The Passivhaus Style

As you may have noticed from all the (t)wittering a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be offered a place on a field trip to Germany to study Passivhaus construction principles. As my practice continues to try and raise the energy efficiency bar in the social housing sector and travel along the seemingly …

Pool of poetics

Some interesting stuff to be found in this Bachelard inspired flickr pool: Poetics of Space

Made in Birmingham

I was recently contacted by some students from Birmingham School of Architecture and asked to take part in an exhibition they’re organising called Made in Birmingham for an upcoming RIBA/BAA event. The request was simply to pick my favourite building in the city and provide a 50 word explanation. Here’s what I’ve just submitted: Bournville …

paper bagged

A long time ago I wrote a blog entry on the back of a paper bag. It was a review of a chapter from a Calvino book – the author who, as Kieran Long once twittered, architects always turn to when they want to appear arty and sensitive. At the risk of further proving that …

Development of spaces

I may not be the only one seeking support from the Bay Area idiom and the work of Charles Moore I mentioned yesterday. I opened today’s BD magazine to find a review by Ellis Woodman of a fantastic project by James Gorst and was struck immediately by its similarity with a Moore project I’d seen …

Facing up

Facing up, originally uploaded by eversion. There’s something very satisfying about the way this building keeps facing you as you round the bend. Successfully enfronting the site I think Charles Moore would say. update: Yep, enfronting it is: I should get this out of my system. It must be getting quite dull, all this relentless …

local news

Birmingham City Council launched a major new project today. I spent the afternoon with Director of Housing, Elaine Elkington and Councilor John Lines at the opening of our passive solar experiment in Kings Heath. This marks the beginning of 3 years of post-occupancy monitoring we’ll be doing in collaboration with the guys at Hockerton Housing. …

Ecobuild 2009

Should you find yourself at Ecobuild tomorrow afternoon, be sure to stop by the Thames Lounge and say hello. I’ll be there from 1pm, starting with a talk on passive solar for the ‘Making Sustainable Affordable’ session followed by another on BIM and social media for the ‘Information Modelling for Greener Buildings’ seminar. I’m particularly …

Updike on houses

The dwelling places of Europe have an air of inheritance, or cumulative possession—a hive occupied by generations of bees. In America, the houses seem privately ours, even when we have not built them up, in pine two-by-fours and four-by-eight-foot sheets of plywood, from a poured-concrete foundation. Houses are, as Newland Archer sensed, our fate. The …