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Vienna

  I thought I knew a little bit about Vienna. Chocolate cake, boys’ choirs, prancing horses, waltzing and a bit of Art Nouveau. That stuff (and some of it very good stuff indeed) is abundant in Vienna. But there’s also a different history, one less known, which puts Vienna pretty close to the centre of…

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Silver Lake

You may know Silver Lake for its natural habitat, its sordid past as scene to the Manson murders or for its thriving Indie music and arts scene. Situated five miles North West of downtown LA, Silver Lake is often referred to as “the other LA” , LA hipster’s creative ghetto, but more importantly for us…

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Tokyo Suburbs

If you are ever in Tokyo, whether for a business trip or holiday, make sure you book ahead before making a beeline for Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan, The House of Tomorrow. When you see the looming skyscrapers impinging on its residential quarter from the city it is hard to believe that schoolgirls beetled about this tiny…

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Barcelona

Barcelona has such a rich history of Modernism it is difficult to know where to start but without Gaudi and Miro, ‘Barca’ would not have the colours and sinuey shapes it has become so famous for in everything from its Graffiti to modern day art and Spain’s El Bulli would not have its extraordinary food.…

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Poissy

Villa Savoye is about a 20 minute walk from Poissy Station. The stroll takes you past a fine mediaeval church, through what looks like an old priory and up a fairly steep hill. On its own it wouldn’t be a bad walk but the giant wedding cake of modernist glory at the end of it…

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Miami

If you look at postcards of South Beach Miami, you may be forgiven for thinking that you were in some sort of Deco Disneyland, all dazzling neon and day-glo palm trees. But once you are away from Ocean Drive, the main drag, you will find streets behind, like Collins and Washington Avenues, that are part…

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Brno

Ludwig ‘Mies’ Van Der Rohe is famous, amongst many  things, for giving us the phrase “less is more”. And, after stepping into the living room of the recently restored Villa Tugendhat, I suspect he wasn’t thinking about size or budget when he uttered the design world’s most famous quote. Main Living Room with its onyx…

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Manchester

There’s always a particular satisfaction you get from having a sneaky peep into places that might not technically be thought of as ‘public’. I’m not condoning trespassing – just a mild case of modernist curiosity. But if you don’t know a city like the back of your hand, how are you supposed to know what…