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20 November 2019

Architecture for social purpose

As the MacEwen Award deadline approaches, Malcolm Fraser returns to the community self-build that he helped bring to fruition – Bridgend Inspiring Growth, commended in last year’s competition

Malcolm Fraser finds the community self-build he helped to make is thriving

Socially conscious projects were never more important, and recognition for your scheme awaits.

Socially conscious projects were never more important, and recognition for your scheme awaits.

As we open for entries to the 2020 MacEwen Award, Sam White of Knight Architects opens a window on the inspiring tale of villagers who used straw, sheepskin and bottles to rebuild their community hall

Sociable and sustainable on the Somerset Levels

Harriet Harriss, multi-skilled advocate of social architecture, brought no prepared vision to her deanship of New York’s Pratt Institute. For her, leadership starts with her community

The latest adventure: dean of New York’s Pratt Institute

What is enough? Matthew Dalziel, co-curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, talks about degrowth and libraries for sharing more than books

Oslo Triennale curator asks what is enough?

Health, safety & wellbeing

As healthcare moves towards prevention as much as cure, how can we design our built environment to promote wellness? PiP’s seminar offered some ideas

How to design for wellbeing

In the run-up to the election Andrew Forth, RIBA’s head of policy and public affairs, explains how the RIBA’s manifesto lobbies politicians to create a built environment that is ‘safer, better and more sustainable’

Head of policy and public affairs at the RIBA, Andrew Forth, on the key points

Bauhaus design went hand in hand with the demands for light and cleanliness in sanatoria. Pre-Bauhaus, one of the earliest such buildings was erected in Kent

The twisting tale of Benenden sanatorium

Three new Practice Notes from the RIBA will help architects keep their projects safe from fire risk

Guidance from three new Practice Notes by the RIBA

Canadian exhibition explores increasingly prevalent ideas of wellbeing and considers their impact on the built environment

What does growing interest in wellbeing mean for architects?

Business, clients and services

What are client advisers, and how do they help? Two RIBA client advisers on how you can offer invaluable advice at the right point in the project

Experienced, independent advice can be invaluable to clients

Profits flatline in the RIBA Business Benchmarking 2019 survey despite bigger workloads for architects bringing in more revenue

Employment is up, so is international work – the results of RIBA’s Business Benchmarking survey

Drop that British reserve and take the initiative with developers. Here are seven ways to help you get inside their mindset and change your relationships with them for the better

Network, go bigger, collaborate, think Yoda

Women’s contribution to architecture has long been overlooked. Two new publications bring recognition to many previously unknown names

Two new books start to redress the overlooking of female architects

Standardisation, DfMA, AI, IoT. Where do architects fit into technical innovations?

Are architects at risk of being sidelined?

Legal, regulatory and statutory compliance

The ‘cheapest is best’ mantra flies in the face of fire safety, and architects must take the lead in opposing it

Diluted regulations and cost conscious clients need architects to take the lead

As the only regulated profession in an industry facing huge responsibilities, architects must be more expert

Profession must manage the demands of dramatic change

Dangerous quality lapses in construction, such as that at Oxgangs School, show why architects and clerks of works must get back on site

Grenfell and Oxgangs School show need for professional inspection

Despite uncertainties around Brexit, by the end of 2019 the UK will adopt the new European Standard that deals with daylight in buildings. What could it mean for your project?

European Standard EN 17037: Everything you need to know

Sued architect thought he was on a journey of design exploration with his clients but they weren’t even on board

Sued architect left clients behind on ‘design journey’

Procurement and contracts

Paul Strudwick, associate at HKS Architects, chooses his specification favourites

Paul Strudwick of HKS chooses three of his specification favourites

Housing and commercial uplift send average fees higher – but hourly rates fail to keep up with inflation

Rising fees leave hourly rates standing still

Just defining ethical priorities can be a minefield, never mind enforcing them. But, as evidenced by the RIBA’s new CPD subjects, there’s no getting away from it

There's no getting away from ethical sourcing

Who owns the copyright on architects’ drawings? It depends, of course

Who owns the copyright on your drawings?

The invention of tough yet flexible concrete could halve the duration of road and paving works

This is stronger, lighter – and it bends

Sustainable architecture

Entering this year's RIBA Awards? Be aware that sustainability will be high on the judges' list of criteria

Judges will be putting emphasising sustainability

Our annual award shows there are plenty of really imaginative projects that work to make our world better

See if you can spot the winner from the MacEwen longlist

If passive heat control can work in Burkina Fasso it can surely be applied in Europe. Brian Ford offers seven design principles to help avoid carbon intensive air conditioning

Air conditioning makes us hotter – don’t give it house room

The Stirling-shortlisted Cork house was the result of detailed and practical research into a material to cut embodied carbon

Oliver Wilton and Matthew Barnett Howland’s Cork Construction Kit

Donald Trump might not believe in climate change but luckily individual states – and more importantly practices – are working to ensure responsible design

Olson Kundig on designing with climate change in mind and a plethora of energy codes

Inclusive environments

A surreal quality of unexpected juxtaposition characterises Park Palace Ponies, an inner city riding school in a derelict theatre

Liverpool riding school operates from a derelict theatre

Homeless find sensitivity domesticity and a warm welcome at Shelter from the Storm, a supermarket converted to a temporary refuge

Community café is also a homeless shelter

Brightness, colour and acoustics can have a huge impact on people living with dementia. Danfloor's accredited carpet ranges help create stress-free environments

Design principles help reduce stress for those with dementia

Dramatic fall in clubs and centres prompts a celebration of their role in their communities

Queer Spaces at the Whitechapel Gallery

The teachers’ mantra that no two children are the same also applies to school buildings. Architects must maximise the benefit to pupils, students, staff and site

Like pupils, no two schools are the same

Places planning & community

How curating the Therapeutic City Festival in Bath started a conversation about creating urban spaces that are good for mind, body and soul

Inspiration from Bath's Therapeutic City Festival

Jacksons' Jakoustic Reflective timber barrier system helps balance security and aesthetics at the award-winning Cambridge Central Mosque

Jakoustic Reflective barrier system reduces noise impact

How the Dayton peace accord, foreign funds and real-estate development fuel environmental damage

Maps drive Mirna Pedalo’s research into ‘slow violence’

Updates to the Community Infrastructure Levy came into force this month. A new guide explains the amendments, what they mean and why understanding the CIL is important

Explainer: the latest Community Infrastructure Levy changes

Masterplanning is not big architecture, it is a means to give shape to the natural process of urban growth. David Rudlin summarises the argument in his new book Climax City, co-written with Shruti Hemani, that we need to rediscover this subtle and age-old art.

The subtle art of giving shape to urban growth

Building conservation and heritage

We have a tradition of preservation but how early should it start?

Don’t wait for an anniversary or you might be too late

Ages through the Terrace looks at how changing family relationships have informed more or less flexibly designed homes

Dissertation winner charts how attitudes to age have affected spatial relations

How a gift of art saved Chichester's fashionable 18th century merchant's house from use as council offices

Chichester's first Queen Anne style building with a sustainable C21st extension

Massively reworked over six years, The Newt, named for the 2000 creatures it relocated, is a total celebration of the garden

Stonewood Design’s History of Gardening museum honours its past

Campaigning preservationist Margot Gayle made it her mission to protect the architectural heritage of the US, especially cast iron buildings

Preservationist prophet Margo Gayle deserves to be better remembered

Design, construction and technology

Do techno cities symbolise a brave new world or an oppressive tyranny?

With all that technology, what is the client after?

Richard Griffiths’ work is both traditional and contemporary; he captures the feel of a place and runs with that, mixing new and old craft to renowned effect

New architecture for old buildings is the right balance

Hugh Pearman had a dream over Christmas… then reality intervened

Hugh Pearman had a dream... then reality intervened

New Story’s thermally-efficient, two-bed homes in a seismic zone have electricity and water services and meet international building standards

New Story’s groundbreaking scheme meets international building standards

SterlingOSB Zero turned an old garage into a creative studio for an architecture practice

Lining a converted garage with SterlingOSB Zero made a creative space

Doors and windows

Innovative T60 doors and windows range features polyurethane isolator for high performance thermal insulation

T60 range offers high performance thermal insulation

OB Architecture specifies Glazing Vision Flushglaze rooflights to bring 1970s Winchester home out of the dark

Flushglaze specified at Hampshire residential project

Top-performing sound insulation is vital for high density living, which is why Velfac aluminium/wood windows have been specified at a residential development in south London

Velfac reduces noise levels at London development

The Senior Architectural Systems aluminium range offers low U-values, slim profiles and a range of opening types

Senior's Pure aluminium windows offer maximum design flexibility

BIM modelling allows architects to download data and test the benefits of LLumar window film in commercial projects

LLumar solar control window film harnesses BIM modelling


The flooring manufacturer's products for healthcare settings have been rated for their adherence to dementia design principles and usability in dementia-inclusive environments

Danfloor specialist carpets awarded dementia certification

The latest vinyl floorcoverings to mimic wood, stone and ceramics offer specifiers all the beauty of the real thing with the added benefits of easy cleaning and lower costs

Where style meets function: Forbo vinyl floorcoverings

GTI Max flooring provides a quick and durable renovation option for high and heavy traffic areas and was the ideal solution for a soccer dome conversion in the Channel Islands

GTI Max flooring specified at Channel Islands activity centre

Polished concrete with inlays and trims demands expertise in design and a masterful touch in installation. Lazenby's floors are shining examples

Lazenby brings elegance and beauty to concrete floors

Junckers' Oak Boulevard hardwood flooring is durable, beautiful and - in a new Rustic White oiled finish - a thoroughly modern solution for light-filled interiors

Junckers extends its signature Oak Boulevard flooring range


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