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Ian Martin

One man's journey into architecture, with fellow travellers Dusty Penhaligon, architecture critic Darcy Farquear'say, RIPBA president Dame Helen Button, magic arborealist Isis de Cambray and HRH Prince Charles

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Name that tomb

Ian Martin designs an austere deathpod

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Into Darkest London

Ian Martin finds a novel solution to the empty homes scandal

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The Great Upmarket Mockney Nanopad Sell-Out

Ian Martin witnesses the re-gangsterfication of the East End

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Loose fit, long life, low-energy shrug

Ian Martin styles an ecological church on Kylie Minogue’s arse

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All the world’s demountable

Ian Martin favours sinister bees over compliant cows

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There goes the victimhood

Ian Martin insists his conscience is socially clean

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Living in a dematerialised world

Ian Martin explores the future from an experimental 1970s pub

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A savage gardening plan

Ian Martin replaces City bankers with cosmic energy orchards and tomatoes

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Put on a happy facade

Ian Martin takes Marx’s advice and goes for comedy over tragedy

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A sense of placenta

Ian Martin discovers expedience follows form follows function follows global branding

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The ‘grey scorpion’ faxes

Ian Martin salutes a winning royal bluff

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The bees have it

Ian Martin witnesses winged metaphor at the Milan Expo

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Her Majesty's playhouse

Ian Martin wins the royal commission to design a second home for a princess

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Getting in the party moods

Ian Martin offers some last-minute advice to political strategists

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International Graffiti

Ian Martin explores the latest trends in commodified graffiti

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The Twelve Step Plan

Ian Martin learns how to preserve ‘character’, and how to accidentally demolish a pub…

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History eats itself

Ian Martin dreams up a post-Shoreditch pop-up, and needs to develop it quickly…

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The North, still born-again

MONDAY Wow. All the architectural wisdom ever generated in the entire history of the world, distilled into a single tweet. I’m about to post it, then realise how dangerous that would actually be. Imagine. It would completely blow too many minds. The consequences would be - are - incalculable. I delete the tweet and squint into middle distance. A piano plays something elegiac.

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The only way is morals

Ian Martin manages to avoid the gangsters and dickheads in Cannes, but finds his ethics tested back home

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The unspeakable in pursuit of the unseeable

Ian Martin is thinking again about pay-per-view architecture, but discovers he’s not the only one

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If it ain’t broke, amend it

Gadgets can be fun until the free trial ends, discovers Ian Martin

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The Great Tudor Alibi

Ian Martin has a brush with the law, but first deals with an ethical dilemma

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A Mercian Wave

Tamworth is where it’s at, discovers Ian Martin

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Enharmonic Typology

A trip to McDonalds and a new app gives Ian Martin a cheeky idea

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The Auto-Nostalgic Reboot

Ian Martin considers the capital’s newest reboot but first must deal with some troublesome mosaics

David Cameron

Ian Martin's speech at the launch of The Coalition Chronicles

I’m 58 years old and standing on a chair…I love a crowd when I don’t know many people. It’s more exciting.

Top 10...Facebook groups

1. Robin Hood Gardens Hedge Fund Investors2. Baggy Urban Zoomorphs Rule3. Pre-Modernism Rocks The House4. Olympics - Yay!5. Second Home Self-Builders With Attitude6. We've Been To Siena And Sketched In A Straw Hat7. Architects and Planners for Justice in Pimlico8. Absorbing The Gherkin9. Freemasons Facebook Lodge10. I Studied For Seven Years So Why The Fuck Do I Earn Less Than A Vet?

Top 10...Client Complaints

1. 'Finished building looks smaller than in original daydream'2. 'Architect not wearing traditional frock coat'3. 'Houseguests less glamorous than in brochure'4. 'Now we've moved in, turns out to be in wrong part of country'5. 'Wanted double Georgian garage not lecture on aesthetics'6. 'Cost overrun very dramatic but with no clear narrative'7. 'Channel 4 uninterested, despite huge financial outlay'8. 'Thought contextual restraint meant yachting wire or ...

Top 10...London smells

1. Incontinental Europe.2. Atomised milky coffee.3. Conservative pheromones.4. Tubed human meatloaf.5. Kerosene with herbal essences.6. Wafting, melancholy gastropub.7. Guilty fag breath.8. Concessionary chip fat.9. Blocked fear.10. Simmering line managers enthused with garlic.

dansette

Top 10...Architectural jellies

1. Miniature Millennium Bridge.2. Sydney harbour, with wafers.3. Recession-moulded City of London.4. Wobbling New Delhi.5. Green jelly earth with bitter fondant eulogy.6. Tower of Trifle.7. Model City of Bath in aspic.8. Royal jelly Poundbury.9. Saudi Arabian lubricating jelly airbase.10. Naked Will Alsop moulded by Lucian Freud.

Top 10...Eco-Towns

1. High Purberley2. Greenham Conyers3. Sustainby Neuterall4. Glazing-upon-Glazing5. Burbish6. Spralling7. Greywater Butts8. Compellinghampton9. Reuseable Bagshot10. Smugby.

breakfast

Top 10...Richard Rogers' Lordly gripes

1. Urban Task Force still ignored despite rhetoric.2. Terminal 5 now carrying too much cultural baggage.3. Suburbia remains ghastly...4. ...AND in breach of recent Guardian article guidelines.5. Food today too fast.6. Planners today too slow.7. Too few pompous shits at heart of decision-making.8. New communities developing sense of place, belonging and identity despite incorrect design.9. Nowhere civilised enough in Thames Gateway to have lunch.10. ...

Top 10...Items on Frank Gehry's 'To Do' List

1. Print out rendering of new office block.2. Take printout to Hall of Mirrors, photograph reflection.3. Feed crazy distorted image back into aeronautical design program, hit the 'make this happen' button.4. Print out new rendering, send to client with invoice.5. Punch LA Times critic in face.6. Fix 'seemingly random' meeting with Russian oligarch.7. Identify appropriate ass in Hove.8. Kick ass all the way to goddam Brighton.9. Articulate 'chaotic' ...

Top ten...Kevin McCloud Moments

1. Sceptical frown in beanie. 2. Quizzical pout in hard hat. 3. Chuckling at timetable. 4. Conspiratorial whispering in deserted Italian kitchen. 5. Facial paralysis after saying 'gosh'. 6. Squinting at recalcitrant German roof. 7. Caressing seasoned oak beam with faraway gaze. 8. Shimmy of head as 'spontaneous thought' occurs. 9. Sighing, forgetting to breathe in again, passing out. 10. Asking 'but will it...work?' then getting hit in face ...

Top Ten...Youtube Clips

1. Igloos melting to a poignant soundtrack.2. Menacing Russian cartoon featuring dancing skyscrapers.3. Armed charrette at University of Pennsylvania.4. Wind turbines apparently chatting to each other in Swedish.5. Original World Trade Center under reconstruction in Second Life.6. Man being eaten by interactive carpet.7. Freak weather battering the Scottish coast, then deep-frying it.8. Homeless people dancing for soup in Poundbury.9. Frank Gehry ...

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Top 10...gay spaces

1. The William Morris Pink House. 2. Senior Consenting Room, Fingersmiths College. 3. The Dancing Bear prosthetic nightclub, Soho. 4. Lawrence of Arabia suite with walk-in closet, Burj Dubai. 5. Sub-prime non-dom housing, Queens, NYC. 6. Rufus Wainwright's dressing room. 7. Dorothy Cottage, Wordsworth, Cumbria. 8. Anything indoors in Brighton. 9. Pre-booked pod on The London Queer Eye.10. Your scrupulously tidy study.

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Top 10...pencils

1. The Graphito by Banksy & Banksy.2. Stubby Lines' Doodlebug Pro.3. Suzuki left-handed mechanical in B Minor.4. The Böring Seminar Bullet Point.5. Zaha Stiletto Space Probe 3000.6. Fair Trade natural unpainted cedar pencil with pretend carbon.7. The 2B Hamlet Soliloquy.8. The Blairwrite Memo with sneery, retractable point.9. Tarantino HB 5mm with smooth-barelled fixed eraser and ass-cap popper.10. Wooden stylus dipped in own blood.

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Top 10...Designer toilets

1. The Herzog and de Meuron close-coupled Europan.2. Wayne Hemingway's Flush Hurry.3. The Renzo Piano Urban Macerator.4. Studio Libeskind Biomass Exodus.5. Ceramic Shitpod on tubular steel legs by Will Alsop.6. Norman Foster's Effluvium Overlord.7. The Vitrinius Vitruvio Latin Commodium by Quinlan Terry.8. Converted K8 phone box at bottom of garden.9. The Calatrava Cable-Stayed Passing Place.10. Personal reed bed.

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