‘The worst building in the world awards’ | Culture | Architects Journal

A massive gulf persists between the buildings that win architecture awards and those that  the public prefers, suggests research by Create StreetsIn 1987 a young psychologist conducted an experiment into how repeated exposure to an image changed perceptions of it. A group of volunteer students were shown photographs of unfamiliar people and buildings and asked to rate them in terms of attractiveness. Some of the volunteers were architects; some were not. As the experiment progressed, a fascinating finding became clear: while everyone had similar views on which people were attractive, the architecture and non-architecture students had diametrically opposed views on…

Create Streets

Create Streets is a non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute focusing on the built environment. We encourage the creation of more and better urban homes with terraced streets of houses and apartments rather than complex multi-storey buildings. We support reform of the planning system to make it more effectively responsive to what people like in the built environment and campaign for community-led building and locally-supported estate regeneration to deliver homes that are popular and stand the test of time. Source: what we do – Create Streets

People prefer neo-traditional buildings — Adam Smith Institute

It seems obvious to me—and I think to most people—that housing built since the 1930s is by and large much less attractive than housing built before. But if this is true, and if we are much richer now than we were in the 1930s and before, then why would we build, buy and live in housing we don’t like? We have some sort of market in housing; surely if we really all preferred traditional housing styles we’d just buy it. A new paper (slides) provides the answer—at least if we can assume the UK and the Netherlands are similar in this respect….

Beautiful urban architecture boosts health as much as green spaces – Telegraph

A brisk walk in the countryside or a stroll along the beach is a well-known mood booster and health experts have long recommended getting out of the city improve physical and mental wellbeing. But a new study suggests that beautiful urban architecture, the sweep of docklands, or a gritty suburban river bank can have just as much impact on health and happiness levels. Researchers at the University of Warwick say it is ‘scenery’ not just ‘greenery’ which is important when determining what makes a positive environment. “The beauty of our everyday environment might have more practical importance than was previously…

Classical architecture makes us happy. So why not build more of it? 

The key to a happy life, it’s been discovered, is living near to Georgian architecture and a Waitrose. Bath, York, Chichester, Stamford, Skipton, Harrogate, Oxford and Cambridge are among the towns listed in the Sunday Times 20 nicest places to live in Britain survey.Almost all these areas have one thing in common: they all feature a great deal of Georgian housing. And they’re all mostly unaffordable. There is a fair amount of research suggesting that traditional architecture, such as Georgian and Victorian terraces and mansion blocks, contributes to our wellbeing. Beauty makes people happy.This can be measured through house prices,…


RESPONSE TO CHARTER PRINCIPLES      The building stock is retained for present uses or for adaptive re-uses (Charter Principles 4, 5, 27).  New buildings are shaped with shallow floor plates for passive heating, cooling, and ventilating; these are also modeled to accommodate flexibly a variety of uses and do so over time: groceries, doctors offices, retail (CP 12, 26).  The blocks are small with a fine-grain to maximize the choices for pedestrians (CP 12).      Second, the proposed intervention reverses the urban morphology with the canal as the backside to the canal as the neighborhood’s public space as…

Atlas – Preservation Leadership Forum – A Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Atlas of ReUrbanism is an evolving and expanding tool, allowing users to explore the built environment of American cities, block by block. Using our maps, you can interact with data on your city’s built assets, and click to layer demographic, economic, and environmental data from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, and more. The maps focus on the Character Score for buildings and blocks across 50 U.S. cities, as established in the Preservation Green Lab’s Older, Smaller, Better report. Individual building and block characteristics are also selectable and viewable. Cities currently available interactively are indicated below by red pins….

Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community Satisfaction

Our main findings confirm the hypothesis: beauty and aesthetics are among the most important factors in perceived community satisfaction. In fact, only one of the coefficients, that for current economic conditions, was stronger. Our findings for beauty and aesthetics lend support to those by Glaeser et al. (2001), and Carlino and Saiz (2008), among others, who highlight the importance of amenities in urban and regional development.

John Hayes (Minister of State for Transport): The Journey to Beauty (2016)

The rarity with which the case for beauty is articulated is explained partly by timidity, and partly by unwillingness to challenge modernist determinism; by the surrender of many decent people to the Whiggish notion that the future is bound to be better than now and, in any case, there isn’t much we can do about altering it. The aesthetics of our built environment – including our transport architecture – has suffered from what Sir Roger Scruton has called the Cult of Ugliness. Yet there are signs that we’re on the cusp of a popular revolt against this soulless cult, and…

Stamps and Nasar: Design Review and Public Preferences (1997)

The findings confirm the stability of earlier research showing the public to dislike modern or atypical styles (Groat, 1982; Devlin & Nasar, 1989; Purcell & Nasar, 1992) and it confirms findings of a large effect of style independent of location of the style (Purcell & Nasar, 1992; Purcell, 1995). It also extends those findings in two ways. First, it shows the results as stable for respondents from two very different cities. It also shows the results as stable for respondents of differing levels of sensation seeking. Both high and low sensation seekers favored the popular styles to the high style…