After forking out trillions for the www. architecture. com site name, the RIBA has come up with a nifty (and presumably free) name for its combined RIBA/V&A website: www. architecture forall. com. Its avowed function is to promote the study of architecture to the widest, etc. It is a really intriguing site.
The home page has the mission statement at the top, with a pic of an unnamed building, a strip of links to other sections, a select-a-gallery strip and a summary of the news, and contact/mailing/feedback/donate buttons. Then the fun starts.Click on News and, after a long time, you get the news page. Go back and accidentally click on Home. Quaintly, the news comes up again but this time in lengthy detail.
OK, this is work in progress. Back at Home you click on Gallery. Up come 12 big thumbnails. One is Centre Point, another the Sydney Harbour Bridge, next The Fireplace in the main hall at the Leys.
Click and, after a dismally long wait, a bigger image comes up with basic data, including author of the building, when the pic was taken, by whom and when.
OK, you look around a bit and up there at the top is a tiny select box. Great.
Click on Spiritual? , streets? (lower case for some reason), Commerce?
Sexy? Er, not very, as it turns out.
Unless you think the Civic Centre in Chester-le-Street qualifies - among a mere 11 choices. Then back to the homepage and the enigmatic strip of images. Click on what is probably the roof of Gaudi's Casa Battlo. OK, of the 10 images here is that amusing New Delhi-inspired Lutyens bust, Hundertwasser's Hundertwasserhaus and, for some reason, Moshe Safdie's 1967 Habitat. Hey, this has been taxonomised by a refugee from the Tate: inexplicable themes rather than chronology, that sort of thing. I think. Back to the home page.
Click on that bearded bloke: probably a bust of Phidias. Aargh, it turns out to be old Charles Garnier (1825-98). Silly me.
Greek? Everybody else remembers what old Charlie looks like. Don't you?