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

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

Sir John Soane’s private apartments are a public treasure

The restoration at the Soane Museum is a masterpiece of forensic work

6 Jan 2016

The search is on for England’s missing public sculptures

Public sculpture was one marker of an ambitious, aspirant and generous society, the kind of world that we urgently need to be reminded of

16 Dec 2015

Comings and goings: Paolozzi and public art

It’s not just Paolozzi’s mosaics that have come under threat in recent years. Is it time for a public catalogue of such items?

6 Feb 2015