Calvin Po

Has all the charisma of Chernobyl: Manchester’s Aviva Studios reviewed

There is a (possibly apocryphal) story about William Morris, where he spends most of his time in Paris inside the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant because ‘that is the only place where you can’t see the damned thing’. Aviva Studios risks a similar fate. Designed by architects OMA as the permanent performance venue for the Manchester International

Stone is the solution to many of our architectural problems

The story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is hammered into us all from an early age. But its moral lessons obscure its more literal advice about building: skimping on materials is a false economy. It’s a lesson learned too late for schools built with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac). Who would’ve predicted that concrete made

Policed conviviality: Serpentine Pavilion 2023 reviewed

As I sat down at this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, I overheard a curious exchange. ‘You mustn’t create art within art,’ said an invigilator frostily. He was telling off Fred Pilbrow, an architect, who had been taking in the Pavilion’s sociable atmosphere with friends and painting a watercolour of the scene. They proceeded to enter a