tue 20/11/2018

architecture

Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill review - a brave attempt to recreate an important collection

It took 24 days to sell off the 4,000 items which Horace Walpole had amassed during 50 years of avid collecting. He bought a modest property beside the Thames in Twickenham in 1749 and, by 1790, had extended and transformed it into a fairy tale...

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Elmgreen & Dragset, Whitechapel Gallery review – when is a door not a door ?

A whiff of chlorine hits you as you open the door of the Whitechapel Gallery. Its the smell of public baths, and inside is a derelict swimming pool with nothing in it but dead leaves and piles of brick dust. Damp walls, peeling paint and cracked...

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DVD: New Town Utopia

You come to Christopher Ian Smith’s New Town Utopia expecting a damning indictment of post-war British planning. But while there are melancholy moments, this is mostly an upbeat documentary. Smith manages, without the use of CGI, to make the much-...

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Katharine Kilalea: OK, Mr Field review - architecture and alienation on the Cape Town coast

Modern novels with an architectural theme have, to say the least, a mixed pedigree. At their finest, as in Thomas Bernhard’s Correction, the fluidity and ambiguity of prose fiction mitigates, even undermines, the obsessive planner’s or designer’s...

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The London Mastaba, Serpentine Galleries review - good news for ducks?

It’s not as immersive as New York’s The Gates, 2005, nor as magnificent as Floating Piers, 2016, in Italy’s Lake Iseo – it has also, according to Hyde Park regular Kay, “scared away the ducks,” – but superstar artist Christo’s...

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The New Royal Academy and Tacita Dean, Landscape review - a brave beginning to a new era

This weekend the Royal Academy (R.A) celebrates its 250th anniversary with the opening of 6 Burlington Gardens (main picture), duly refurbished for the occasion. When it was dirty the Palladian facade felt coldly overbearing, but cleaning it has...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Roma Agrawal: Built review - solid love

"I've been known to stroke concrete," writes self-professed geek Roma Agrawal – and from the very beginning of her memoir-cum-introduction to structural engineering, Built, where she describes her awe as a toddler at the glass and steel canyon of...

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The Exhibition Road Quarter review, V&A - an intelligent and much needed expansion

Oh those Victorians!  Hail Prince Albert whose far-sighted ambition led to Albertopolis, embracing museums, galleries, universities and the Royal Albert Hall. And what in the early 21st century do you do with the Victoria & Albert Museum...

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The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, BBC Two

This was the first of four programmes looking at houses made of extraordinary materials in various environments, some extreme. We began with "Mountain", and further explorations are promised to "Coast", "Forest" and "Underground". The presenters...

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Zaha Hadid, Serpentine Gallery

It is appropriate that this exhibition of Zaha Hadid’s early drawings and paintings should be shown at the Serpentine’s Sackler Gallery, which adjoins the restaurant she designed in 2013. The white, curvilinear extension was one of the first...

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Conceal/Reveal, Russell Maliphant Company, Messums Barn

An inviting gap in the market, a dark, mysterious place, was left beckoning when the dance theatres of Britain cashed in on expensive refurbs in the name of public accessibility. Putting an end to mystique, they homed in on IKEA style, all glass,...

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