Jon Morrison

What Japanese cities can teach us about architecture

There are three things that occur to you when you travel the length of Japan: that kimonos are surprisingly good for any occasion; that the country’s reputation for cruelty may partly derive from breakfasts comprising tea porridge and prawn soufflé; and that the hordes of camera-wielding Japanese tourists taking thousands of snaps – a comic trope in the 1980s,

The architecture of the Elizabeth Line

There was much to celebrate last year on the architecture front – the end of the pandemic brought the opening of long-delayed projects ranging from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Hollywood to the Taipei Performing Arts Centre in Taiwan. But there was one construction project that stood head and shoulders above the rest in size

Hot property: 10 buildings to look forward to in 2023

Every year produces a number of ‘firsts’ and ‘mosts’ in architecture – and 2022 was no different. Most obviously, at least for residents of New York, the world’s skinniest skyscraper, with sixty storeys of single apartments stacked to a height of 435 metres, was completed on ‘billionaire’s row’ in Manhattan, perhaps becoming the ultimate example of

On the trail of Gomorrah in Naples

‘Isn’t Naples beautiful? I’ve always dreamt about it. I always wanted this city all for myself; I didn’t want to share it… I alone deserved it because of everything I lost and I would have done anything to get it.’ So says Ciro Di Marzio – nicknamed ‘the immortal’ because he has survived so much

The £14m Hyde Park mansion with an extraordinary story

When Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s hapless roving emissary, descended on London in 1936 with orders to negotiate an Anglo-German alliance, one of his first ports of call was the elegant mansion just off Hyde Park owned by Sir Roderick Jones, chairman of the Reuters news agency, and his wife Enid Bagnold, the writer of National

Battles royal: how Charles has influenced British architecture

It is the evening of 30 May 1984. The country’s leading architects have assembled at Hampton Court to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the body that represents their interests, the RIBA. It is a sea of black polo necks, masculine chit-chat and clinked glasses. Given that the ‘R’ in RIBA stands for ‘Royal’ – albeit

The rise of the eco-mansion

In a wide clearing in woodland in a county of southern England that shall remain unnamed, a very unusual property is being built from brick and wood. When complete in a couple of years’ time, a lost rambler who stumbles across it may think he has found an old country house dating from the early