Contributors / Clare Dowdy

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Quiet triumph

The work of modernist architect Alvar Aalto is revered well beyond his native Finland. But you have to travel to the country’s far north to discover a barely known part of his portfolio: a city he planned from scratch

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Style envoy

If a nation’s embassy is about projecting its character onto the world stage, Denmark’s London mission is a masterclass. It combines modernity and an outward-looking philosophy while offering visitors just the right amount…

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Heritage hero

National icon Gabriel Fagan’s home is a testament to his sensitive approach to vernacular architecture. Meet the man whose buildings celebrate the best of Cape Town’s people and culture as the city marks its title as World…

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Keeping it simple

Industrial designer Niels Diffrient says he has built his near 60-year career on a belief in staying under the radar and being ‘technically and stylistically capable’. He does himself a disservice: his work, particularly…

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Building momentum

2012 offered many architectural talking points, from Renzo Piano’s pointy Shard in London to K2S’s small but perfectly formed wooden Chapel of Silence in Helsinki; 2013 promises even more. Here are seven projects completing…

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Close-Knit Family

Despite its 223-year history, and rural setting, there is nothing dyed in the wool about British knitwear business John Smedley. This is a company that has thrived on its ability to move with the times – and now it is…

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Light Fantastic

The Austrian lighting company BLL leads the industry with its progressive thinking, installing life-enhancing systems at hospitals, airports and the new Cairo Museum. Soon it will focus its light-direction technologies on…

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