Thursday, January 28, 2010

John Maltby, architect and designer

The Culture24 website features a guest article by Robert Elwall, assistant director at the RIBA Library Photographs Collection, discussing the work of John Maltby who produced some of the twentieth century's most enduringly evocative images of British architecture and design.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Polnoon is a pioneering project to develop Scotland's first eco-friendly village near Eaglesham, south of Glasgow. It will have 121 energy-efficient homes and interconnected shared areas such as a central square, lanes and courts, which will make better use of space and encourage residents to walk and cycle. You can read more about Polnoon on the Scottish Government website, which includes links to three key online documents: a design snapshot, the full masterplan, and a picture book.
Access: Free

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Building for Life

Building for Life is run by CABE and the Home Builders Federation, and is the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods. The initiative has a website which includes details of the seven outstanding housing schemes across England which won Building for Life awards in 2009. These case studies discuss aspects such as the design process, environment and community, and character, and provide an excellent flavour of contemporary functional, attractive and sustainable housing.
Access: Free

Monday, January 25, 2010

Steffi Klenz exhibtions

Rostock-born photographer Steffi Klenz has a couple of exhibitions coming up in Glasgow next month which look well worth a visit. 'La Posa' (at the Goethe Institut, 1-26 Feb) explores the idea of the house as an architectural and visual metaphor, and is based on the abandoned Dorset village of Tyneham. Additionally, 'Nummianus' (at Street Level Photoworks, 30 Jan-27 Mar) explores ideas of displacement and the collapse of a sense of rootedness regarding the notion of place, and is based on boarded up, terraced houses in the Greater Manchester area.
Access: Free exhibitions

Friday, January 22, 2010

Design Museum podcasts

London's Design Museum has around 20 podcasts on its excellent website, many relating to its programme of exhibitions. The podcasts are a good opportunity to hear some of the world's leading architects and designers talking about their work. One of the most recent features David Chipperfield discussing his current exhibition at the Museum.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Legible London

Legible London is a new pedestrian wayfinding system to help people walk around the Capital, and is being piloted in three areas of the city by Transport for London. The project's website includes further details and examples of its various prototype maps and signs, all of which are designed to help pedestrians find their way by detailing the landmarks they'll pass on their journey, and to estimate the time it will take to reach their destination.
Access: Free

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A big ask?

Here at GSA Library we're piloting an 'Ask a Librarian' service, aimed principally at our staff and students. This will enable you to chat to either myself or my colleague Duncan Chappell in real time if we're online. Alternatively, you can still reach us by phone, email, or better still, come up to the office and benefit from our ferocious intelligence and incisive insights in person.
Access: Free

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New e-book on library design

GSA Library now provides access to the electronic version of Brian Edwards' comprehensive book on library design, 'Libraries and Learning Resource Centres', published in 2009. Mackintosh School of Architecture students who will be shortly embarking on a library design project will find this particularly useful. The e-book can be read and/or downloaded anytime, on or off campus, with a GSA Athens account, and there is a link to it from the relevant entry on the library catalogue.
Access: Free, but Athens account required

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doing your research project at GSA?

If you're a Mackintosh School of Architecture student currently working on your research project, you'll be pleased to hear that we've listened to your feedback and you're now able to borrow 15 books from the Library here, rather than 12. A reminder, too, that the Library holds copies of previous students' work, and that we're here to support you if you need any help or advice in tracking down information for your research.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland Journal

'Architectural Heritage' is a key source of architectural history and conservation articles, essays and other writings, covering all periods of building including the recent past. GSA Library now provides free online access to this journal for all issues from 2003 onwards from any computer on the GSA campus. Check the library catalogue or follow the link below.
Access: Free, on-campus access only

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Experimental docu-voodle

Last month, the Mackintosh School of Architecture held a highly successful international student charrette to design a new library and architecture school for the Glasgow School of Art, as part of the School's centenary celebrations. One of the participants, Copenhagen-based video artist Sam Rensiew, has produced an 'experimental docu-voodle' featuring interior footage from the Mackintosh building, which can be viewed on the web.
Access: Free

Monday, January 11, 2010

Loads of snow = snow loads

The issue of snow loads on roofs is not one that usually troubles UK architects too much, but the recent failure of many agricultural buildings in highland areas of Scotland due to the weight of accumulated snow made me wonder how much information has been published for architects on the subject in recent years. Interestingly, while a quick search of RIBA's database only produces a handful of 21st century references, its US-based equivalent, the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, appears to come up with even less. Try 'AJ Focus' magazine, November 2004, pages 19-43 for a recent overview of snow loading.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Digimap Classic removal

A 'heads-up' (groan) for all users of Digimap's 'Classic' mapping facility: this will be removed from 26 January 2010 and will be replaced by 'Roam', which will become the new standard mapping facility in the Digimap OS collection, with fixed scale map views, click-and-drag navigation and enhanced printing options. Please note that any maps present in your Classic Map Chest on 26 January will be lost, so ensure that you print or save any maps that you require before then.
Access: Free

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Nordic Journal of Architectural Research

The Nordic Journal of Architectural Research is now available as a free, full-text open e-journal, with articles from 2003 onwards, many in English, accessible in pdf format. The journal is a useful resource for those interested in contemporary northern European thinking on architecture and public space.
Access: Free

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Climate change and the built environment

Not the cheeriest note to start the New Year on, but the Scottish Government has produced an overview of the key issues in adapting to the consequences of climate change for the built environment sector. It indicates the broad range of work planned over the coming years to strengthen the sector's resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Access: Free