Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Merchant City Festival 2012

Glasgow's 11th four-day Merchant City Festival kicks off today with a wide range of performances and events throughout this historic quarter. The Merchant City Initiative website has a link to several interesting new online leaflets on the area's history and its public art. In addition, and as part of the Merchant City public art programme, author Louise Welsh and Jude Barber of Collective Architecture have collaborated on an audio trail which uses a series of soundscapes to explore Glasgow’s involvement in the tobacco and sugar industries, and contemporary responses to the the transatlantic slave trade.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Close encounters - of the Thomas Annan kind

The recently refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery has an excellent small exhibition of the work of pioneering Victorian photographer Thomas Annan. In 1866, Glasgow's City Improvement Trust set about planning major improvements to the city. They commissioned Annan to document what was going to be demolished, and the result was the first photographic record ever made of slum housing and a fascinating and haunting series of photographs of closes, wynds and vennels in its own right. The images are set against a large scale map of the city which graphically illustrates the density of the housing which was swept away.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Bexhill Job

I'm recently back from a visit to the south of England which included the usual pilgrimage to one of my favourite buildings, the Mendelsohn and Chermayeff De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. Until 1 October, artist Richard Wilson has a wonderful life-size installation on the roof, inspired by the final scene of a well-known film starring Michael Caine. Thanks to Elaine for the picture; more info. on the installation is at

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Building Information Management

The Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) has produced a useful free online briefing on the hot topic of Building Information Management (BIM). It explains what BIM is, how it has evolved and
where it is going. It sets out the benefits to each member of the construction team, identifies the obstacles to
adoption and considers some of the practical aspects of usage.