William Aslet is currently studying for a PhD on the architecture of James Gibbs at the University of Cambridge.

What is the point of the people in architectural drawings?

An exhibition at the Soane Museum shows that technical drawings of buildings are often more complex than they may seem

15 May 2024

Building back better in Britain and Ireland

The Reformation was a disaster for British architecture, argues an impressive new book – and the country’s approach to building design has never been the same

10 Feb 2024

The Victorian chapel designed by a high priest of colour

William Burges’s transformation of the chapel of Worcester College in Oxford doubles as an all-out assault on the senses and a scathing critique of the previous architect

8 Jan 2024
The Quire, Westminster Abbey.

The crowning glories of Westminster Abbey

With all eyes on the coronation, it’s worth remembering that the scene of the ceremony remains a work in progress

5 May 2023

The saving of St Mary-le-Strand

Pedestrianisation means that one of London’s finest churches is now the centre of attention again

27 Apr 2023

The triumph of the Tudors

Other European dynasties of the period had equally thriving court cultures, but none has had such a hold on the popular imagination

28 Nov 2022
York Watergate, built in 1626

Bank account – the story of London’s lost riverside palaces

The Strand is now one of the capital’s busiest thoroughfares, but it was once home to a string of magnificent mansions

16 Sep 2022
Inside Banqueting House, London, with a view of the series of canvases painted by Rubens in 1635.

‘Nothing like this had been seen in England’ – on Banqueting House at 400

Banqueting House is one of the most extraordinary buildings in London – and it’s a huge shame it’s so inaccessible

30 Aug 2022
Central Park Tower and the Steinway Tower on Billionaires’ Row in New York City.

Why are New York’s new skyscrapers so bad?

As the Manhattan skyline keeps getting higher, the quality of the skyscrapers crowding the horizon seems to be getting lower and lower

30 May 2022
View of the Colosseum (c. 1550), by Hieronymus Cock, after the circle of Domenico Ghirlandaio. Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

The Soane Museum provides a masterclass in the art of architectural drawing

Frances Sands’ selection from one of the world’s greatest collections of architectural drawings will delight both experts and the general reader alike

28 Apr 2022
Street smarts: a gas lamp in the City of Westminster.

The City of Westminster should stop gaslighting its own heritage

London’s oldest streetlamps were designed to be beautiful as well as useful – so why is Westminster Council trying to remove them?

28 Jan 2022
View Near Norwich with Harvesters (detail; 1810–21), John Crome.

John Crome is forgotten today – but he once ranked alongside Constable and Turner

John Crome was among the greatest English landscape painters of his day – but you’ve probably never heard of him

18 Aug 2021
The Spanish Steps starring alongside Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953).

Flight of fancy – the spectacle of the Spanish Steps

Sitting on the steps is now forbidden – but for centuries, the monumental staircase has been one of Rome’s most theatrical attractions

7 Jul 2021
Cover of Follies: An Architectural Journey by Rory Fraser

Fantasy land – a guide to English follies

A personal guide to the playful structures has much in common with its whimsical subject

21 Dec 2020
Photo: Longs Peak/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Redeeming features – how Palladio marked the end of the plague in Venice

Built to give thanks for Venice’s deliverance from the plague, the church of Il Redentore remains the centre of an annual festival marking the event

13 Jul 2020
The interior of St Martin-in-the-Fields, showing the plasterwork ceiling made by Giuseppe Artari and Giovanni Battista Bagutti.

Instant classic – the many versions of St Martin-in-the-Fields

Commissioned 300 years ago, James Gibbs’ design for the London church was soon replicated around the world

17 Mar 2020