Amanda Levete writing

Publications: A selection of Amanda Levete's articles

December 10 2014

New Statesman

Strange Geometries: Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy _06.02.2014
Seven installations by seven architectural practices – life-sized interventions designed to confront the senses and engage the mind.

The V&A makes way for the diggers_26.09.2013
Intuition is as much a part of design as logic.

Resistance is fertile_08.05.2013
Our cities tell us everything we need to know about architecture and resistance.

Architect’s diary: Coming up for air_13.12.2012
Amanda Levete discusses the tension between the design and realisation of a building.

Architect’s diary: Screen play_24.08.2012
To be a spectator at a planning committee meeting is to see democracy in action.

If these walls could talk_16.07.2012
Amanda Levete wants to remap London as a city for people not buildings.

Concrete poetry_27.02.2012
Thirty years after the opening of the Barbican Centre in the city of London, Amanda Levete celebrates a much maligned brutalist masterpiece that has become fashionable once more.

The Architectural Review

Skylines: Opinions on Renzo Piano’s Shard, London_August 2012
As the Shard celebrates its opening, the AR presents a spectrum of views on London’s towering addition from key figures in British architecture.


What’s in a place?_November 2011
The Pompidou Centre transformed our relationship with buildings.

Building — 2010

Rulers were made for_17.12.2010
You can’t measure the value of design with any kind of measuring stick — and anyone who suggests you can deserves a rap on the knuckles.

University of life_19.11.2010
Higher education is going to become increasingly inaccessible, so why don’t we create ways of training architects on the job?

Second best is no good at all_08.10.2010
Fresh from the Labour conference, Amanda Levete muses on the pointlessness of second place, the deviousness of committees and the role of a great leader in making great buildings.

Donkey work and urban planning_17.09.2010
A Kenyan island with an unusual freight-transportation system has inspired Amanda Levete to think again about designing for cities without cars.

How does the state imagine?_23.07.2010
The next decade is going to reinterpret, reorganise and abolish much of our familar world, so we’ll need creative thinking from government. Which could be a problem.

Up for the cup_18.06.2010
Goal celebrations are brilliant expressions of national identity (but not you, Clint Dempsey). How does architecture reflect where a nation has come from and where it’s going?

Choice in an age of uncertainty_30.04.2010
These days it seems nothing can be taken for granted, whether its simple travel plans or the fact that the Lib Dems are bound to come third. Which can be a good thing.

A week in paradoxia_05.03.2010
Or, as the atlases have it, Japan: a country that endlessly contradicts itself, but does so with such artistry that it hardly matters. But what can it teach us?

Bring back the star chamber…_22.01.2010
…fill it with Britain’s best architects and give it the final say in what gets built. Amanda Levete explains why this modest proposal is neither elitist, utopian, nor politically impossible.

Building — 2009

They know how to use the Sky box_06.11.2009
That’s just one of the benefits of having children. But the struggle to combine work and reproduction is rewarding, exhausting and different for everybody.

The academy in peril_02.10.2009
If you find yourself with a spare hour in Piccadilly, go and see Anish Kapoor at the RA: it’s disturbing, even violent, but it has a lot to say about how art fits into buildings.

Where are we now?_24.07.2009
The way architecture is produced, consumed and understood in the 21st century has been transformed — for better and worse — by digital technology.

Dining and designing_23.06.2009
Buildings are consumed by the eye in the same way that food is consumed by the organs of digestion. And in both cases, the important thing is that they’re tasty.

We can’t afford cheap and nasty_15.05.2009
The recession is turning us, and our politicians, into mean, short-sighted people. And this is exactly the right way to make sure it lasts a long, long time.

Australia’s grand opera house_09.04.2009
Sydney is finally going to restore Jørn Utzon’s awesome opera house to his original design — but there is a big price to pay.

Jan and me_06.03.2009
Jan Kaplický was a visionary architect who’s creativity drove him to test the bounds of the possible.

Building — 2008

Nothing could be better_19.12.2008
Empty sites and redundant buildings can be colonised for all kinds of creative purposes. It just needs a little imagination on the part of government to get them going…

A question of charisma_19.09.2008
Some regenerated areas become fizzing centres of creative energy whereas others are, well, a bit dull. But what is it that makes the difference?

The uses of adversity_11.07.2008
The Great Depression brought destitution to millions. It also transformed politics and society and produced great architecture. Could the present downturn do the same?

Darwin and design_09.05.2008
A week in the Pacific archipelago that inspired the theory of evolution also inspires thoughts about survival and extinction in the architectural world.

The stranglers_20.03.2008
One hand is called administrative efficiency. The other is called funding projections. Together they are throttling the life out of education in the creative arts. We have to fight back while we still can.

Power and glory_08.02.2008
Like it or not, nuclear is an essential, if temporary, solution to our power needs. But this time, let’s not design the stations as ominous concrete hulks.

A tale of three cities_25.01.2008
Rome, Mumbai and Marrakesh each have much to tell us about how cities work, how they fail and the possibilities they offer to those who live in them.

Building — 2007

Consider the bat_02.11.2007
So, the competition was to design a des res for a few hundred flying midge munchers, but the results were revelatory — and strangely important for all of us…

Material world_23.09.2007
Is furniture art? What difference does it make if a bench is made of fibreglass or marble? What goes on in a Bangkok luxury hotel? All the answers are here.

‘Relax, babe’_03.08.2007
What Dennis Hopper told Amanda Levete and other Vegas stories, plus the secret story of Wembley’s image rights.

Table talk_11.05.2007
The Milan furniture fair is where commerce meets style. This year, it was also visited by a new seriousness, reflecting the way design comments on the society that creates it.

The towers of London_26.03.2007
The capital’s flirtation with tall buildings is becoming a love affair, thanks to the commercial and aesthetic success of recent designs. But how can we keep it going?

Doing what it takes_09.02.2007
The Olympics will only truly succeed if the powers-that-be overcome their intellectual timidity and attack the problem with passion, imagination and a whole lot of money.

Life less ordinary_12.01.2007
This strange time of year, when our everyday existence pauses for a week, makes us look more closely at who we are, where we live and the work that we do.

Building — 2006

Reindeer with everything_24.11.2006
It’s postcards from the edge this week, as our globetrotting architect flits from the antlers of Helsinki to the Buddhas of Bangkok.

Net result_06.10.2006
For the fans, the Arsenal stadium is a great result, but architecturally it’s in the second division.

Viva Zaha! _23.06.2006
The Guggenheim’s Zaha Hadid exhibition illustrates, with equal clarity, the genius of the architect, the lack of a world-class venue in London and the problems of working in Wales.

Now is good_24.03.2006
Now is a great time to be an architect, with liberated aesthetics, resurgent creativity, rethought modernism — and a welcome new distraction…