All articles by Paul Finch

  • Tintagel Castle and bridge
    Insight

    Beauty is not a simple matter

    2022-11-24T00:00:00Z

    The inaugural Building Beauty Awards were celebrated at a ceremony this week, with Lord Foster of Thames Bank the guest of honour.

  • Planning_credit_shutterstock_AUUSanAKUL_2062956521
    Insight

    Planning refusals on the rise

    2022-06-30T00:00:00Z

    I recently took part in a public inquiry, giving evidence about the very obvious design qualities of a modestly scaled scheme. It massively enhances what is laughingly categorised as a ‘conservation area’ because it contains a 19th-century railway station. 

  • Development site
    Insight

    Are we going back to the 1970s?

    2022-04-07T00:00:00Z

    It is tempting to start claiming that we are reverting to the 1970s because of current energy price increases and global political instability. 

  • Pompidou Centre
    Insight

    Can the definition of beauty be built?

    2022-01-13T00:00:00Z

    Twenty years ago, the late, lamented Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment published a document on design review, including a section on “what makes a good project”. 

  • Venice Biennale
    Insight

    Designs for a sustainable life

    2021-11-11T00:00:00Z

    As a prequel to COP26, and to coincide with the current architectural biennale, the US-based Design Intelligence group hosted a two-city event in Rome, then Venice discussing sustainability and its implications for architecture and architects.

  • Croydon Westfield
    Insight

    Procrastination can be beneficial

    2021-09-09T00:00:00Z

    It is a decade since the Tottenham riots took place, prompting the report by a task force led by Sir Stuart Lipton, which secured substantial public investment in the neglected, once-proud London borough.

  • Green belt housing
    Insight

    We need green-belt housing too

    2021-07-01T00:00:00Z

    Guess which London borough we are talking about. “The largest number of units delivered in any one year (357) equates to 25% of the annual average needed. 

  • Kings Road
    Insight

    A weird twist to Khan’s London plan

    2021-03-11T00:00:00Z

    During these strange times, you sometimes read something in an official document and assume you must be suffering from some sort of lockdown fever. 

  • Grenfell Tower
    Insight

    Lessons of the Grenfell inquiry

    2020-11-26T00:00:00Z

    The evidence given at the Grenfell Tower inquiry has become more shocking by the day, especially in relation to the behaviour of certain manufacturers.

  • Spacious office
    Insight

    Creating the offices of tomorrow

    2020-10-01T00:00:00Z

    ”As the office sector faces seas of change, we challenge you to imagine a better future. Entrants are encouraged to think outside the box to present innovative and thought-provoking solutions that bring to life how workspace may change over the next five years.”

  • Brum Library roof garden
    Insight

    A healthy focus on space

    2020-06-11T00:00:00Z

    One effect of the current health crisis has been to focus on how we can redesign or rethink the places we live, work and play in to deal with this and future pandemics. That should mean new workstreams.

  • Barts Square
    Insight

    Happy Helical celebrates the City

    2020-02-27T00:00:00Z

    As we await publication of yet another government review of the planning system, the world of property, architecture and construction can only marvel at the profound belief of politicians that by changing things, they really make a difference.

  • Houses of Parliament
    Insight

    An opportunity to revive old ideas

    2019-12-20T00:00:00Z

    Political certainty, in the sense of a government with a substantial working majority, is not the same thing as policy certainty.

  • Derwent London - Brunel Building
    News

    Simple buildings, complex uses

    2019-10-25T00:00:00Z

    An intriguing insight into the relationship between architecture, development and investment comes from Yolande Barnes, formerly global research director at Savills, now a professor at, and chair of, the Bartlett Real Estate Institute, University College London.

  • Dylon Phase 2 Walkthrough
    Insight

    Planning miracles can happen

    2019-07-17T23:00:00Z

    Developer Iain Hutchinson has shown what determination, ruthless analysis and inspired architecture can do when it comes to winning planning permission on difficult sites.

  • Tulip
    Insight

    Should new genuflect to the old?

    2019-04-24T23:00:00Z

    There are different sorts of fire and different sorts of response. Wartime destruction often triggers a desire to rebuild what has been lost (Hamburg, Warsaw); terrorist destruction can inspire a defiant new response (Ground Zero). Accidental fire is rather different, as the tragic destruction of significant parts of Notre-Dame is ...

  • Paddington Elizabeth Line Station
    Insight

    Architecture, planning and heritage are not always a happy mix

    2018-07-25T10:08:00Z

    At a ceremony earlier this month in Lawn Road, Hampstead, an English Heritage ‘blue plaque’ was unveiled on the Isokon building, a 1934 modernist apartment block designed by Wells Coates. This now includes a museum devoted to the architecture of the period, created from garages as part of a retrofit ...

  • Sadiq Khan
    Insight

    Khan is as pro property as a Labour London mayor can get

    2018-01-26T06:00:00Z

    The last Labour London mayor, Ken Livingstone, had an ambivalent attitude to commercial property. On the face of it he was a supporter of key projects, such as The Shard. But did he ever really like developers?

  • 1970s houses
    Insight

    Five decades on and the world of property hasn’t changed much

    2017-10-26T05:00:00Z

    I was lucky enough to receive the president’s special award at the British Council for Offices dinner earlier this month, which of course got me thinking about the world of property since I started writing about it 45 years ago, as a trainee reporter on Estates Times (which eventually ...

  • Garden Bridge, London
    Insight

    The Garden Bridge project was a sad victim of miserable negativity

    2017-08-24T11:00:00Z

    In the 1940s, one of the visionary plans for London by the town planner Sir Patrick Abercrombie contained a proposal for a bridge across the Thames with crossing points pretty much where the Garden Bridge was supposed to have been constructed.