Friday, November 27, 2009

'Survey of London' online

All 45 volumes of the ‘Survey of London’, which provide detailed studies of the city’s architecture and topography, have been made freely available online, thanks to a four-year project funded by English Heritage. Accessible via the British History Online website, the Survey contains a wealth of information about London, including drawings and photographs.
Access: Free

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Historic Scotland free weekend

Here's something to brighten the November gloom: Historic Scotland is offering free admission to 47 of its museums and heritage sites across the country as part of this year's St Andrew's Day celebrations. Admission fees will be waived during the weekend of November 28/29, and on St Andrew's Day itself, 30 November. Further information and a full list of participating sites can be found on the Historic Scotland website.
Access: Free

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From grey to green

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has launched its 'Grey to Green' campaign to highlight the need to invest in and manage urban green spaces in the same way as traditional 'grey' infrastructure. The campaign's website features some fascinating computer aerial visualisations of Liverpool, Gloucester and the inner London boroughs of Hackney and Islington, hand-coloured to show only their green infrastructure.
Access: Free

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

OS data to go online for free?

BBC news online is carrying an article suggesting that the Government will be making Ordnance Survey (OS) map data freely available to all from 2010. It’s not entirely clear what this will mean in practice, but the initiative seems to be driven by a desire to make small-area non-personal data on a variety of subjects available free in a raw form. The OS move will help people to interpret public statistics about issues such as crime, health and education by postcode, local authority or electoral boundary.

Monday, November 23, 2009

‘Nae taste and nae smell’

As an admirer of both the Victorians and the civil engineering profession, I thoroughly enjoyed the small exhibition at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library to mark the 150th anniversary the opening of the massive project to supply Glasgow with water from Loch Katrine, 26 miles to the north. The exhibition charts the decades of problems with the supply of clean water to the city before the mid-19th century, and illustrates the scale of the works needed to bring to fruition one of the Victorian era’s most outstanding civil engineering projects. GSA’s Mackintosh Library holds a volume of photographs by Thomas Annan which was published to commemorate the work.
Access: Until 31 December, free admission

Friday, November 20, 2009


Sir John Sorrell, chair of CABE, has explored whether, now that there is no longer the means for an architecture of wealth, we have the imagination to create new kinds of places which lift the spirits. His talk, 'Delight', was delivered earlier this week at an event at Tate Modern on architecture in an age of anxiety. It can be read in full online, although perhaps a podcast would have been a useful alternative.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009 Sustainable Cities index

This year's league tables showing the environmental sustainability of Britain's 20 biggest cities have just been released by think tank Forum for the Future, in a detailed report that is freely available online. It measures 13 indicators of environmental performance, quality of life and how well prepared the cities are for the future. The results make for interesting reading, with Newcastle consolidating its improvements in recent years to top the table this year. Glasgow, meanwhile, has sunk to 19th position, just above bottom of the table Hull.
Access: Free

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad British architecture the self-explanatory title of this wonderfully splenetic blog.
Access: Free, but avoid if strong language offends you

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wells Coates: architect and designer

The British architect and designer Wells Coates (1895-1958) was a key figure in the Modern Movement. The website devoted to his work is in eight sections covering his early life in Japan, life with his wife Marion and daughter Laura, his friendships, and his ideals, which led to the formation of the MARS Group in 1933. Other sections include 'Success', which features Coates's most successful industrial design, the AD 65 radio for E.K.Cole, and the Lawn Road (Isokon) Flats. Hyperlinks in the text provide further information, together with a bibliography and list of exhibitions featuring Coates's work.
Access: Free

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


BLDGBLOG, launched in 2004, is one of the leading architectural, landscape and built environment blogs. Always worth reading, it includes interviews, images and reader comments on a huge range of fascinating topics. Its creator, Geoff Manaugh, has now distilled the content into traditional book form in the shape of 'The BLDGBLOG book', a copy of which is available in the GSA Library.
Access: Free

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

InfosmART Workshop, Weds 11 November 2009

Need help on how to reference a source, write a bibliography, or set out an essay? Librarian Duncan Chappell will be providing a short session of the Library's InfosmART site TOMORROW WEDS 11 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 12.30 ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE LIBRARY. InfosmART provides a set of easy-to-follow interactive modules in finding, evaluating and citing information. Hosted on the VLE, the InfosmART resource provides an easy one-stop shop for all your information skills needs. This workshop forms part of the Library's 20/20 workshop programme.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The best tall building of 2009

Here in Glasgow we're all becoming attuned to any mention of Steven Holl Architects following the practice's award of first prize (together with Scottish firm JM Architects) to design a new building for the Glasgow School of Art. Holl's 'Linked Hybrid' skyscraper in Beijing has been named by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as the 'Best Tall Building Overall' for 2009, and the story is covered online by the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic, Blair Kamin.
Access: Free