The smooth between the rough…

Half of the Quays area by Gloucester Docks has been redeveloped but the other part is either in progress or being left to deteriorate and return slowly to nature…

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San Francisco street pattern…

While in my balloon the other day…

Wow. Sunset Boulevard (San Francisco) is the only north-south route with a ‘name’ – all the others just have numbers. It also looks like it has lots of trees, which I like : )

San Francisco grid pattern 10.04.13

SF contrast

Also love the contrast between the rigid built up area and the natural coastal area.


Urban Architecture Office: FKI house…

The half light on the exterior and the warm yellow light from within (photo below) really expose the concept behind this design. One of the best Japanese designs from Urban Architecture Office…


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Photos courtesy of:

‘Situated on a narrow site in Tokyo, Japan, the ‘FKI house’ by Japanese firm urban architecture office finds itself amongst a residential district of ordinary wooden structures. the concrete volume contrasts and emerges from the mundane suburban backdrop, featuring a wood grain texture to respond to its surrounding context. the external form maintains the gable roof typical  of the area, instead finishing the smooth surface with clean corners and edges. square oriel windows project from the facades, introducing natural daylight into the kitchen, living and dining areas on the upper level.’

Love the wooden grain texture in the concrete, which is a fairly standard result of the process of creating concrete walls from wooden panels. A very modern structure which absolutely embraces natural light and space, with a very minimal concrete and wood interior.


Housing Design Awards Supreme Winner: Officer’s Field, Osprey Quay, Portland…

And the Housing Design Awards (HDA) 2012 Supreme Winner is… Officer’s Fields, by HTA Architects. I’m a bit behind the times with this one but it’s still worth promoting this housing scheme as a very high quality example of refined, modern housing.

Here’s a link to the video of the scheme on Vimeo!

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(Images courtesy of HTA Architects + HDA)

Simple and clean lines, large windows with very limited detailing, locally sourced materials, generous space standards. A blending of the modern in to the existing built landscape, with the gables of the buildings being a key link. The opening elements of the large windows are limited to the side panels, which leaves the whole window openings for clear glazing, with no obstructions from glazing bars or surrounds.

The overall palette of materials and colours is muted with each property anchored by the stone, which seems to rise up through the ground to hold the structures. A district biomass heating system heats much of the development, with wood pellet boilers and rain-water harvesting.


Lock Warehouse lighting scheme…

The latest architectural lighting scheme for Gloucester, applied to the Grade ll listed Lock Warehouse within the docks basin.

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Here’s the gallery format for the photos…

The scheme is made up of 24, bi-directional wall-mounted lights, which illuminate both the building itself and the area surrounding the building.


Simple wall stuck photos…

There is something very elegant about fixing simple printed photos to a clean white wall…

Sackler Building interior

Photo courtesy of:


Dovecote Studio – Haworth Tompkins Architects…

Part of the Creative Campus at Snape Maltings – a musical rehearsal or temporary exhibition space.

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Photos courtesy of:

Haworth Tompkins have done an incredible job with this project. The idea and conceptions behind this very simple but effective project are incredible. The Corten steel modern box almost rises from the debris of the past, pointing towards the future, attempting to shrug off it’s old skin.


Inspiring a love of learning, for life…

One of the more short-sighted polices i’ve stumbled across in a long time.

The environment around us (including the people who wander through it) has a deep and profound effect on us. It shapes who we become, how inspired we are, whether or not we feel safe, our views of society, our aspirations and dreams, and our ability to learn.

Here are two scenarios to ponder. The first will be very familiar to many people and which is something I remember very well from my days in school…

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The second scenario follows. Something I have only ever experienced as an adult after looking through the Architects Journal…

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Inspiring young people for a love of learning for life can be difficult, but it should be the main focus for the school system, not just to pass a set of exams. Inspiring a love of learning must be a very difficult task if you are placed in the context of the first scenario.

This equally applies to the teachers who are handed this awesome responsibility of caring for and teaching are children. Their experience of their environment equally boosts or detracts from their ability to teach. Yes, focus on the quality of the teaching, but there is much more to it than training or saving money by cutting back on the environments in which the children learn.

If you pour the creative talents of quality architects and designers from a diverse range of backgrounds into the learning experiences of the children, what will be the result?

Creativity, joy and a love of learning for life.


Oxford visit + Oxford Brookes University new library & teaching building…

A visit to Oxford to see Mr ‘Jo Smith’ and our old university – a chance to see the progress on the new library and teaching building at the main Gipsy Lane Campus, at Oxford Brookes University.

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A HUGE new building at the heart of the campus site and it looks like the old building where we studied has been demolished! Lots of cool semi-temporary teaching buildings with nice exterior designs.


Light hits art & architecture…

Lighting up public art, lighting architecture and the other side of the art.


The Public…

According to their website, The Public is ‘an exciting creative, community, cultural and business space in the heart of West Bromwich’.

It was full of interesting and interactive displays and the whole building itself was an artwork (architect: Will Alsop).

The detailing which runs through the building and the attention to the finish of the materials is excellent. Some fun displays, including a white box room with a single tv on the wall, which displays a merged image from 4 video cameras set high in each corner of the room.

A great venue for local artists and events.


Walking home from work…

Walking home on a cold and dark night after work. Reflections, contrasts, high exposures, shadows and blurs.


Cityscape tea towel…!

Love it! Thanks to, via Pinterest.


The application of light…

A lighting trial in progress at the Docks. Trial and error, educated guesses and the application of effort and light!


Out and about in Bristol…

A cool and random night out and good chance to have some time away from Gloucester and our two lovely boys!

If you ever get a chance to see the comedian Philberto, you have to go – one of the best stand ups I have ever seen. His impression of a Glaswegian was awesome.