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CRITIC'S CHOICE

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BOOKS

Among the many coastal defences in east and south-east England, ranging from such huge complexes as Dover Western Heights to solitary concrete pill-boxes, are the Martello towers built to resist Napoleon. The Landmark Trust owns the one in Aldeburgh, which you can rent for holidays. Now another of these towers, on the Essex coast at Jaywick near Clacton, is set to open as an arts space this Saturday, 17 September, at 3pm.

Among the artists in the first show is John Kippin, whose photographs of the east coast and its defences were impressive at Colchester's First Site gallery last summer.

Two other coastal venues catch the eye. At RENEW Northwest in Liverpool's Ropeworks area, until 30 September, Public & Prized features photographs by Michele Turriani of 12 buildings that have either won or been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award (www. renew.

co. uk). From 17 September in Cardiff, at the g39 gallery (in Wyndham Arcade, Mill Lane) and some other central sites in the city, nine artists participate in On Leaving and Arriving, with work supposedly bearing on Cardiff's role as a port (www. g39. org).

After the summer lull, there's a flurry of new shows in London. The Design Museum's Eileen Gray exhibition opens on 17 September (www. designmuseum. org. ), From Futurism to Arte Povera is at the Estorick Collection (www.

estorickcollection. com), and Shillam + Smith has relaunched its gallery at 122 Great Titchfield Street with works by Judith Frost (www. urbaneye. co. uk).

London Open House takes place this coming weekend, 17-18 September (www. openhouse. org. uk). One property you can visit is Pullman Court (pictured) - Frederick Gibberd's big 1930s residential block in Streatham, where several flats will be open and artists Polonca Lovsin, Lothar Gotz and Ian Kiaer have made 'site specific' work (www. internationalstyle.

org. uk). Some of London's best post-war housing, Eric Lyons' Span estates, is the subject of a show at 34 Wigmore Street, and a Span house at Fieldend, Twickenham, is open over the weekend. A proper book on Span, a model for integrating housing and landscape, would be welcome.

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