Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Benmore Fernery

A recent visit to the Benmore Botanic Garden, 30 miles west of Glasgow, provided the opportunity to look around its Victorian Fernery, beautifully restored by MAST Architects with a modern barrel-vaulted roof springing from the original walls. The project doesn't appear to have been particularly well-covered by the architectural press, although there is an article in 'Country Life' (December 9, 2009). Architects and designers will find yet more to interest them in an exhibition of the work of the late furniture designer Tim Stead in the Gardens' Courtyard gallery, which runs until 25 July 2010.
Access: Entry fee to gardens

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 RIBA Award winners

The winners of the 2010 RIBA Awards for the best of UK architecture have been announced, and interestingly they include three public library projects for Newcastle City, Crawley and Cardiff Central libraries. Full details of the 93 UK and nine EU buildings to win awards in the various categories can be found on the RIBA website, together with links to further information and press images.
Access: Free

Monday, May 24, 2010

Parametricism - a new global style?

In recent years, Parametricism has begun to emerge as a new style of architecture and urban design, and the term is gradually appearing more frequently in architectural magazines. Patrik Schumacher, of Zaha Hadid Architects, is the figure most closely associated with this movement, and his website provides links to the full text and images of his writings.
Access: Free

Friday, May 21, 2010

Urban skins

The Goethe Institut's online showcase of German designers features the work of architect Gabi Schillig, whose textile objects are simultaneously articles of clothing and living spaces.
Access: Free

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New e-books in the Library

We've added four new e-books to our collection, to supplement the traditional hard copy versions which are always in high demand. The four titles are:
  • 'Cities and consumption', by Mark Jayne
  • 'Housing policy', by Paul Balchin
  • 'The politics of the piazza', by Eamonn Canniffe
  • 'Public sculpture of Glasgow', by Ray McKenzie

Links to each of these books can be found on the GSA Library catalogue.
Access: Free, but GSA Athens account required

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OpenStreetMap mapping party

Glasgow's Electron Club, based at the city's Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), will be hosting a mapping party on Saturday 22 May. Mapping parties are events where anyone can come and participate in the creation of a free, open source map that can be contributed to, edited and used by anyone anywhere. Saturday's event will focus on Glasgow's Queen's Park.
Access: Free, but registration required

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Comann

A recent report by Strathclyde University and Architecture + Design Scotland traces the growth of 50 small Scottish towns since the mid-19th century through a graphical record of their physical development. Town types included cover market, industrial, planned, coastal, commuter and tourist, and the study identifies key factors that have led to a town's past failure or success.
Access: Free

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Launch: Treasures of GSA Library

We've just launched a new dedicated blog for our Special and Rare Books Collections, called Treasures of GSA Library. We'll be posting regularly with features and showcases on some of the gems, both expected and unexpected, in the Glasgow School of Art Library, along with images and histories.
The Special and Rare Books Collections comprise about 700 titles on all aspects of art, design and architecture. Most titles are held in the Mackintosh Library, with access by appointment with the Librarians.

Native Woodland Survey of Scotland

The Forestry Commission Scotland has started to produce data from its field-based survey of all of Scotland’s rural and urban native woodlands to identify their location, extent, type and condition. The plan is to publish this information as summaries by local authority area, together with geospatial datasets in the form of OS maps overlaid with information about native woodlands. Reports are currently available, in pdf format, for eight local authority areas including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Access: Free

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Queen's Park Arena

The Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) and local community councils recently invited design ideas for the site of the former Queen’s Park Bandstand area in the south side of the city. The intention is to create a modern, multi-purpose performance and activity space for community and visiting arts groups with capacity to accommodate both small and large audiences. The resulting 80 or so competition entries can be viewed online, providing an interesting range of pavilion designs using a variety of materials.
Access: Free

Monday, May 10, 2010

David Adjaye at the Design Museum

A podcast in which architect David Adjaye talks to curator Gemma Curtin about Urban Africa, an exhibition of his photographs on show at the Design Museum in London. The show includes 3000 photographs taken by Adjaye to document the residential, commercial and municipal architecture of 52 African capital cities. The exhibition runs until 5 September 2010.
Access: Free

Friday, May 07, 2010


"A blog which highlights for the delight (or disgust) of readers the verbosity and purple prose put out by certain architects and developers to justify their 'creations'". There is a suggestion that "this will at times be expanded to include other 'creatives' and planning departments." You have been warned...

Thursday, May 06, 2010


After 25 years working with engineering and architectural information, there aren't too many built environment acronyms that are new to me, but this was one! AIVC is the international Coventry-based Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre, a useful source of information which includes the ventilation of buildings. Some of the AIVC's publications, including journal articles and conference papers, can be freely downloaded from its website.
Access: Free, although subscription required for some material

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Scotland's greenspace

The independent charity Greenspace Scotland has produced a report which reveals for the first time the extent of urban greenspace in Scotland. It also provides information on the different types of greenspace and charts local authority work on greenspace audits and strategies. The report is freely available on the charity's website, and includes an interactive map.
Access: Free