Stealing from the Saracens by Diana Darke review – a long-overlooked cultural exchange

This persuasive study argues that northern Europe’s greatest gothic buildings are deeply indebted to the Arab world

In 2019, a survey asked 3,624 Americans if Arabic numerals should be taught in school. An affronted 56% – and 72% of Republican respondents – said no. Only 29% said yes. The nos didn’t seem to know that Arabic numerals are the things they type with the keypads of their phones.

Something similar has happened with architecture. You can read titans of art history such as Kenneth Clark or Nikolaus Pevsner, who took upon themselves the task of defining European civilisation, and barely find a mention of the Great Mosque of Córdoba or the Alhambra in Granada – extraordinary and important works of architecture that are unarguably located in Europe. It’s a breathtaking omission.

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Queer Spaces by Adam Nathaniel Thurman and Joshua Mardell review – a fascinating LGBTQIA+ architecture history

From clubs and pubs to aristocratic follies, from an Indian theatre to a Cuban ice-cream parlour, th...

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Stalin’s Architect by Deyan Sudjic review – a momumental life

His work helped define the grand style of Soviet buildings, but was Boris Iofan a stooge, a propagan...

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Modern Buildings in Britain review – a phenomenal work of gathering and observation

From a radar station in Fleetwood to the BBC’s Cardiff studios, Owen Hatherley’s generous survey o...

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Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency review – how energy use shapes our world

Barnabas Calder’s engaging study of construction and its environmental impact is at its best when i...

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Paint Your Town Red by Matthew Brown and Rhian E Jones review – how Preston took back control

This account of the ‘Preston model’, the Lancashire city’s bold wealth-building scheme whose cham...

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Our Days Are Like Full Years by Harriet Pattison review – moving and heroic

Life as the lover of the restless US architect Louis Kahn was fulfilling – but never easyNot again,...

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