Tom Wilkinson's stories
Glass does not have a monopoly on transparency. Using the ancient and fiendishly complex Japanese joinery technique of jigoku-gumi, which literally means ‘interlocking hell’, Kengo Kuma enveloped this Tokyo bakery in a hectic cloud of wooden struts. The interior is not visible from the street, making display of the wares on sale impossible, but the building is instantly recognisable –from a distance, it is reminiscent of a wasp nest – making it a striking advertisement for the business. And ...
Crystal Houses in Amsterdam by MVRDVSubscription
‘Over an old Flemish house there stands the mystical inscription: “there is more within me”.’ So wrote Georg Simmel in 1904, referring to the way that fashion allows us to simultaneously express and mask our individuality. He incidentally makes a connection between fashion and the facade, one which, though suppressed in architectural discourse, always lies very close to the surface, as Mark Wigley has shown. The facade hides the interior, but also expresses something about the building. ...
The rediscovery of the countryside by China’s middle classes has led to a boom in rural tourism, which has helped redirect cash from the wealthy coast into the undeveloped interior. However, this has often resulted in insensitive building projects, and the ‘nong jia le’ (‘happy farmer home’) idyll frequently turns out to be a mass tourist hell. In response, an eco-tourism movement has developed, offering smaller scale, more deeply embedded experiences of life away from the city. For ...
Oasia Downtown, Singapore by WOHASubscription
The hotel-in-the-tower has sprouted ever taller since the Waldorf Astoria relocated to a 47-storey skyscraper in 1931; this was the tallest example of the type in the world until Stalin’s Hotel Ukrainia was completed in 1957. In recent years, hotels have become standard anchor tenants of skyscraper developments, hollowing out their tips as plunging atria. These have, however, been sealed volumes – until WOHA designed a hotel for Singapore, its upper reaches a huge cylindrical trellis ...
Punta Sirena Hotel, Chile by WMR ArquitectosSubscription
The beach hotel usually comports itself in serene and brilliant white curves, borrowing the sleekness of the ocean liner, but the surfing resort of Curanipe in central Chile is a place for less sedentary approaches to the water. In response, WMR Arquitectos have not opted to emulate the quaint traditional buildings of the town, either; their only nod to the vernacular is their use of wood, with eucalyptus and pine filling the black steel frame of their building. This takes the form ...
Sofitel Vienna, Austria by Jean NouvelSubscription
‘Jean Nouvel has created a ceiling for the city, in the form of gigantic artworks by Pipilotti Rist which cover the ceilings of the top floor restaurant and atrium of his Sofitel tower’
Anonymous rooms for anonymous and rootless lives, the hotel has long been a giant metaphor for modernity
The Europeanness of British ArchitectureSubscription
Architecture may seem helpless in the face of political crises, but this has not stopped people from trying – and under far worse circumstances than our own
A gigantic housing block in Amsterdam has been stripped back to bare essentials
The control of nature promised a world transformed for the benefit of humans, but have gigantic dams drowned such hopes?