Paris… The City of Lights

Even though I had been to Paris before on a trip with my brother, the one week I spent there trying to explore as much as I could was never going to be enough to experience the 145 year old city of lights I had learnt to admire from a distance all my life. Having the chance to go one more time gave me the opportunity to understand not only how Paris works as a city but also to appreciate her history in context with the rest of Europe and the world.

On the D-day, I rendezvoused with the rest of the group at Ashford and instantly realised why we were chosen for the scholarship; they seemed like the most charismatic individuals to accompany me on the trip.

I woke up after a brief sleep on the train heading to ‘Paris Gare du Nord’ (built between 1861 and 1864 and deemed the busiest station in Europe), to get a sneak peek at what the French country side looked like. I must say that I was quite disappointed to realise it was nothing different to what I was used to seeing in England. Early in the afternoon, we finally arrived at the student hostel situated very close to Luxembourg before being treated to a traditional French dish, ‘The Crêpe Suzette’. It was the first time I had ever had one, and I loved it. It was the perfect start to a series of amazing eating sessions that would last the duration of the time I was to spend in Paris. That was the best part of my stay.

We went through a rigorous study of French history based on the theme ‘REVOLUTION’. We started off with a French historic time line starting in 1701, through the ‘French revolution’, and ending at 1870 with the complete abolition of the monarchy. These lessons were the main focus of our daily 2 hour lectures, which were accompanied by a subsequent excursion in the afternoon to a building/place/street, relevant to the topic of the day; including Le louvre, and the Red Light Districts of Paris.

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The most controversial was the ‘Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration’ where I felt the artefacts were terribly undermined and exhibited to suggest a lack of care and enthusiasm. In a nutshell, I went to Paris once again as a tourist, but I can say for a fact that I came back to England, firstly realising how small a great city like London was in comparison to its other economically strong counterparts around Europe and beyond was, but also with a deeper understanding of Paris and France (historically, architecturally and geographically). We also had the chance to explore Paris’ hidden gems for ourselves during the evenings and weekend – and man, did we explore!

I also mustn’t forget to mention the amazing tour guides we had; Frank Mikus, Ana de Medeiros and Dr Nikolaos Karydis. It was easily the best 2 weeks of my life in the last 10 years or so, and the best part was that it was all paid for by the scholarship.

By Paul Daramola – Stage 2 BA (Hons) Architecture student

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Architecture hosts open lectures for the 50th Festival weekend

On Saturday 5th September, Professor Gerald Adler and Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt will be giving lectures as part of the 50 Festival celebrations. Both lectures are open to all and there is no need to pre-book your place.

11am to 12pm – Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1

Professor Gerald Adler [1] – Fifty years of campus design. The University of Kent’s Canterbury campus index of British architecture.

The 1960s, ’70s, ’80s. ’90s and noughties was a period of unprecedented growth in UK higher education. How was its burgeoning population of students, academics and support staff accommodated? This lecture examines key buildings on the Canterbury campus, and demonstrates how they exemplify the architecture of the British New Universities that stand, more generally, for the changing character of buildings in the UK in the five decades since the establishment of the University of Kent.

2pm to 3pm – Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1

Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt [2] – Between Science and Politics How Victorian scientists developed and assessed the House of Commons’ ventilation system

Dr. Schoenefeldt’s new research reveals how Victorian scientists developed the House of Commons’ historic ventilation system, following a process that was not concerned with technical questions alone but was also highly political. Scientists were confronted with the nearly impossible challenge of maintaining a climate and atmosphere that would satisfy all parties occupying the debating chamber.

Please visit the official 50 Festival website [3] for further event details.

Architecture hosts open lectures for the 50th Festival weekend

On Saturday 5th September, Professor Gerald Adler and Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt will be giving lectures as part of the 50 Festival celebrations. Both lectures are open to all and there is no need to pre-book your place.

11am to 12pm – Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1

Professor Gerald Adler – Fifty years of campus design. The University of Kent’s Canterbury campus index of British architecture.

The 1960s, ’70s, ’80s. ’90s and noughties was a period of unprecedented growth in UK higher education. How was its burgeoning population of students, academics and support staff accommodated? This lecture examines key buildings on the Canterbury campus, and demonstrates how they exemplify the architecture of the British New Universities that stand, more generally, for the changing character of buildings in the UK in the five decades since the establishment of the University of Kent.

2pm to 3pm – Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1

Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt – Between Science and Politics How Victorian scientists developed and assessed the House of Commons’ ventilation system

Dr. Schoenefeldt’s new research reveals how Victorian scientists developed the House of Commons’ historic ventilation system, following a process that was not concerned with technical questions alone but was also highly political. Scientists were confronted with the nearly impossible challenge of maintaining a climate and atmosphere that would satisfy all parties occupying the debating chamber.

Please visit the official 50 Festival website for further event details.