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The AJ is the home of critical writing on British architecture

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Rory Olcayto welcomes to two new high-profile signings, Owen Hatherley and Ellis Woodman, to the AJ

This week we’re cementing The AJ’s reputation as the home of critical writing on British architecture with two new high-profile signings, Owen Hatherley and Ellis Woodman. They join an already-strong writing team that delivers weekly columns by Paul Finch and Ian Martin, regular reviews by Joseph Rykwert, Jay Merrick, Edwin Heathcote, Rob Bevan and Rowan Moore and occasional features by Jonathan Meades. Jonathan Glancey and Denise Chevin, too, will write for our AJ100 edition. These AJ writing debuts coincide with two shortlistings for the prestigious PPA Awards this year: The AJ is nominated for Magazine of the Year, while I’m in the running for Columnist of the Year. We’ll find out if we’ve won in July.

As for Hatherley, his reputation precedes him. Of his 2010 architectural travelogue, The New Ruins of Great Britain, Meades writes: “[Hatherley] travels, self-consciously, in the famous footsteps of JB Priestley and Ian Nairn, and there can be no higher praise than to suggest that he proves himself their peer.’ Hatherley kicks off his new monthly column, Militant Modernist, this week by marking the death of David Cameron’s Big Society and the curious rebirth of self-build architecture.

Woodman, our new critic-at-large, debuted in these pages on Good Friday, with two articles for our Skyline campaign, but takes up his regular building review role next week with a study of David Chipperfield’s office block for Argent at King’s Cross. We eagerly await the multi-award winning Woodman’s verdict.

Take a walk around King’s Cross

In advance of Woodman’s critique, however, you can read the architect’s take on One Pancras Square, and every other completed project at King’s Cross, in this week’s accompanying 140-page book, the first of three AJ is publishing with Argent. A Walk around Kings Cross, edited by AJ alumna Ruth Slavid, examines and celebrates the townscape of Argent’s astonishing piece of city-making as it begins to emerge. Each project is described by the architect responsible, and these insights are interspersed with descriptions of the wider district, in the form of a walk you might take should you visit the neighbourhood. (You should.) We’ve worked with Argent on a number of projects, most recently a charrette for Paradise Circus in Birmingham; but we did one for King’s Cross, too, in 2008. We’re delighted to be working with its talented team once again. Argent’s patronage of great architects and smart urbanism sets an example we hope more developers will follow.

rory.olcayto@emap.com Twitter: @roryolcayto


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