Timothy Brittain-Catlin chairs Spaces of Memory, Spaces of Heritage

Timothy Brittain-Catlin chaired a distinguished panel of conservation activists on Wednesday 20th June at an event hosted by the Romanian Cultural Institute as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The panel comprised the architect, writer and conservation pioneer Sherban Cantacuzino; the philanthropist and founder of the Pro Patrimonio Foundation Nicolae Ratiu; the author and conservation activist Jessica Douglas-Home; and the award-winning architect Vlad Sebastian Rusu, and the discussion was held to accompany the current exhibition of a number of fascinating recent conservation projects at the Institute.

Sherban Cantacuzino related the history of the newly restored early nineteenth-century vernacular cottage where the composer George Enescu had been born, and Jessica Douglas-Home talked about the work of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, including the beautiful fortified church at Alma Vii in Transylvania. The Cultural Palace in Blaj, restored by Vlad Sebastian Rusu, has just been awarded this year’s EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards in the Conservation category. The evening attracted a large crowd and was attended by HRH Prince Nicholas of Romania.

Image: Left to right, Dorian Branea, director of the Romanian Cultural Institute; Nicolae Ratiu; Sherban Cantacuzino; Timothy Brittain-Catlin; Jessica Douglas-Home; Vlad Sebastian Rusu.

Pugin celebration in Ramsgate

Pugin experts will be speaking at a celebration in Ramsgate this Wednesday 5th April 2017 from 18.30 – 20.00 in The Cartoon Room, The Grange, St Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate, CT11 9NY.

CREAte, the Centre for Research in European Architecture at the Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent, will be hosting a celebration to honour their successful collaboration with The Pugin Society and Thanet District Council. The occasion marks the publication of a new book, Gothic Revival Worldwide: AWN Pugin’s Global Influence, edited by Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin of the Centre together with major international scholars.

The book is the next stage of a collaboration that began with a conference held at the University of Kent in 2012 to mark the bicentenary of Pugin’s birth. The conference was a collaboration between the Centre, the Pugin Society and the District Council which brought experts and enthusiasts to Ramsgate from all over the world including the leading Pugin scholar, the late Margaret Belcher, from Christchurch, New Zealand.

These activities have helped to increase interest and appreciation of the valuable architectural heritage of Ramsgate and Thanet, and are a further sign of the Centre’s commitment to local groups.

Dr David Haney, the Director of CREAte, said:

‘We are honoured that the eminent Pugin scholar Lady Alexandra Wedgwood will be in attendance. Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt from CASE will give a talk on his work on the Houses of Parliament, and Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin on the Gothic Revival’.

Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, who has contributed a chapter to the book, is an expert on the building of Pugin’s Palace of Westminster and is acting as a consultant for the proposed major restoration works.

 

Timothy Brittain-Catlin speaks on Stirling at the RIBA

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be taking part in an evening of events and discussions at the RIBA in London to mark the current exhibition of designs by Stirling and Mies van der Rohe for the No 1 Poultry site in the City of London. The evening is entitled ‘RIBA Late: Less is more. Less is a bore?’ and offers a programme of talks, events, film and music from 6-10pm on Tuesday 28th March.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is deputy chairman of the Twentieth Century Society, which led the successful campaign for the listing of James Stirling’s late masterpiece. His talk is entitled ‘James Stirling: Victorian Architect’.

Further details are available at https://www.architecture.com/WhatsOn/March2017/RibaLateLessIsMoreLessIsAbore.aspx. The event is free of charge and on a first come, first served basis.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin speaks on BBC1’s The Big Questions

BBC television’s live discussion programme The Big Questions was broadcast live this Sunday from the Colyer-Fergusson building at the University of Kent. The third of the three debates in the programme centred on whether the Church of England should protect its historic buildings as congregations dwindle. This came in the wake of the recent announcement by the Archbishop of Canterbury that some buildings, such as Guildford Cathedral, were ‘not too big to fail’. In Guildford the diocese had recently been prevented by residents, councillors and planners from building an estate of new houses along the south flank of the well known cathedral, designed by Edqard Maufe in 1932. Timothy Brittain-Catlin spoke as the Deputy Chairman of the Twentieth Century Society, the national amenity organisation, and the author Sir Simon Jenkins, formerly Chairman of the National Trust for England and Wales and now a trustee of the Churches Conservation Trust, also participated. The programme is seen by around 1 million viewers.

The programme is available here on the BBC I-Player until 9 April and the discussion on church buildings starts at 42’20”.

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin on British Postmodernism

Timothy Brittain-Catlin spoke to a packed house on Thursday evening, 2nd March, on the subject of British Postmodernist architecture. This talk concluded a sell-out series on different styles in architecture organised by the Twentieth Century Society, the national amenity and building conservation group, of which Dr Brittain-Catlin is deputy chairman.

The lecture was the first comprehensive reassessment of the style, and especially of some of its well known buildings from the 1980s. Raising awareness of postmodernism has become especially important because of the threat of demolition or mutilation to so many significant buildings. The Twentieth Century Society recent played a central role in the listing of James Stirling’s No 1 Poultry, in the City of London, in order to save it from unsympathetic changes. Another recent victory for the Society has been the decision by the Chancellor of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Southwark to protect Thomas Ford’s 1951 interior at St John’s church, Waterloo.

Sir Terry Farrell, one of the world’s leading postmodern architects and masterplanners, and Carl Laubin, whose fine paintings of buildings by Dixon Jones have come to define the era, attended the lecture, which was recorded and will be posted online in due course. Dr Brittain-Catlin will give the talk again on 27th June and tickets for this are already available at http://c20.datawareonline.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=62&EventId=516

 

Celebrating the Gothic Revival Worldwide

CREAte are proud to announce that Leuven University Press has published their new book Gothic Revival Worldwide: A.W.N. Pugin’s Global Influence, edited by Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Jan de Maeyer and Martin Bressani. This high quality, fully illustrated, 256-page book will become an authoritative volume on the history of the nineteenth-century gothic revival from Canada to China, Australia and the South Pacific.

The book developed from CREAte’s acclaimed 2012 international conference New Directions in Gothic Revival Studies Worldwide which attracted leading scholars from all over the globe. Contributors include Professor Stephen Bann on his newly discovered portrait of the teenage Pugin and the Parisian milieu in which it was drawn, and Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt on the architectural and scientific principles in the design of the Palace of Westminster.

Both conference and book launched prestigious new partnerships for CREAte. Co-editor Professor Jan de Maeyer is director of KADOC, the Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society at KU Leuven, and Professor Martin Bressani is Director of McGill University’s School of Architecture in Montreal. The book is published in Leuven University Press’ KADOC Artes series.

Details of the book can be found at: http://upers.kuleuven.be/en/book/9789462700918

The book is dedicated to Alexandra Wedgwood and the late Margaret Belcher, the two most influential Pugin scholars, and CREAte would also like to thank Thanet District Council and The Pugin Society for its continuing partnership.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin speaks at ETH Zurich, 17th November 2016

Timothy Brittain-Catlin was invited to address this year’s Annual Colloquium of Doctoral Students of the Institute of Technology (ITA) and the History and Theory of Architecture (GTA) at ETH Zurich, alongside Professor Peggy Deamer of the Yale School of Architecture, on the theme of ‘Professionalism’. Brittain-Catlin spoke on 17th November about the traditions and sources of architectural history-writing in Britain, and in particular about the role that amenity societies play in generating new narratives about buildings which in turn emphasise their wider importance and cultural value. The colloquium further comprised a seminar afternoon and a day of graduate presentations.

Brittain-Catlin’s lecture, ‘The Success of Failure’, is available on KAR at https://kar.kent.ac.uk/58810/

Architectural Review Panel feature at KSA’s Writing Buildings Conference

Leading architectural writers at the Architectural Review panel at KSA’s Writing Buildings conference last night from left to right: Catherine Slessor, Oliver Wainwright, Shumi Bose, Rob Wilson and chair Tom Wilkinson.

CREAte and School of English present Writing Buildings conference which launches today!

Kent School of Architecture’s research centre CREAte, along with the School of English present the exciting interdisciplinary Writing Buildings Conference which launches today, Thursday 14th July with a keynote address by the writer Iain Sinclair and concluding with a discussion with writer and filmmaker Jonathan Meades. The full details of the programme can be found here. To keep up to date with the conference online, please follow @Kent_Sch_Arch on Twitter!