• Discussion About Beauty and Architecture Discussion About Beauty and Architecture

    Discussion About Beauty and Architecture

    April 2021

    A few days ago I did a short podcast with my son Alfie. We wrestled with the question that if architecture is 'frozen music', as Goethe suggests, what sort of music should architects play.

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  • Our Ancient Love of Quality Our Ancient Love of Quality

    Our Ancient Love of Quality

    February 2021

    Quality is so important. It is the different between mass produced bleached white sliced bread assembled in a factory and bread lovingly made in small batches by a baker who really cares. The ingredients are much the same, but the differences are enormous.

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  • Proportions in Architecture and Music Proportions in Architecture and Music

    Proportions in Architecture and Music

    January 2021

    Architects for millennia have sought to find rules to determine the proportions of every aspect of a building. A window, for example, can look too narrow and thin or conversely it can look squat and fat. How can we work out the right proportions?

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  • NPPF Paragraph 79e Explained NPPF Paragraph 79e Explained

    NPPF Paragraph 79e Explained

    October 2020

    Many people, would love to build a new house in the country. The problem is getting planning permission. But don't despair, NPPF paragraph 79e is the planning legislation which is specifically written to allow this to happen. In this video architect Francis Terry and planning specialist Martin Leay discuss how this can be done in practical terms using examples of their many past successes of 'paragraph 79e' houses.

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  • Ornament Podcast Ornament Podcast

    Ornament Podcast

    August 2020

    A few weeks ago I chaired the Traditional Architecture Group’s first round table discussion and we chose ornament as the subject. It was a fascinating discussion you can listen to as a podcast. You are in for a treat!

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  • Can Beautiful Homes Be Built in a Factory? Can Beautiful Homes Be Built in a Factory?

    Can Beautiful Homes Be Built in a Factory?

    June 2020

    As lockdown is slowly being relaxed, more building sites are looking to return to productivity. Is there a safer, easier to police way of building houses that would enable social distancing to be maintained whilst still being productive and efficient?

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  • Why does my Puppy like Mozart? Why does my Puppy like Mozart?

    Why does my Puppy like Mozart?

    (And what does this tell us about classical architecture?)

    October 2019

    We recently bought a puppy and discovered that he much prefers classical music to pop. It seems that dogs are born with discernible musical tastes which effects their moods and this seems to be consistent throughout the species.

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  • The Platonic House The Platonic House

    The Platonic House

    May 2019

    Many award-winning houses and those seen on ‘Grand Designs’ often look like space ships or abstract sculpture, which I am sure are worthy in their own way, but they do not look like houses. Is this a problem?

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  • Should Architects Just Do as They Are Told? Should Architects Just Do as They Are Told?

    Should Architects Just Do as They Are Told?

    January 2019

    How much should I, as an architect, push my opinions? Should I simply take instructions from clients and blindly obey, or should I insist on buildings being a particular way?

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  • What Informs Architectural Taste? What Informs Architectural Taste?

    What Informs Architectural Taste?

    November 2018

    Taste is a curious thing and I have often wondered how it works. Things considered tasteful can stop being tasteful, seemingly for no apparent reason, but there must be more to it than that.

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  • What Is More Important, Materials or Form? What Is More Important, Materials or Form?

    What Is More Important, Materials or Form?

    September 2018

    Palladio's villas in the Veneto are made from render which is a cheaper alternative to stone, but it looks similar from a distance ... I think even if the Villa Rotonda was made of cheese, it would still look splendid from afar.

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  • Sustainable Building Materials Sustainable Building Materials

    Sustainable Building Materials

    April 2018

    A good pair of brogues will last decades. Trainers will not. Nylon, as used in sports clothing, seems to be the 'go-to' fabric nowadays, unless you are a reactionary architect who peddles nostalgia - like me.

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  • Designing for the Wingless Designing for the Wingless

    Designing for the Wingless

    March 2018

    The gull sees a site plan, but the human sees a setting for their life carried out on the ground. Seeing from both points of view is a daily challenge for any architect or master planner.

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  • Where does your Chicken Cross the Road? Where does your Chicken Cross the Road?

    Where does your Chicken Cross the Road?

    August 2017

    “Why did the chicken cross the road?” is not a great joke. What interests me more is where the chicken crosses the road in people’s minds. When asked the question, what do you imagine?

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  • The RIBA’s Traditional Architecture Group The RIBA’s Traditional Architecture Group

    The RIBA’s Traditional Architecture Group

    July 2017

    I have recently taken on the chairmanship of the Traditional Architecture Group (TAG). This society was formed fifteen years ago, as a linked group to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)...

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  • Glad to be Pastiche Glad to be Pastiche

    Glad to be Pastiche

    February 2017

    The definition of Pastiche is 'an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period.' I imitate historic buildings, rather than inventing new styles, and with this in mind, it may seem fair game to direct the word at my work...

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  • Pretty Buildings Pretty Buildings

    Pretty Buildings

    January 2017

    Architects are always presumed to be good at maths and physics. This suggests that people feel the primary role of an architect is to make a building stand up, which is curious because architect in the UK are not licenced to carry out this task. Perhaps architects are to blame...

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  • The Use of Scamozzi Ionic in Georgian Architecture The Use of Scamozzi Ionic in Georgian Architecture

    The Use of Scamozzi Ionic in Georgian Architecture

    December 2016

    As a practicing classical architect, I have had a number of clients who have wanted their houses to look like the work of the English Palladians of the Georgian era rather than Palladio himself. From this I started to notice that the work of the English Palladians...

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  • Fortune Favours the Friendly Fortune Favours the Friendly

    Fortune Favours the Friendly

    July 2015

    On occasions I meet architects who think that they are, or more often should be, 'in charge' of every aspect of their buildings. These people are either very naive or deluded. They harp back to a golden age when architects were taken seriously like doctors or lawyers...

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  • Palladio: The One Trick Pony Palladio: The One Trick Pony

    Palladio: The One Trick Pony

    January 2009

    Palladio-mania is just going too far. Last year I was invited to two Palladio parties on the same evening, one was at the RIBA and the other at the Italian Embassy. Wherever I look I see articles, symposiums, exhibitions, publications, parties and even a church service...

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