Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio awarded the Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio has been awarded the Leverhulme Research Fellowship. This prestigious grant will allow Luciano to develop his research project, ‘Our Future Heritage: conservation issues of contemporary architecture in Rome’.

A substantial number of iconic buildings distinguished by complex geometries have been constructed in the last two decades in Europe. For their cultural and urban contribution, these contemporary icons are likely to be part of our future heritage. Due to the use of bespoke untested building systems, many of these buildings are experiencing failures and premature decay.

This research wants to measure the transience of contemporary architecture from a technical perspective, engaging with the following question: will our future heritage be sustainable to preserve? The ultimate aim is to turn the ageing pattern of these iconic buildings into a learning platform to create new technical knowledge.

PhD Seminar Series: Michael Hall

The next PhD Seminar will be given by PhD student Michael Hall on Wednesday 28th February at 4pm in E.Barlowe (Eliot College).

The Stately Home Industry: The English country house and heritage tourism 1950-1975

In post-war Britain, the country’s relationship to its heritage changed irrevocably. Shifts in political, economic, and societal structures meant that long-accepted attitudes towards national identity were forever altered. At the epicentre of these changes was the English country house, which following this period became the prevalent symbol of English national heritage. Today, large country estates have claimed a secure place in the heritage landscape, however throughout the early to mid 20th century their fate was not so certain. This presentation will explore the ways in which seismic societal changes following the second world war were leveraged by a handful of aristocratic landowners to market their ancestral homes as tourist destinations, and begin to run them as commercial enterprises. It will trace this trend as it became more accepted and ultimately helped to form the heritage tourism industry that is so vital today.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to head prestigious new editorial board in architectural history

The respected academic art and architectural history Lund Humphries is delighted to announce a new series within its revived architecture and design programme: Architectural History of the British Isles.  Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin will heading up an esteemed Editorial Board comprised of nine of Britain and Ireland’s top architectural historians. British architectural history has a very prominent reputation internationally and sets the standard for publishing and for the development of new ideas and narratives: this series will comprise fascinating and insightful illustrated books, produced to the highest standards.

Dr Brittain-Catlin’s own monograph on Edwardian domestic architecture will be published by Lund Humphries in 2020.

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio speaks at La Sapienza, University of Rome.

Dr Cardellicchio is invited to give a talk at the symposium ‘From Iconic Factory to Urban Factory’ organised by Prof. Marzia Marandola at La Sapienza University of Rome the 14th of February. After the keynote lecture of Prof. Nina Rappaport, from Yale School of Architecture, Dr Cardellicchio will present the results of his research on the construction of the Solimene’s Ceramic Factory by Paolo Soleri (1956).

The talk will focus on the role of the labour and importance of the local territory as key elements of the building process of this masterpiece of organic architecture designed by one of the apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.


PhD Seminar: Ben Tosland

Today’s PhD Seminar will be hosted by PhD student Ben Tosland entitled, ‘Regional Development: The relationship of Western designed architecture with geopolitics in the Persian Gulf, 1925 – 1990’.

The focus of this presentation will largely be on the methodologies of proving the intrinsic link between architecture and geopolitics within the years 1925-1990 in the Persian Gulf. These events have caused a development in architectural aesthetic towards a more refined ‘critically regional’ style representative of the Persian Gulf, rather than individual nation states or global hegemony as is the historiography might suggest. The presentation shall show a brief outline of the thesis depicting the overarching structure covering important projects by several globally renowned architects as well as depicting projects that are either underappreciated, under-researched or unknown. Research for this presentation carried out in libraries and archives in the United Kingdom and across Europe utilises primary material from the offices of architects and planners coupled with contemporary journal articles causing numerous methodological issues. The aim of this presentation is to tackle these issues of method and selection criteria to ensure the overall argument of the thesis is water-tight while still contributing original thought and insight to a variety of case studies.

Ben has been a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Architecture since September 2016. He has an Undergraduate degree from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in History (2014) and a Master’s degree in Conservation and Regeneration from the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture (2015). He is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship at the University of Kent enabling him to research and study for his PhD. Ben works externally as a consultant for historic buildings, aiding planning applications and writing Conservation Area Appraisals. He is an affiliate member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), a member of the Twentieth Century Society and has worked with the SPAB.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to speak at the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be speaking on British Victorian architects from A.W.N. Pugin to W.R. Lethaby as part of the series on Architectural History organised for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. His lecture, ‘Pugin’s House: a home for all Europe?’ will describe European influences on one of the most influential periods of British design, and how in return the work of the Arts and Crafts Movement came to play a major role in Germany.

He joins a prestigious group of leading architectural historians which include Simon Thurley, the Gresham Professor of Built Environment and former chief executive of English Heritage, and the mediaeval historian John Goodall of Country Life, author of the highly praised The English Castle.

The lecture will be held at Europe House, the offices of the European Commission in London, at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU, on Thursday 15th February at 18.30, with refreshments from 18.00.

Further information about the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage can be found here: http://european-heritage.co.uk/

All welcome but booking (free) is essential: comm-lon-rsvp@ec.europa.eu

CREAte Open Lecture: Benno Gammerl

The upcoming CREAte Open Lecture will be given by Benno Gammerl, entitled, ‘Out and About: A Spatial History of Gay Liberation in Germany’ on Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 18.00 in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

From hiding in the closet to openly and proudly displaying queerness – the history of homosexualities in the second half of the twentieth century has a spatial dimension that deserves further exploration. For a long time, same-sex desiring men encountered each other in barely lit locales or behind carefully drawn curtains. However, since the 1970s open shop windows and frank advertising increased gay visibility in German cityscapes. How does this shift connect with broader architectural developments, and how did occupying these new spaces change the lives of queer people?

Benno Gammerl is a lecturer for queer history at Goldsmiths College in London. Before coming to the UK he conducted research on the emotional lives of same-sex desiring men and women in both rural and urban settings in West Germany, while at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Gammerl’s new project explores how transnational migrations shaped sexual cultures in the twentieth century. He recently published (with Jan S. Hutta and Monique Scheer) ‘Feeling differently: Approaches and their politics’, in Emotion, Space and Society (2017).

CREAte hosts Professor Martin Bressani at St Augustine’s Abbey

A week of teaching and research activities in honour of our guest Professor Martin Bressani, director of the McGill School of Architecture in Montreal, was launched with a special event at the Pugin church of St Augustine in Ramsgate last night. Professor Bressani is a leading expert in the Gothic Revival, and he spoke to an audience from the parish about his early interest in the subject and the relationship of Pugin’s ideas to the Modern Movement. His talk was followed by a concert by PhD students and CREAte members Gimin Lee (ukulele) and Giacomo Damiani (accordion). Howard Griffin then presented an audio-visual display projected onto the interior walls of the church, assisted by students from our Architectural Visualisation programme. The evening was rounded off with performances on guitar by tutor Henry Sparks and second-year Architecture student Daniel Duarte.

CREAte thanks Father Marcus Holden for hosting us generously at the church, and to Anthony Jinks from the parish team for kindly looking after us over the evening.

CREAte Research Centre presents Professor Martin Bressani

Professor Martin Bressani is the guest of the Kent School of Architecture and the CREAte research centre for several days of teaching and research activities in November. This visit has been kindly supported by Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation, and by Professor Philippe de Wilde, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation.

Martin Bressani is the Sir William C MacDonald Chair in Architecture and Director of McGill University’s School of Architecture (Montreal). He is the author of a monograph on French architect and theoretician Eugéne-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, Architecture and the Historical Imagination: Eugéne-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (Ashgate, 2014), and co-editor of Gothic Revival Worldwide. A W N Pugin’s Global Influence (Leuven University Press, 2017) and The Companions to the History of Architecture – Nineteenth-Century Architecture (Wiley Blackwell, 2017). He has contributed essays and articles to many books and scholarly journals.

CREAte Events

Tuesday 14 November, 18.00
St Augustine’s Church, Ramsgate CT11 9NY

An event with the Friends of St. Augustine’s and the Pugin Society. Martin Bressani will talk about the international importance of Pugin’s architecture in Ramsgate, followed by a digital presentation by Howard Griffin that will interact with the geometry of the church and animate the three-dimensional  space. A  musical interlude will be provided by CREAte members Gimin Lee and Giacomo Damiani and the evening will be concluded with musical performances from Henry Sparks and Daniel Duarte-Grilo-Montene. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 November, 15.00 – 17.00
Digital Crit Space, Marlowe Building

Martin Bressani will join a CREAte postgraduate seminar on the gothic revival. Judith Hill will give a presentation entitled ‘Why did the elite build castles in Ireland after the Union with Great Britain in 1801?’.

Wednesday 15 November, 18.00
Woolf Lecture Theatre

CREAte Open Lecture: House as Melodrama: the Strange Case of A W N Pugin’s Saint Marie’s Grange

The talk addresses architecture’s capacity for symbolic action, following the general thesis that symbolic systems ‘shape’ and ‘reshape’ reality through an aesthetic grasping of the world. It will present a detailed analysis of British Gothic revival architect A W N Pugin’s Saint Marie’s Grange, a house he built for himself near Salisbury in 1835, and the first building of his phenomenally productive career. The contention is that Saint Marie’s Grange embodies a need for melodramatic dramatisation, tending towards an excessive representation of life which situates its inhabitants within the grandiose terms of a moral battle: not within the domain of realism, as its robust functionalist distinction of building elements have led certain commentators to place it, but in the higher domain of truth. The house thus demonstrates how, for Pugin, a spiritual reality lies just below the surface of daily life, how gestures within the world of the gestures within the world of the everyday refer to one another, and how a hyperbolic set of gestures implicates the fight between good and evil. All welcome.

Martin Bressani will also be taking part in Teaching Events on Thursday and Friday with our Stage 2 and Stage 3 cohort.

CREAte Open Lecture: ‘Architecture of Place’

The next upcoming CREAte Open Lecture will be on Wednesday 25th October at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture, entitled ‘Architecture of Place’ will be given by James Kruhly, Founder of Kruhly Architects.

Almost one hundred years ago, Le Corbusier in his Vers Une Architecture advocated creating buildings with the simplicity and efficiency of American silos, factories and ocean liners…”machines for living in.” Modern architecture was born, causing an excitement in the profession, but a resultant destruction of existing urban fabrics and vestiges of a culture’s visual preferences. With his proposal for a new Garden City, which destroyed an entire quartier of existing Paris, Le Corbusier showed his reckless disregard for context, a disregard which has lasted for an entire century. Almost fifty years later, Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, brought the issue of alternative styles architectural discourse. Unfortunately, his emphasis on decorating buildings with “honky-tonk” ambiguous elements caused a generation of well-intentioned, but empty gestures which did little to energize existing urban fabrics. Certainly Le Corbusier’s followers created buildings more destructive to existing cities, but Venturi’s follower did little to create a new richness and excitement with the introduction of their “ordinary” structures and “decorated sheds.”

Few architects working in a language of the modern idiom have been able to design deeply moving, imaginative buildings which are not only respectful to the existing context but actually clarify and enhance it. But it is certainly possible, and has been accomplished by a handful of very talented architects…Kahn, Barragan, Zumthor, Murcutt, Moneo, Ando to name a few. The element that they all imbue their work with which causes their successful bridging of past and present is poetry. Poetic re-interpretation of an existing fabric, poetic expression of place, of culture, of a history of the site take the more abstract qualities of a modern architectural language and give it meaning, relevance and richness. The emphasis on technology starting with Le Corbusier and intensified today with the “green” movement which thrives on repetition and efficiency has sabotaged the issue of context and caused a boring consistency to present day buildings which lack a sense of place and personality and result in an architecture of nowhere.

Fifty years after Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,  ARCHITECTURE OF PLACE will discuss the true role which a concern for context should play in the design of today’s buildings. It will study how architects who have created beautiful buildings appropriate to their context and culture have accomplished this feat and how they have used poetry to this end.


James Kruhly is founder and principal of Kruhly Architects. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of l’Ordre des Architectes, France, and a Gold Medalist of the Philadelphia Chapter AIA, Kruhly has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture at a number of universities in the US, as well as in Europe.