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WELCOME TO THE ARCHITECTURE ISSUE. When this issue was conceived I imagined images of elegant modernist interiors complemented by large scale fibre works produced mainly in the United States in the 1960s and 70s, see Structurally sound, page 65. For me, these images communicate the relationship between weaving and architecture. However, as the issue developed, these elegant images were superseded by joyous pattern that ironically runs counter to much of the philosophy surrounding contemporary western art and architecture. Nominated for the Turner prize, we see the work of Yinka Shonibare exploiting decoration, until recently a derogative term within the world of Fine Art implying lack of serious content. Maybe things are changing. We send Yinka our best wishes, see Alien nation, page 18.

This is not the view held by the Zulu for whom pattern making forms the visual language of social history, see Reading between the lines, page 74. In interiors, a new expression of the innate desire to decorate has emerged. Designer-makers are creating exquisite papers and the price is not prohibitive when used judiciously. Wallpaper, in its current reincarnation as a foreground rather than a background, is taking centre stage, see Let the good times roll, page 30.

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We do hope you all enjoy this issue. Congratulations to Lucy Goffin, who has won our trip to Helsinki, have a wonderful time. •••

Polly Leonard Editor


We asked this month’s contributors to tell us about their favourite buildings.




Built in 1934 and designed by Wells Coates, Embassy Court is a modernist block of flats that towers over Brighton’s seafront, resembling a static luxury liner. The interiors featured murals by Edward McKnight, Kauffer and textiles by Marion Dorn. Terence Conran plans to restore the building to its 1930s heyday.

I just love Sir Norman Foster’s design of the Willis Faber & Dumas’s headquarters in Suffolk. Its curved shape allows you to look down onto the swimming pool or up at the escalators. The reflections of buildings in the curved glass have a sense of movement, like fabric on a washing line.

Mine is a pretty obvious choice the Guggenheim Museum in New York by Frank Lloyd Wright, completed in 1959. It is mesmerizing from every level looking up, down or across. The ramp is like a coiled spring, it expands upwards and outwards. This was the architect’s last building. What a way to go !