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Copenhagen & Bellavista

  When it opened in 1960 Arne Jacobsen’s SAS Royal hotel acted as a kind of airport lounge, a place where guests could enjoy a glass before being driven right to the SAS check in, more or less. It has changed, like a lot of things, but, it is still only about 20 minutes from Copenhagen Arrivals before…

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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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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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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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Helsinki

Sat on fourteen stories of 1928 pre-modernist loveliness, In the tiny rooftop bar of the Hotel Torni, we make plans. This is a weekend break after all, and there’s too much to see to try and squeeze in everything. But one name is foremost in our mind, Alvar Aalto. His deft fingerprints are all around…

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Chandigarh

As the armed soldier smiles for the first time I finally start to relax and take in the surroundings. Standing on the roof of Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s immense Secretariat, we look down and into the distance, past the huge State Assembly building towards the front of a court fronted by enormous coloured pillars. To…