1972: Park Hill Estate, Sheffield. Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

A crushing case for brutalism — with the people left out

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Elain Harwood’s flawed but impressive study of modernist architecture manages perfectly to reflect its subject, says David Kynaston


The caravanserai of the motor age

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Soviet Union was a nation of bus stops. Cars were hard to come by, so a vast public transport…

From ‘The Temptation of Eve’: detail of glass from Ely Cathedral designed by Pugin, 1858

Cambridge, showcase for modernism (and how costly it is to fix)

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The Pevsner architectural guides are around halfway through their revisions — though it is like the Forth Bridge, and soon…

Martha Graham and Bertram Ross in Graham’s most famous work ‘Appalachian Spring’ (1944), with a prize-winning score by Aaron Copeland

To call this offering a book is an abuse of language

8 November 2014 9:00 am

I picked up this book with real enthusiasm. Who cannot be entranced by those 20 years after the second world…

Grade II-listed Phoenix prefabs in Moseley, Birmingham

Why prefabs really were fab

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Sir Winston Churchill did not invent the prefab, but on 26 March 1944 he made an important broadcast promising to…

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art

It’s not easy for a middle-aged woman to get inside the head of a 12-year-old innkeeper’s son in 1914

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Esther Freud wrote dazzlingly in the first person through the eyes of a five-year-old child in her first novel, Hideous…

St Enodoc Church overlooking St Enodoc golf course and the sea beyond, Rock, Cornwall. John Betjeman lies buried in the graveyard

The ultimate guide to Cornwall

19 July 2014 9:00 am

Before writing this review I spent an hour looking for my original Pevsner paperback on Cornwall, published in 1951 (the…

English tea-chests are thrown into Boston harbour, 16 December 1773

A Labour MP defends the Empire – and only quotes Lenin twice

14 June 2014 8:00 am

In a grand history of the British empire — because that is what this book really is —  you might…

Hotel Chelsea

Where artists went to drink and die

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Once below a time (to quote the man himself) the bloated poet Dylan Thomas slouched back to New York’s Chelsea…

The real life of the Kremlin will always remain off-limits to ordinary Russians

Secrets of the Kremlin

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A building bearing testimony to the power of eternal Russia; a timeless symbol of the Russian state; a monument to…

Fans, 1924, by Georges Barbier

A book on Art Deco that's a work of art in itself — but where's the Savoy, Claridge's and the Oxo Tower? 

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Over the past 45 years, there have been two distinct and divergent approaches to Art Deco. One of them —…

The London terminus of the North Western Railyway in the 1860s, showing a busy scene in front of the Euston Arch, which was demolished a century later

The men who demolished Victorian Britain

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Anyone with a passing interest in old British buildings must get angry at the horrors inflicted on our town centres…

One of the two pavilions at Stoke Park, designed by Inigo Jones

Is Northamptonshire not scenic enough to visit?

9 November 2013 9:00 am

I don’t know whether Bruce Bailey, a proud Northamptonshire man, agrees with the late Sir Nikolaus Pevsner that no one…

‘Madonna of the Future’, 1967, 
made from a 
headless mannequin, 
electric cord, 
a Belling’s heater and the Henry James novel of the same name

Adhocism, by Charles Jencks - review

6 July 2013 9:00 am

Here, for time travellers, is the whack-job spirit of ’68 in distillate form, paperbound and reissued in facsimile (with some…

The Church of the Nativity of Our Lady on the Podmoklovo Estate, Serpukov, Moscow Region

Russia: A World Apart, by Simon Marsden - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

Here are acres of desolate countryside, pockmarked by once great estates, ravaged by rot. Could it be much bleaker? Many…

The ultimate fashion accessory?
Left: the hermitage at Dale Abbey, Derbyshire and (right) the new hermitage, Painshill, Surrey

The Hermit in the Garden, by Gordon Campbell - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

In his 1780 essay On Modern Gardening Horace Walpole declared that of the many ornamental features then fashionable, the one…

The symbolism of the cemetery: the draped urn, popular among the Victorians, is usually taken to mean that the soul has departed the shrouded body for its journey to heaven

How to Read a Graveyard, by Peter Stanford - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Peter Stanford likes cemeteries. Daily walks with his dog around a London graveyard acclimatised him, while the deaths of his…

East window of Holy Trinity Church,Templebreedy, Co. Cork, designed by William Burges

William Burges and the High Victorian Dream', by J. Mordaunt Crook - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

It is 32 years since the first edition of this hefty book appeared in 1981. The original was based on…

‘On Glasgow and Edinburgh', by Robert Crawford - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Glasgow and Edinburgh are so nearby that even in the 18th-century Adam Smith could breakfast in one city and be…


The shape of things to come

31 December 2011 10:00 am

I opened Futurescapes with anticipation, knowing Tim Richardson to be a forceful commentator, and landscape architects to be in dire…


Amazing grace

3 December 2011 10:00 am

It was in 1814 that the Benedictine monks arrived in Stratton-on-the-Fosse in Somerset from Douai in Flanders where, in 1606,…


Rather in the lurch

9 April 2011 12:00 am

Will it ever end? The romantic interest in the architecture, history and life lived in the country house is as alive today as it was in 1978, when Mark Girouard wrote his seminal Life in the English Country House.


Murder in Madison Square Garden

13 November 2010 12:00 am

In Victorian and Edwardian England architects did not get themselves murdered.

Oh Brother, where art thou?

25 September 2010 12:00 am

Benjamin Franklin had this ambition for his body: that after his death it should be reissued ‘in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the author’.


In and out of favour in Iraq

25 September 2010 12:00 am

Nowadays the TV cameras make Baghdad look like a suburban car park, and for Tamara Chalabi, raised in England and Beirut on memories of pre-Saddam Iraq, the first encounter in 2003 was dismal.