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Tom Wilkinson's stories

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  • For web

    Drivers' licence: the possibility of garage spaceSubscription

    Thinkpiece24 May, 2019

    The simplicity of the garage’s form has allowed its owners to make of it what they will

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    Gasholders in London, UK, by Wilkinson EyreSubscription

    Buildings28 February, 2019

    Is the solution to obsolescent gasholders demolition, building housing developments within them or, perhaps best yet, parks? 

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    Irving Street Brewery plant in Sydney, Australia, by TzannesSubscription

    Buildings28 February, 2019

    Parasitic orchids of zinc mesh shroud the cooling towers of this brewery conversion in central Sydney

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    Energiebunker in Hamburg, Germany, by Hegger Hegger Schleiff ArchitektenSubscription

    Buildings28 February, 2019

    Inventive reuse of a German Second World War bunker provides energy, and public space and amenities, in Hamburg

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    Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen, Denmark, by BIG and SLASubscription

    Buildings28 February, 2019

    The sloping ‘hill’ design of this waste-to-energy plant, naturally, features a ski slope and requires more waste than the city produces to run at profit

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    Typology: Power stationSubscription

    Thinkpiece27 February, 2019

    Faced with planetary catastrophe, does the future of energy generation lie in a return to its historical origins?

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    Toward a concrete utopia: Yugoslavian architecture 1948-1980Subscription

    Thinkpiece22 February, 2019

    MoMA’s powerful exhibition on Yugoslavia’s architecture is testament to the successful heterogeneity of a failed socialist state

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    The writing on the wall: the language of buildingsSubscription

    Thinkpiece23 January, 2019

    The interplay between structures, text and symbols reveals much about society and takes to another level how architects communicate with the public

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    Clean living: DOMAT, Hong KongSubscription

    Buildings26 November, 2018

    Operating in both mainland China and Hong Kong, DOMAT confronts social issues such as high-density living, poverty and hygiene

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    Fitting solution: OJT, United StatesSubscription

    Buildings23 November, 2018

    Architects OJT adapt the warehouse form for a compact assemblage of single-family housing in New Orleans

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    Stations of life: Rosmaninho + Azevedo, PortugalSubscription

    Buildings14 November, 2018

    The twin counter pointing structures of Rosmaninho + Azevedo’s interpretation centre in Portugal’s Tua Valley draw on the form of provincial station buildings

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    Market in Niigata, Japan, by Takuya HosokaiSubscription

    Buildings31 October, 2018

    This woodland pavilion in blackened timber provides a collection of amenities for the local community and its visitors, bundled together in three distinct but linked volumes

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    Municipal Market, Abrantes, Portugal, by ARX PortugalSubscription

    Buildings31 October, 2018

    Staggered cubic volumes in white-painted concrete link two streets that are separated by a steep incline

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    Foodmet Abattoir, Brussels, Belgium, by ORG ArchitectureSubscription

    Buildings31 October, 2018

    This new market hall joins an imposing 19th-century hall in iron and glass – in use as an abattoir until the 1990s – and a large open-air market

  • Baltic Station Market in Talinn, Estonia, by KOKO Architects

    Baltic Station Market, Talinn, Estonia, by KOKO ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings31 October, 2018

    The Modernist motif of the floating roof, whether cantilevered or supported on impossibly spindly legs, found its ideal functions in the factory and the market

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    Typology: Market hallSubscription

    Thinkpiece31 October, 2018

    The market hall shelters a cornucopia of delights, but the traffic and mess it generates presents a challenge to planners

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    Kununurra Couthouse, Kununurra, Australia, by TAG Architects + Iredale Pederson Hook ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings14 September, 2018

    An undulating grey roof shelters the courthouse, announcing the building’s presence without admonishment

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    District Court Extension, Alingsås, Sweden, by TengbomSubscription

    Buildings14 September, 2018

    The courtrooms occupy the upper storey up to the roofline, giving these spaces impressive volume

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    Law Court Offices, Venice, Italy, by C+S ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings14 September, 2018

    This extraordinary looming monolith on the Piazzale Roma provides offices and a grandly scaled public entrance for the Venetian law courts

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    Court of Justice, Hasselt, Belgium, by Jürgen Mayer H ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings14 September, 2018

    The building takes the form of a blob erupting from a rectangular podium, and, with its somewhat 1970s orange and brown colour scheme, is wilfully ungainly

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    Typology: Law CourtSubscription

    Thinkpiece14 September, 2018

    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 

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    Peek inside the wardrobe: a new historySubscription

    Thinkpiece27 July, 2018

    Far from being a mere storage device, the wardrobe has acted as personal bank, war funder, room divider and even a portal to a magical world

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    New Correctional Facility in Nuuk, Greenland, by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architectsSubscription

    Buildings11 June, 2018

    This jail is currently under construction outside Nuuk, in one of the world’s most dramatic locations for such a facility

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    Mas d’Enric Penitentiary in Tarragona, Spain, by AiB estudi d’arquitectes and Estudi PSP ArquitecturaSubscription

    Buildings11 June, 2018

    The undulating green roof echoes the canopy of the surrounding woodland bridging an otherwise insuperable divide between inside and out

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    Hólmsheiði Prison in Reykjavik, Iceland, by ArkísSubscription

    Buildings11 June, 2018

    The recurring prison cell extrusions connect the inmates to the surrounding landscape while isolating them from one another

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    Typology: PrisonSubscription

    Thinkpiece11 June, 2018

    To confine, secure, rehabilitate or punish: the prison has several, sometimes contradictory aims, but however humane its approach, penal architecture is essentially cruel

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    Grafton’s Venice Biennale 2018: Freespace remains a nebulous conceptSubscription

    Thinkpiece1 June, 2018

    While there are some interesting contributions, the main exhibition’s incoherence proves that brilliant architects do not necessarily make good curators

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    Dark matters: The avant-garde and club culture since the 1960sSubscription

    Thinkpiece16 May, 2018

    The darkness of the nightclub is deployed to conceal bodies and acts that may not be acceptable in the sunlit street

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    Typology: Buildings for animalsSubscription

    Thinkpiece16 April, 2018

    Designing buildings for animals has prompted an extraordinary range of responses, from palace to cat flap, which say more about humans than the residents

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    Cowshed in Lignières, Switzerland by localarchitectureSubscription

    Buildings16 April, 2018

    Constructed in the Jura hills of Switzerland, the timber beams traditionally used in local barns are employed here to create an unusually complex roof form

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    Bat Tower in East Otto, New York, USA by Joyce HwangSubscription

    Buildings16 April, 2018

    Thanks to human-caused climate change, many scientists argue that the world is entering the sixth mass extinction in its history. Bats are among the species under threat. Over a million have died in the USA, where they have succumbed to a fungal infection, and in the UK, bats are vanishing as they lose their habitats and food supply thanks to non-porous buildings, pollution and pesticides, despite being protected by law. One way to mitigate these problems is to provide roosts that compensate ...

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    Mikve Rajel by Pascal Arquitectos, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011Subscription

    Buildings13 February, 2018

    Mikve Rajel, with subdued lighting and expanses of wood and marble lining the communal areas, gives the ritual bath a setting not unlike a modern spa

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    Löyly by Avanto Architects, Helsinki, Finland, 2016Subscription

    Buildings13 February, 2018

    The folded wooden envelope provides a place for locals to meet, creating a transitional social zone between the intimate spaces of the interior and the urban space of the waterfront

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    Crossing Parallel(s) by Studio MRDO and Studio LaM, Korean Demilitarised Zone, Korea, unbuiltSubscription

    Buildings13 February, 2018

    Prodded by President Trump, the cold war between North and South Korea – which never formally declared a truce – threatens to return to boiling point, with potentially world-ending consequences. What solutions can architecture offer to the crisis? This is of course a ludicrous question; nevertheless, architectural research group Arch Out Loud recently held an open competition to design an underground bathhouse in the demilitarised zone, with the aim of emphasising the shared culture ...

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    Horai Onsen by Kengo Kuma, Atami-shi, Japan, 2003Subscription

    Buildings13 February, 2018

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    Typology: BathhouseSubscription

    Thinkpiece13 February, 2018

    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

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    Princess Diana Memorial Playground Lavatories in London by Jestico + WhilesSubscription

    Buildings29 November, 2017

    The incorporation of a toilet into the memorial for a beloved public figure is a delicate matter, and one that fully justifies a revival of the otherwise tediously prudish British tradition of the subterranean lav. Here, however, the monument takes the form of a children’s playground inspired by Peter Pan, incorporating wigwams and a pirate ship, and the toilets are accordingly anything but po-faced. Rising from the landscaping (designed by Land Use Consultants), a grassy mound covers ...

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    Typology: Public toiletSubscription

    Thinkpiece29 November, 2017

    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

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    Women’s Toilet in Thane, India by Rohan ChavanSubscription

    Buildings29 November, 2017

    Secure places to relieve oneself are important for women in India – not only to raise awareness about endemic abuse – but do they work as sites of social interaction?

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    House of Toilet on Ibukijima Island, Japan by Daigo Ishii + Future-scape ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings29 November, 2017

    The symbolic or signifying functions of the public toilet are usually secondary, at the most speaking of civic generosity, or, more accidentally, of meanness and neglect. But why shouldn’t the smallest room commune with the cosmos, as in this public lavatory on the Japanese island of Ibukijima? Taking its cue from the sliced spaces of Daniel Libeskind, the structure – which appears similar to other local houses from the outside – is divided by imaginary lines stretching out beyond the ...

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    Purposive purposelessness – Walking in Berlin: A Flaneur in the CapitalSubscription

    Thinkpiece24 November, 2017

    Franz Hessel’s 1920s guide to Berlin, translated into English for the first time, is a melancholy guidebook to a since vanished city

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    El Lissitzky (1890-1941)Subscription

    Thinkpiece25 September, 2017

    El Lissitzsky’s utopian vision of revolution is a legacy that resonates today

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    Typology: ShopSubscription

    Thinkpiece13 September, 2017

    Sacred lair of the commodity, its mysteries veiled by plate glass: who can resist the lure of the shop? 

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    Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice by OMASubscription

    Buildings13 September, 2017

    Remodelling an ancient institution at the foot of the Rialto Bridge

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    Twiggy in Ghent, Belgium by Architecten de Vylder Vinck TaillieuSubscription

    Buildings13 September, 2017

    The accommodation of retail space within former domestic space presents several problems. The facade is one, another is circulation. Here, in an old house in Ghent, local architects de Vylder Vinck Taillieu had to deal with the quandary of a narrow original staircase that was unfit according to local fire regulations, and yet was to be retained for aesthetic reasons. Their solution was to construct an entirely new staircase on the back of the building, an irregular zigzagging volume ...

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    Sunnyhills Cake Shop in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma & AssociatesSubscription

    Buildings13 September, 2017

    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 ...

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    Crystal Houses in Amsterdam by MVRDVSubscription

    Buildings13 September, 2017

    ‘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. ...

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    Yun House Boutique Eco-Resort, China by Ares Partners + Atelier Liu Yuyang ArchitectsSubscription

    Buildings8 August, 2017

    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 ...

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    Oasia Downtown, Singapore by WOHASubscription

    Buildings8 August, 2017

    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 ...

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