Architecture

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
Napoleon visiting the stairs of the Louvre, guided by the architects Percier and Fontaine

What did Napoleon really want from his architects?

The emperor of France longed to rival the emperors of ancient Rome, reorganising the great cities of Europe and creating a few of his own

26 Jun 2021
Requiem for a dream: a shuttered Debenhams on Oxford Street, March 2021.

Shutting up shop: an elegy for the department store dream

These vast, bustling buildings were once emblems of city life – but they’ve been in decline for years and the pandemic has only hastened their demise

29 Mar 2021
National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, Dhaka (1962–83), designed by Louis Kahn (1901–74).

Keep cool: the concrete castles of Louis Kahn

The architect wreathed his buildings in mystical language – but his modern citadels are clearly among the great achievements of 20th-century architecture

An architectural frieze is the icing on the cake, for a building

They’re the classic way to embellish a building – and for all their suspicion of ornament, even modern architects went in for them

22 Feb 2021

The school that gave us starchitecture

The Architectural Association in London has always been a quirky place, writes Douglas Murphy, but its pupils still go on to dominate the profession

18 Feb 2021
The old Royal High School, Edinburgh.

From the Apollo archives – Gavin Stamp on the sorry saga of Edinburgh’s Royal High School

As the future of one of Edinburgh’s greatest buildings hangs in the balance, we republish Gavin Stamp’s call from 2015 to preserve its architectural integrity

11 Feb 2021
Replica of the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and Lilly Reich for the International Exposition of 1929 and rebuilt in 1983.

Making an appearance – architectural copies and cover versions

Replicas and reconstructions are often regarded as inauthentic, but what does authenticity mean in the case of a building?

1 Dec 2020
The refurbished exterior of Buxton Crescent, Derbyshire, designed by John Carr of York and built in the 1780s.

From Buxton to the Barbican – the enduring appeal of the crescent

Whether for grand prospects or compact residential buildings, it seems as though architects never tire of the crescent form

5 Nov 2020
The Humboldt Forum in the centre of Berlin, due to open in December 2020.

Why are Berlin’s new buildings so intent on looking backwards?

The reconstruction of the Berlin Palace is just one example of the city’s nostalgia for the past

20 Oct 2020
The lower precinct, Coventry, built by the city’s Architect’s Department in 1957–60 and connecting to the upper precinct and the cathedral beyond (photographed in 1960).

In defence of Coventry’s post-war architecture

Why is the city so determined to destroy one of the best civic centres of the post-war period?

21 Sep 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
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
Nithurst Farm in West Sussex, designed by Adam Richards and completed in 2019.

‘Like the sudden revelation of something ancient’ – in praise of contemporary follies

The best recent takes on this architectural form have a hint of magic about them

The dining room of the Villa Majorelle, designed by Henri Sauvage (1873–1932) and built in 1901–02, with a fireplace designed by Alexandre Bigot (1862–1927) and stained glass by Jacques Gruber (1870–1936). Photo: S. Levaillant; © musée d’École de Nancy

‘Living in it would be delectable but exhausting’ – at the Villa Majorelle

The art nouveau house Henri Sauvage designed for the manufacturer Louis Majorelle has been restored to its richly decorated former glory

30 Mar 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
View of Ferrybridge B power station behind the Church of St Edward the Confessor in Brotherton, North Yorkshire, photographed by Eric de Maré in 1960. Photo: © Eric de Maré/RIBA collections

Cooling towers are a powerful presence in the landscape – and deserve to be saved

It’s time to appreciate the gracefulness of power stations before more of them disappear

24 Feb 2020
The Jantar Mantar observatory, construction of which began in the 1720s under Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Photo: John East

‘These remarkable examples of Mughal technology spoke to an India freed from British rule’

An 18th-century observatory in Delhi has inspired many architects in the post-Independence era

20 Feb 2020
Installation view of ‘Ghost Parking Lot’ (completed in 1978) at the National Shopping Center in Hamden, Connecticut, by James Wines & SITE. © SITE New York

‘If James Wines’ greatest works were still around, they would be Instagram sensations’

Perhaps it’s time to catch up with the sculptor-turned-architect who has always been ahead of the pack

5 Feb 2020
The west steeple of the Parish Church of St Mary in Frampton, Lincolnshire, was finished with one of the country’s earliest stone broach spires by c. 1300.

What can be done to save England’s neglected parish churches?

The Church of England may be one of the UK’s biggest landowners, but surprisingly little of its wealth is spent on the historic buildings in its care

The west side of Henbury Hall in Cheshire, designed by Julian Bicknell and built in 1986–87.

When Palladio came to Cheshire – in the 1980s

Henbury Hall is a fine example of neo-Palladian architecture. But what does it mean to recreate a historical style?

Leadenhall Market in the City of London, designed by Horace Jones (1819–87) and opened in 1881 (photo: 2011).

Going concerns? The Victorian market halls of Horace Jones

Once feted for infrastructure projects in London, the architect is now better known for designing Tower Bridge and Leadenhall and Smithfield markets

27 Nov 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
View of the ornamental canal in the grounds of Kearsney Court in Kent, designed in 1901 by Thomas Mawson.

‘Thomas Mawson’s designs are never nostalgic’

The civic-mindedness of the visionary landscape designer and architect set him apart from his contemporaries

18 Jul 2019