Garden Studio: The Hackney Shed

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Architecture / London

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This week Dezeen Magazine posted 12 of their favourite garden studios online, a selection of well designed spaces that anybody would be more than happy to have sit at the end of their garden. Many though (like the fantastic one pictured above) were almost small building projects in themselves, so seeing as the sun has decided to appear in recent days, I thought it would be apt to share one of the projects that would perhaps be more achievable. Below are images of the low-budget ‘Hackney Shed’ by architects Office Sian.

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Music: #NowPlaying 30.05.15

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Music

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The first one of these posts I’ve made for a few weeks, but better late than never! Three tracks I’m listening to at the moment.

A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon – Foster the People

A track that sounds as good as it’s name! Foster the People’s debut album ‘Torches’ (2011) is one of my favourites in recent years, a collection of music that I can listen to straight the way through time and time again. Like that record their second album ‘Supermodel’, which was released last year, grows on you the more and more you play it. As a band that uses a lot of electronic and catchy indie-pop beats and melodies as part of their sound, it was nice to hear this dirtier, more rock orientated track towards the end of the album. A live version from a BBC Radio 1 session below for you to have a listen.

Let It Happen – Tame Impala

Tame Impala, the best psychedelic infused band going. After the success of ‘Lonerism’, and having cemented themselves as a (deservedly) well supported and known band, it’s now time for their next progression. Let It Happen is a smoother, electronic dabbled approach to the band’s sound, and as hinted for the upcoming album, this almost eight minute track demonstrates that perfectly.

No Cities to Love – Sleater-Kinney

A track that I’ve been hearing a lot of in recent weeks and am still not getting tired of it. Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities to Love is the title track for their upcoming eighth studio album, their first in a decade. Having never listened to the group from Washington before, who formed back in 1994, I will be definitely delving into their past albums upon hearing this. Here’s the video for the single on the BBC’s Later with…Jools Holland programme.

Bordeaux Stadium – Herzog & de Meuron

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Architecture / Sport

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Growing up, stadia design has always been one of my greatest interests. As a dedicated follower of football it’s the one (infrequent) chance that I get to combine two of my biggest passions, the other one obviously being architecture. Often though, it’s hard to come by a project that totally fulfils both sides. Firstly, there aren’t a vast number of stadia being built or redeveloped due to the nature of the typology, particularly locally. Second of all, most are designed to be as efficient and affordable as possible, more often than not substituting architectural quality for that of a cheaper, more standardised aesthetic. So when one of architectural significance comes along, it’s something to savour.

Herzog and de Meuron’s recently completed Bordeaux Stadium is just that. Nine-hundred thin white columns elegantly support the 42,000 seater arena, built for the European Championships in 2016 and to subsequently become the home of FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Meticulously designed, the structure fits pleasantly into its surroundings and with its simplistic geometry and clean lines makes for easier orientation, access and movement.

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The one question with a new stadium is always going to be regarding the atmosphere. In my opinion it will always be very difficult to top the environment created by older, more traditional football grounds, however this design does seem to keep the fans compact and close to the pitch, which will always help. The two-tier stadium hugs the pitch and from looking at the images gives great views all round. I did have a doubt about the perhaps clinical nature and appearance from such an architecturally stimulating stadium, however that’s what makes it unique, and will no doubt provide a fantastic canvas for the supporters to utilise. The interesting thing now will be to see if this ‘nouveau’ approach to the International style stadium catches on, especially in the United Kingdom.

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Music: #NowPlaying 09.05.15

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Music

Now Playing_Blog_150509Below three tracks that are particular favourites at the moment.

Reflections – Django Django

A band who I used to regularly play on student radio, this is a new track from the group’s second album three years after their self-titled debut release in 2012. Released just this week, the Mercury Prize nominated band have produced another exciting and eclectic album that picks up where they left off, and the song ‘Reflection’s is one that I’ve enjoyably been listening to more than others.

Gurdjieffs Daughter – Laura Marling

A song that starts off like Haim’s ‘Honey & I’, but quickly becomes Laura Marling’s own. I was instantly hooked by the melodic guitar notes that sit behind her vocals like a day-dreaming middle distance stare, the up and down vocals of which in themselves enhance this. No Soundcloud track for this, so here’s the video instead.

City – Spring King

A track I heard on the radio the other week that sounded extremely familiar, despite never having heard of the band before. On further investigation, it aptly became quite difficult to find information about Spring King apart from the mandatory Soundcloud page and obscure blog. What I do know though, is that ‘City’ is a track I very much like, and that’s why it’s one of my favourite songs this week.

Tour De Yorkshire

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Sport

With the third and final stage of the inaugural Tour De Yorkshire finishing yesterday, I thought I’d take a look back on an extremely successful weekend for the county, and indeed cycling, in the form of photos taken from around the web. Around 1.2 million are estimated to have watched from the side of the roads, an enormous figure for a race of this size.

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Stage One – The Peleton

Photo: Bryn Lennon

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Stage One – The riders en route to Scarborough.

Photo: Bryn Lennon

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Stage One – Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug claims victory in Scarborough.

Photo: Bryn Lennon

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Stage Two – Sprint finish in York.

Photo: Bryn Lennon

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Stage Three – Riders climbing one of the many challenging ascents on the Cote de Cow and Calf.

Photo: Tim Goode

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Stage Three – Crowds gather on the cobblestone climb in Haworth.

Photo: Oli Scarff