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A million clicks later: Top 10 British projects from the AJ Buildings Library

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Schemes by Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid are joined by a Gingerbread House and a sustainable student pavilion on the list of top projects from AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Part of the AJ subscription package since July 2011, the growing, online Aladdin’s cave of the UK’s best buildings has now had more than one million page views.

The AJ Buildings Library is a database of 30,000 photographs, drawings and data for more than 1,500 exemplar projects in British architecture - including every AJ Building Study of the past 15 years.

Intriguingly all of the top 10 ‘most clicked’ projects were built in the past decade, although projects in the Library go back to 1905.

‘Library’, ‘Theatre’ and ‘Brick’ were the most popular search terms

Zaha Hadid Architects is the only practice with two entries in the list, the Aquatic Centre and Evelyn Grace Academy.

Smaller practices and projects are well represented in the top 10: Alma-nac’s Giant Gingerbread House was completed for just £18,000; students at the Centre for Alternative Technology designed the Coed Gwern Bird Hide for £1,500; and the Old Workshop by Jack Wooley won the AJ Small Projects award in 2012.

AJ editor Christine Murray says: ‘We developed the AJBL as a tool for researching building precedents, but it is useful through all RIBA work stages, from feasibility studies to detailed designs.

‘Search for theatre or primary school, and you can compare spatial planning, cost, and floor area across a typology. You can also search for an engineer or contractor to see examples of their work, or search by materials such as zinc, environmental criteria such as Passivhaus, or by cities such as Glasgow or Sheffield.’

‘The AJ Buildings Library is the natural extension of the AJ, developed in the tradition of this historic title. But shelf space is limited in the modern world, in a way that a digital archive is not.’

The three most popular Library search terms among architects were Library, Theatre and Brick.


15,113Aquatic Centre, London by Zaha Hadid Architects (2011)
24,913Villiers Road Studios, London by Peter Barber Architects (2009)
34,048Evelyn Grace Academy, London by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010)
43,38730 St. Mary Axe, London by Foster + Partners (2003)
52,786Old Workshop, London by Jack Woolley (2011)
62,774Giant Gingerbread House, London by Alma-nac (2011)
72,759Olympic Velodrome, London by Hopkins Architects (2011)
82,604The Shadow House, London by Liddicoat & Goldhill (2011)
92,472Artist’s Workshop, London by Carmody Groarke (2010)
102,300Coed Gwern Bird Hide, Machynlleth by CAT Professional Diploma Students (2011)



Introductory video guide to the AJ Buildings Library:

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