour rhetoric and enables us to put in focus the relationship between urban regeneration and the role of London as a global city. Riccardo’s article on the Thames Gateway can be found in ASUR…

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Shop, eat, pray – Jean Nouvel puts the ‘cheap’ back into Cheapside…

  • By Amanda Reynolds
  • Nov 12th, 2011
  • Thoughts

The picture above is the best shot of Cheapside’s new piece of architecture – Jean Nouvel comes to the City of London with an extraordinary building, that most banal of typologies – yes, its a shopping centre! Three shopping/eating storeys, one of them below ground, with a section open to the sky – looking back to its somewhat ..err… classier? older? astonished?… neighbour, St Paul’s Cathedral. Called ‘One New Change’ as it fronts both that street and ‘Cheapside’ which is far more relevant (but maybe not as sexy). We are frequently reminded by the PR machine that ‘cheap’ was Olde Englishe…

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Land of the Free…

  • By Amanda Reynolds
  • Jun 21st, 2010
  • Thoughts

Art and architecture in NYC for the weekend… thanks to John R… A return to the New Museum by Sanaa, the Japanese Pritzker prize-winning duo, and their attempt to make a large-footprint use work vertically, or at least small-footprintly. Good commissioning from the client – if the Japanese can’t do it, who can? Basically, this is an art gallery on a small urban site. It has a mission to showcase “adventurous contemporary works”. Good stuff, so is it also an ‘adventurous and contemporary’ building? It is in the sense that it has to pile several tall-ish, open-ish spaces on top…

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Winter on the Highline

  • By Amanda Reynolds
  • May 10th, 2010
  • Thoughts

A sparkling cold day in NYC early spring gets the crowds out on the city’s newest piece of public open space – a linear park created on the structure of a disused freight line up the west side of Manhattan. Designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro plus others, it was fascinating to see it in its winter outfit – ie: not a scrap of green and snow lying about in sunless places. But crowded! Maybe it was the first bit of sun to greet New Yorkers for months, they were going for it. This area where we ‘got on…

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