La Sagrada Familia

What is it? Extraordinary cathedral in the centre of Barcelona by Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudí (1852 - 1926), who dedicated the last years of his life to its design and construction. Work on the project continued after his death, but was halted during the Spanish Civil War and for many years after. It resumed again... Continue Reading →

Most liveable cities index

What is it? Each year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) compiles an index of 140 cities around the world, ranking their relative liveability according to 30 indicators distributed across 5 broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. This year, Vancouver remains in the top spot, with a score of 98 out of... Continue Reading →

Santiago Calatrava

Who is he? Santiago Calatrava is a spanish engineer-turned-architect famous for his expressive, dramatically curving structural compositions. He has completed projects all over the world - our recent travels have brought us to some of those across Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. The projects shown here via photograph include the Oriente Train Station in Lisbon,... Continue Reading →

Mile high tower in Jeddah

(The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, currently the world's tallest building) What is it? Seen in an article on The Age online yesterday, here, the proposed 1.6km tall Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to surpass the Burj Khalifa by almost 800m. Designed by Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), the tower... Continue Reading →

Sucker Punch

What is it? New film by Zack Snyder, expressionist director of 300 and Watchmen. The cast is headed by australian actresses Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish. The plot is simple, at times even 1-dimensional, however this is not necessarily a bad thing. As Tarantino's excellent Kill Bill is driven by little more than a desire for... Continue Reading →

The value of a university education

I have recently started teaching structures and construction to first year architecture and engineering students at the University of Melbourne. As an architect who graduated from the same university 5 years ago, and to whom first year structures is just a distant memory, it probably comes as no surprise that in order to teach the... Continue Reading →

Transport security or scarcity?

What is it? The Victorian State Government has recently confirmed it will make good on its pre-election promise of introducing 940 security guards to metropolitan railway stations around Melbourne over the next three years. The guards will be trained in a similar (through controversially less intensive) way to police, given the power to search and... Continue Reading →

100 things to do before I die

A selection from my list of 100 things to do before I die: 5. Visit space. 15. Design and build a synagogue. 21. Live near the beach. 27. Have a conversation in Italian with George Clooney. 31. Teach architecture at a university [done]. 44. Own and develop a property. 68. Visit the Vals Baths by... Continue Reading →

Richard Branson: lunatic or genius?

Who is he? 212th richest person in the world and founder of the Virgin Group that combines a dazzling and unlikely array of over 400 individual companies including radio stations, financial services consultancies, airlines, wine stores, telecommunications providers, animation studios and a spaceport. His most recent presence in the international media has come thanks to... Continue Reading →

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