Tag Archive: Architecture



Tattinger and the RIBA

Now the RIBA has often been accused of being an elitist organisation with too many middle class males forming an old boys club. Fortunately the RIBA are doing all they can to dispel that myth.


Architecture Web

Tumblr love from Architizer

I got a tweet last night from Petra van der Ree letting me know that Architizer had featured the Architecture Pastebook as one of their 20 best Tumblr blogs to follow.

It’s great to be featured although the way they described my posts is ever so slightly odd. But I don’t really mind as they push a lot of traffic around. It’s also worth saying why I started it and I wrote a post about that when I started.

Architect and photographer Andy Matthews from Peckham, England, fills this Tumblr with images that he finds in his research or on design sites. It is a high-quality batch of fairly straightforward building documentation.

I guess they could have said something about my love of brutalism and concrete but it’s still nice to be featured. I woke this morning with a lot more followers on Tumblr which no doubt means I’d better make a bit more effort with it and post some original content (with attribution) and up the quality a bit.

Thanks for all the followers Architizer!

Screen Shot 2014 02 08 at 08 58 57


Architecture Rant

Architects moaning over ARB fees

Inspired by Mathew’s post, karma neutral, I’ve decided to offer a little more critique and voice an opinion rather than the usual ‘oh my god these images are amazing’ posts.

First on my list is Architects moaning. Now we bloody love to moan – subjects include, but not limited to; the world hates us, we don’t get enough recognition, Doctors earn more than us, it’s not like the old days, we don’t have a design champion, our voice is being diluted and so on.

So I was amazed to read a piece on the Architect’s Journal this week about the ARB throwing Architects off the register for not paying their fees. The title Architect is protected in the UK and you have to be on the register to use the title legally. Arguments about the role ARB plays vs RIBA aside, it’s clear that this is the only thing you need to do each year (and some CPD etc) to stay practicing. You know, doing your job still after all that studying and working your nuts off.

According to the board, almost six per cent of the UK’s 34,000 registered architects did not manage to cough up the £105 fee before the 31 December 2013 deadline.

The number marks a 57 per cent rise on the 1,300 architects booted off in 2013, and is equivalent to almost half the architects employed by AJ100 practices.

The tone of the article clearly implying that the ARB was being nasty and charging a fee for people missing the deadline. Then cue quotes from people who missed the payment and wanted a moan.

Fran Balaam of Pie Architecture, said: ‘The £65 charge is ridiculous. And for what? It’s costing more [to be reinstated] than when I joined first time.

You could have saved the £65 by paying it on time surely?

I’m reminded of the blog youhadonejob.org. The only thing you have to do was pay your fees and stay registered as an Architect. You get an email reminder too telling you to pay. But instead of phrasing the article as “Architect’s too lazy to pay professional fee to allow them to continue their job” it’s all “woe is me we’re put upon even our own professional body hates us”. The AJ weren’t the only one’s to take this angle. Please man up Architects. Anyone outside of the profession seeing this article would surely think we’d all lost the fucking plot and were a bunch of moaners.

And as Vinesh reminded me, you expect clients to pay you on time (and moan about that too) so why haven’t you paid your fees?


Architecture Photography Rant

The @RIBA would like your images for free

Felt pretty stressed today. Lots to do and try and achieve before a meeting tomorrow and then I get this in my inbox.

Hi Andy

I am including a case study on the **project** in a book on domestic refurbishment projects to be published by RIBA Publishing in spring next year. Around 30 projects will be featured and the book will be a well-designed hardback with an initial print run of 2,000. I do not have a budget for the reproduction of photographs so I am having to rely on the architects concerned to supply illustrations free of charge. I don’t know what your arrangement is with **** Architects but I am hoping you can supply the shots included on their website. You will be properly credited, of course. The book includes the best work of the leading young architects in London and the rest of the UK and the photography I have received so far is by well respected architectural photographers so you will be in good company.

The book is soon to go into production so I would need to receive the material as soon as possible.


********* RIBA

First impressions, wow…

As a fully paid up member of the RIBA it’s pretty crap that they don’t even think that paying for photography is necessary. Would they suggest Architects work for free? Now I’m sure they’re not giving this book away as it’s “a well-designed hardback“. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is going to be free? So if they don’t have the budget to pay photographers then they don’t have the budget to publish a book surely? I’m sure they’ll be charging a decent fee and making a profit of some form. In addition Mr RIBA is suggesting that a credit will suffice and that it’ll probably get me more work. I’ll also be surrounded by the best of the best, all of whom are giving their work for free.

Now I feel slightly conflicted as I’d love the Architects I shot for to be published and gain more work for themselves as well as wider recognition. So I do want them to be published but why should the RIBA make money off them and me without giving anything back? There’s not even the offer of a free copy of the book!

And to top it all off.. can you get us images as soon as possible please? Not only are they free but they’re very urgent. Unbelievable. I wonder if the RIBA will give me my 2014 membership for free? I don’t have a budget for it and it’s urgent as 2013 is almost over.

Now I’m not the sort that objects to free work of any kind. I’ve done free designs, sketches, photos, in fact entire days of photography for free. But they are all done for a reason, whether that be PR and exposure, friends, a charity or just because I’ve offered to waive my fee. But this stinks, really stinks. I wish the RIBA had a bit more respect for their own professionals as well as photographers who are trying to make a living. It’s not very easy paying the rent with a credit.

So I’ll probably give them the images anyway as I feel for the Architects but holy hell it’s one more nail in the RIBA’s coffin for me.

EDIT: As pointed out on Twitter by Steve Parnell the RIBA and RIBA publishing are two different entities. The RIBA is a registered charity which I’m more inclined to support – as above comment on working for free. RIBA Publishing is a fully fledged business though.


Architecture Photography

Zumptobel lighting competition

Each year I sign up for the Zumptobel Lighting competition. They send you a disposable camera and every year I forget to use the damn thing. I’ve done it so many times I now have a collection of them stretching back to 2010, which is even in its original wrapper.

So this year I’ve actually got round to using it. But rather than just snapping away I’ve decided to only take pictures of scaffolding with it. I’m sure they’ll be a little confused as to why anyone might do that but then they probably don’t know about #scaffoldlove / scaffold of the day on Instagram.


I’m pretty sure I won’t win anything.


Architecture Music

CAD and music

I miss the days when I could sit down and do a massive drawing task over a few days relatively interrupted and just churn through album after album in iTunes. These days I struggle to listen to an album in a day and it’s never in one sitting. Not that I’m complaining, I enjoy my job a million times more now but still long for a good isolation-CAD-music-therapy.

Today I’m trying to listen to Ghostface Killah. You should too.



Being an Architect is cool

We recently had a work experience student from a local school come and work with us for two weeks. He was a really pleasant young man and seemed to have a great time seeing how an Architect’s office works. On his last day he sent an amazing email round which was touching. The line that got me the most was as follows;

Being here has allowed me to see how cool being an Architect (and Architect’s assistant) is when other people have told me its not worth it. It definitely is.

Amazing. Good luck Seni.


Architecture Work

On not taking LinkedIn too seriously

I’ve posted before about how ridiculous LinkedIn is sometimes. The most ridiculous thing is the endorsements feature. I mean, I’m an Architect and I’ve been working in the profession since I was 16 and qualified since 2009, but somehow I still need to be endorsed for Architecture. The question is posed to others “Does Andy know about Architecture?” – of course he fucking does he’s a qualified Architect. If you can’t see from my CV that I can do Architecture then something has gone wrong.

So I started playing with it a little. Endorsing people for ridiculous things like, waking up, Microsoft Word, Turning a computer on, Herding cats and the like. And others similarly played with it such as Peter Guthrie who endorsed me for Laughter Yoga – ha ha ha ha hahahahahhhaaaha. Seriously search YouTube for it, it’s hilarious. Emma also endorsed me for dogs and making coffee.

What I hadn’t realised is that all these skills I’ve added, or had added for me get emailed round in a newsletter to others. So a few days ago Daisy Froud sent me this image. Hilarious. I hope everyone sees the funny side. You can’t take these things too seriously now!



Architecture Family & friends

Taking Emma up the Shard

Yesterday was Emma’s Birthday. Whilst I’m rubbish at buying presents except from the pre-prepared list she gives me, I did want to have one small element of surprise. So I booked a couple of tickets for the viewing platform at the Shard and got out of work early. Of course as soon as I said “Meet me at London Bridge” she knew what was going on.

Surprisingly good.

We both used to work at London Bridge and got a bit of a shock without that dark old roof in place. Lots of light, lots of construction work still ongoing but still on its way to being completely transformed. I’ve taken loads of pictures of the Shard from Peckham so it was nice to go and see it up close and personal. Having been up the Empire State in New York and had a hellish time we were both pleasantly surprised about how nice the experience of going up there was.

Observation deck
Birthday girl

There was plenty of space, you could get to see the view easily and it was nicely detailed for the inspecting architect to visit. I was actually really impressed with it all. You arrive into a large enclosed space and then are able to go one level up to a more open section. At that point you’re actually right up against some of the shardy bits which is pretty amazing.

At the actual shardy bit
Colourful people

It’s amazing seeing the city beneath you, especially when you’re able to see deep into the street pattern of areas you’ve walked and cycled around for years and years. The way the railway cuts through the city is also quite incredible.

Transport connections

Following that we wandered into Borough Market to have a few drinks at The Rake. It’s been a while since we drank there and again Borough Market has changed so much. Still the beer and company was good and I managed to get this wonderful photo of Emma.

Will you stop taking my fucking picture

That was then followed by birthday dinner at the Dragon Castle at Elephant and Castle. Happy Birthday Emma!

Canopy & Shard


Architecture Photography

Studio in the woods 2013

Architectural photographers tend to work alone generally, there are exceptions but we’re a funny bunch and don’t generally collaborate with other photographers. So for this recent project it was a real pleasure to work and collaborate with my good friend Jim Stephenson (or Brighton Jim as I call him) to shoot a series stills and record some video footage of series of temporary pavilions or installations set in a beautiful landscape. This was part of Studio in the woods summer event, which is now in its seventh year. It was originally started by Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio who I worked with back in 2001 in Bath. This year it was run by Studio Weave and they were able to secure some public land to use in Stanton Park just outside of Swindon for the first time. Rather than try and describe it myself here’s the description from the project website.

Now in its seventh year, Studio in the Woods is a five-day outdoor summer workshop led by a group of award-winning architects and engineers aimed at architectural students, practicing architects and a wider audience with an interest in sculpture, landscape and the direct experience of making and building with materials to hand.

Studio in the Woods is an ongoing educational programme promoting the exchange of architectural knowledge and skills through experimentation and direct experience.

The practices leading the workshops were Studio Weave; Invisible Studio; Gianni Botsford Architects; Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and Erect Architecture.

Jim and I were able to record the series of five completed installations around the forest on a beautiful scorching hot summers day. We shared the tasks of shooting stills and video, each coming up with ideas and critiquing the proposed shots. We quickly picked up a method of working and by the end of the day had the collaboration down to a fine art. The collaboration continued into the editing of the video and stills and I feel we both got a huge amount out of the day. It’s great to work with someone else creative and would love to do it again. More people should try it!

All content in this post is © Andy Matthews and Jim Stephenson.

And here’s a few of my favourite shots from the day which I’m really pleased with.

Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013
Studio in the woods 2013