Big houses for feudal rulers advertised the right to power of those within, while protecting them from the people they exploited to build them – today, the tradition continues in the hands of oligarchs
Devised by pleasure-seeking Victorians but now undermined by social change and physical neglect, does the building that defined the seaside have a future?
Typology: Power stationSubscription
Faced with planetary catastrophe, does the future of energy generation lie in a return to its historical origins?
Typology: Market hallSubscription
The market hall shelters a cornucopia of delights, but the traffic and mess it generates presents a challenge to planners
Typology: Law CourtSubscription
From Kafkaesque labyrinths of columns and arches to the abstraction of Modernist towers: the representation of justice in a world ruled by its absence is an intractable task
To confine, secure, rehabilitate or punish: the prison has several, sometimes contradictory aims, but however humane its approach, penal architecture is essentially cruel
Typology: Buildings for animalsSubscription
Designing buildings for animals has prompted an extraordinary range of responses, from palace to cat flap, which say more about humans than the residents
Since time immemorial, and from continent to continent, saunas or bathhouses have played a community role, stripping their users of social distinctions and affording a rich seam for architects
Typology: Public toiletSubscription
From the pissoir to the sanisette, from the communal to the stand-alone pod, from male to female provision, a rich seam of history runs through toilets
Sacred lair of the commodity, its mysteries veiled by plate glass: who can resist the lure of the shop?
Anonymous rooms for anonymous and rootless lives, the hotel has long been a giant metaphor for modernity
The control of nature promised a world transformed for the benefit of humans, but have gigantic dams drowned such hopes?
Soaring expression of the individualistic spirit of capitalism, logical extrusion of land values or irrational, anti-urban monster?
Once glamorous gateways to freedom, airports have become zones of consumerist tedium and state terror – but the emotional intensity of the departure gate endures
Typology: Public SquareSubscription
When human particles collide in the accelerator of the square, the public comes into being – as evanescent as an unstable element
Typology: Artist StudioSubscription
The studio reflects the changing status of artists through time, from the humble workspace of art workers to the hallowed ground of masters
Our final encounter with architecture increasingly takes place in crematoria but, despite an association with modern bureaucratic society, the type has a long history
Idealised as a comforting refuge and a site of warm conviviality, the public house can also be divisive
Typology: Housing EstateSubscription
From the green quadrangles of medieval almshouses to towering banlieues, the history of mass housing represents architecture at its most high-minded – which makes its failures all the more painful
Typology: New townsSubscription
Creating new urban areas from scratch may appear to be a utopian exercise, but more frequently it entrenches existing systems of power