Gillian Darley is an architectural historian and President of the Twentieth Century Society

New Baris, a village in Egypt designed by Hassan Fathy (1900–89) and partly built in 1965–67.

Down to earth – the revival of building with mud

The Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy breathed new life into this ancient material in the 1940s – and it’s time it made another comeback

8 Jul 2020
Right: portrait of Samuel Pepys (detail) (1689), Godfrey Kneller, National Maritime Museum, London. Wikimedia Commons (public domain); right: portrait of John Evelyn (detail) (n.d.), studio of Godfrey Kneller. Private collection. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

‘Whole streets in the City were shuttered’ – London during the devastating plague of 1665

That we know so much about the day-to-day reality of the Great Plague of London is down to the diaries of John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys

24 Mar 2020

Giddy heights in the Gulf and Shanghai and rescue missions in the UK – the year ahead in architecture

What to watch in the world of architecture in 2020, from the race to become the world’s tallest building to increasingly urgent conservation battles

26 Dec 2019
The Fiat Tagliero service station in Asmara, designed by Giuseppe Pettazzi and completed in 1938.

From cinemas to service stations – the modernist marvels of Eritrea

The buildings erected in Asmara during Italian rule are remarkably forward-looking – and should not be allowed to crumble

19 Nov 2019
The Skissernas Museum in Lund, Sweden.

Cornering the maquette – the Swedish museum dedicated to works in progress

Founded in 1934 in Lund, southern Sweden, the Skissernas Museum of sketches, models and preparatory work offers a valuable insight into artistic projects – including those never made

2 Oct 2019
Interior of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, photographed in 2014.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry should be a working factory, not a boutique hotel

Why is Historic England supporting a developer’s plans when there’s a better proposal waiting in the wings?

19 Sep 2019
Toledo metro station in Naples, designed by Oscar Tusquets Blanca.

Travelling in style on the Naples metro

William Kentridge and Sol LeWitt are among the artists making the transport system a destination in its own right

13 Jun 2019
Panorama of London (1815), Pierre Prévost. Museum of London

Rediscovering a lost view of London

When Prévost painted his panorama from the tower of St Margaret’s Church, he captured a city on the cusp of change

20 Mar 2019
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles construction site in November 2018.

Bridges, skyscrapers and conservation battles – the year ahead in architecture

The major architectural events to look out for in 2019, from museums in Hollywood and Qatar to office buildings in London

28 Dec 2018
Cross section by Norman Foster of the Fred Olsen Amenity Building, Millwall Docks, London (c. 1968–70).

‘The buildings come into their own when imagined in drawings’

The ‘High Tech’ architecture developed by Norman Foster and his peers in the late 1960s relied on great draughtsmanship

20 Dec 2018
The riverside façade of the Royal Festival Hall, London, designed by London County Council Architects’ Department in 1951 (photo: 1951)

‘The Southbank Centre suffers from architectural self-loathing’

Plans for a rooftop bar at the Royal Festival Hall have thankfully been scrapped, but questions remain over the stewardship of the Southbank centre

7 Nov 2018
The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in Victoria Tower Gardens, designed by Arthur George Walker and unveiled in 1930, photo: Wikimedia Commons

‘No more pushing around of Mrs Pankhurst’

The site of Emmeline Pankhurst’s statue in Westminster was chosen by her fellow suffragists – there is no reason for it to change

24 Aug 2018
A Group of Churches, designed by Sir J. Soane to illustrate different Styles of Architecture Holy Trinity, Marylebone, St Peter’s, Walworth and the chapel at Tyringham, Buckinghamshire) (detail; c. 1825), Joseph Michael Gandy.

How the church-building boom of the 19th century began

Two hundred years ago, the English parliament passed the Act for Building New Churches, allocating £1m for the task

14 Jul 2018
The north side of the Karunaratne House in Kandy, designed by Minnette de Silva and completed in 1950 (photo: early 1950s)

Minnette de Silva was a great architect – and her buildings should not be left to crumble

Kandy should be prouder of the pioneering architect, who instigated the idea of ‘regional modernism’

28 Mar 2018

The BBC’s ‘Civilisation’ reboot is fixed firmly in the present

The update of Kenneth Clark’s landmark series takes a more questioning approach to art history

5 Mar 2018
View from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel and completed in 2017, photo: Mohamed Somji; © Louvre Abu Dhabi

Does the Louvre Abu Dhabi live up to its aims?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is undeniably impressive, but can it succeed in becoming the universal museum it wants to be?

2 Jan 2018
Gillian Wearing with a model of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett, Photo: Caroline Teo/GLA/PA

‘Millicent Fawcett and Gillian Wearing are a winning combination’

The design for Millicent Fawcett’s statue breaks the mould, but Parliament Square is a problematic site

26 Sep 2017

The collector who tried to reassemble the ancient world

Cassiano dal Pozzo’s paper museum, consisting of thousands of drawings, attempted to encapsulate the knowledge of his time

14 Sep 2017
Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt 1957–58 plan for Greater Baghdad. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, New York

MoMA puts on a model exhibition about Frank Lloyd Wright

This revelatory show matches Frank Lloyd Wright’s work to his personality and his designs to his ambitions

19 Jun 2017
Postcard advertising the Garden City Pantomime, written by residents C.B. Purdom and Charles Lee, (c. 1910)

An alternative vision of life in Letchworth, the world’s first Garden City

The radicalism of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City is often overlooked, but Letchworth is an utopian success

3 Jan 2017
Horace Barker as King John (postcard),

‘National costume drama on a grand scale’

This is a great way to relive the ‘pageant-fever’ of earlier, more technologically innocent decades

1 Dec 2016

Has Le Corbusier stopped being an ogre?

17 buildings by Le Corbusier are now on the World Heritage list. Why has it taken so long?

25 Jul 2016

What is a European Capital of Culture for?

Can San Sebastián, one of this year’s European Capitals of Culture, provide some answers?

27 Jun 2016

Boris Johnson and the GLA are the true vandals of London

The mayor’s expansionist ambitions are ruining the city’s historic character

22 Jan 2016