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Phyllis Richardson

Phyllis Richardson
Phyllis is an architecture and design writer based in London. She champions the small and sustainable and has published several books, including the XS series (XS, XS Green, XS Future) and Nano House. In her spare time she ponders the impact of the digital world on the literary.
Top Articles by Phyllis Richardson
  • Weighing in: Ten of the best lightweight houses

    Some sit up on stilts, some float on water and some can be delivered by flat-bed truck. Made from shipping containers, bamboo, plastic and timber. Here are 10 houses that are lightweight, low-impact, small and efficient.

  • World's first floating apartment build to commence in 2014

    The Dutch are known for their ingenuity in taming it and using it to their advantage, but their systems for keeping water at bay are now being rethought by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, who is is embracing water-borne housing with particular vigor wit...

  • How do you move a city and keep its mining industry alive?

    The century-old Swedish town of Kiruna in the Arctic Circle sits on one of the world’s richest deposits of iron ore. Now in danger of collapse due to extensive deep mining, the city center is to be relocated in a plan developed by White Arkitekter, a...

  • Cool, modern and flood-proof: New house on the Thames for a family of 10

    A new house on the Thames is built to cope with eight children, close neighbors, and flooding. Its design is described as "a swimming pool in reverse."

  • Team Austria wins Solar Decathlon 2013

    Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology) has been announced the overall winner of Solar Decathlon 2013 after the closest competition in the history of the event. Second place went to University of Nevada Las Vegas, with the Czech Technical Univ...

Mint Street housing development, east London, by Pitman Tozer (Image: Killian O'Sullivan)

Architects Pitman Tozer have built a 7-story housing block in Mint Street, east London, for Peabody housing that combines market-rate and subsidized apartments in a modern, stylish, efficient building located only 12 meters (40 ft) from a busy railway viaduct. In a departure from the harsh functional towers usually associated with such tight urban sites, the Mint Street building is a pleasant, colorful, curved form that offers living spaces with plenty of light and humane proportions.  Read More

The sculptural concrete wrap (Image: Hertha Hurnaus)

Vienna is by no means the most crowded metropolis in the world, or even in Europe. Even so, Caramel Architects has designed a house on the outskirts of the city that provides a model for getting more people into a smaller area without giving up amenities like natural light and private garden space.  Read More

The 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale that includes entries from 65 countries (Image: Phyl...

The 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is a tribute to building elements and invention, but it is also a meditation on modernity that morphs, in the "Monditalia" exhibit, into a singing and dancing performance piece. While some critics have raved about Koolhaas' holistic vision, others are a bit more circumspect. And visiting the exhibitions, it's not hard to see why opinions might diverge.  Read More

The bookcase and canopy are the main design elements (Image: Coffey Architects)

A new library and research facilities are at the center of refurbishment plans for the London Science Museum. The commission to refurbish around 400 square meters (4305 sq ft) of space on the ground floor and mezzanine levels was recently awarded to Coffey Architects. As well as providing space for research and study, the new facility will allow access to more than half a million sources contained in the Wroughton Library, including archives and original materials.  Read More

Bottles filled with water, detergent and graphene flakes – the graphene absorbs a small am...

It is one atom thick and touted to be stronger than steel. Graphene has captured the scientific and public imagination as the wonder material of the 21st century. Now, researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found a way to extract the substance from graphite – using a kitchen blender and some liquid soap.  Read More

Villa for an Aviator, by Urban Office Architecture, is a home designed to simulate life in...

It may not look like an aircraft, but this house designed for an airplane pilot was conceived as a collection of aeronautical parts and is intended to simulate life in the clouds. Called "a villa for an aviator," the house in New York state was designed as a deconstructed airplane to give the owner the feel of living in spaces that are surrounded by open sky.  Read More

The 78m-long (256-ft) sculpture is suspended on four structural columns (Photo: Heathrow A...

Engineers have called it "the hundred-thousand-piece jigsaw," and today it was unveiled as the centerpiece of a new extension to London's Heathrow Terminal 2 building. The aluminum-clad sculpture titled "Slipstream," by artist RIchard Wilson, reaches 78 meters (256 feet) and weighs upward of 77 metric tons (85 tons). Engineering firm Price & Myers was tasked with the job of designing parts for the piece, which twists and turns in simulation of a small airplane as it moves through space performing a series of acrobatic maneuvers.  Read More

Open-source beehives can be downloaded and printed using a CNC router (Photo: Open Source ...

Bee colonies are in decline worldwide. As Gizmag reported previously, this is a growing problem, and a number of theories and solutions are being explored. A team of eco-technologists from Europe and the US has come together to engineer a collaborative response to the problem, an open-source hive that can help house, track and understand the cycles movements of these vital members of the eco-system.  Read More

New skyscrapers in the City of London (Image: Hayes Davidson for NLA)

Some are sharp, some are boxy, some tubular. Some will be built in pairs, groups of three or clusters. More than 230 new towers are being built or planned for London, making Renzo Piano’s Shard look like a modest proposal and St Paul’s almost quaint.  Read More

One of the Bochum metro shelters by Despang Architekten (Photo: Olaf Baumann)

Exposed street escalators in Bochum, Germany, have been given a new lease of life with clever shelter designs by Despang Architekten. Described by the architects as "urban waterfalls," the seemingly simple shelters had to be tough enough to withstand the impact of a large truck, while presenting an elegant glass entrance to the underground metro. A series of metal supports covered in glass sheets allow rainwater to cascade over the sides, producing the waterfall effect. The ribbed steel structure also protects against vandalism.  Read More

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