Stirling prize-winning architect Amanda Levete worked with Richard Rogers before joining Future Systems as a partner in 1989. She designed the shimmering carapace of Selfridges in Birmingham and the media centre at Lord's cricket ground. In 2009, she founded Amanda Levete Architects, where commissions have included the Victoria & Albert Museum extension. Next month, as part of the London design festival, Levete is taking part in the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark's The Wish List. The pieces will be exhibited at the V&A from 13-21 September.
Inspired by the deck chairs on a transatlantic liner, Eileen Gray's chair in the V&A furniture gallery is like architecture in miniature. It makes me think of a languid afternoon in the Mediterranean looking out to sea.
A Spy Among Friends
Ben McIntyre's biography shines a fascinating light on the cold war era. It's hard to believe the antics and depth of subterfuge, and we learn that news footage from Kim Philby's press conference to confirm his "untruthful" innocence is still used as a training tool by MI6!
Parrish Art Museum
I just came back from holiday in New York where I visited Herzog and de Meuron'sParrish Art Museum. It's so simple: two long top-lit barns with a wooden roof and raw concrete walls set in a wild meadow. The architecture is the thing, not the content.
I've been running here since I was a student. You can take in a show at the Serpentine Gallery, wander the Italian gardens with their fountains, watch the model sailing boats being raced on the round pond and see the fabulous Henry Moore sculpture.
Building the Picture
This exhibition at the National Gallery on the nature of architecture in Italian Renaissance painting has many parallels with contemporary practice. Thresholds mark a moment of transition: they can be lengthened or shortened. And all are played out in the paintings.
Richard Linklater's extraordinary trilogy that began with Before Sunrise has been surpassed by Boyhood. A moving homage to growing up and parenting, the details have as much poignancy as the main events. You feel as if you are inside the film rather than a voyeur.