Dr Nikolaos Karydis presents his research in Early Byzantine Architecture at the University of Oxford

Dr Nikolaos Karydis has been invited by the Faculty of Classics of the University of Oxford to present his recent work on the sixth-century Basilica B at Philippi, in Macedonia, Greece. Considered to have started in the first half of the sixth century, this major building was probably never completed; i.e. as Paul Lemerle demonstrated in 1945, the collapse of the vaults during construction must have brought a premature end to the history of this building. Lemerle attributed this collapse to a defective structure; walls and supports failed to provide sufficient support for the vaults. However, Lemerle and other scholars remain silent as to the reasons why such an ambitious building programme was to be marred by such a structural deficiency. Karydis’ work seeks to fill this lacuna. Based on a new interpretation of overlooked construction details, it provides new evidence for a previously unknown building phase. Challenging Lemerle’s perception of Basilica B as a static architectural form, Karydis has revealed older constructional layers indicative of a more complex building history. This helps to interpret the difficulties and limitations that the architects of Basilica B encountered in their effort to construct one of the first domed basilicas in Early Byzantine Greece.

For further information about this event, please click here.

Elizabeth Chesterton: A Pioneer Planner

Timothy Brittain-Catlin has published an account of the life and work of the architect-planner Elizabeth Chesterton in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Although he met Chesterton when he was still a student, he discovered the significance of her pioneer work when researching his book Leonard Manasseh & Partners (2010). Chesterton was the planner for the Manasseh partnership’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu of 1967-74, a grand design almost on the scale of the great baroque gardens of the eighteenth-century, but, as with all Chesterton’s work, alive to the conditions of modern life, tourism and transport.

Possibly Chesterton’s most lasting legacy is her contribution to the debate about protecting historic town centres from over-development. In 1963 she persuaded the town of King’s Lynn in Norfolk to abandon their plans for large roads and parking areas and instead strengthen the old centre with new buildings that respected the scale, forms and materials of the historic core; this proved to be a watershed moment in post-war planning. In addition she set new standards for masterplanning layouts for sensitive landscapes throughout her career.

Chesterton’s entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography comes in recognition of the life’s work of this remarkable architect and planner.

Image Credits: Ian Baker’s drawing of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar: Rawan Allouzi

This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar takes place on Wednesday 13 February at 4 – 4.45pm in the PGR Hub at the Kent School of Architecture. This week’s PhD Candidate is Rawan Allouzi who will be be presenting her research titled, ‘Vernacular Architecture in Jordan: Vernacular transmission to meet the contemporary needs of the 21st century’.

‘Vernacular architecture is that kind of architecture which is related to specific time and place. It is most frequently applied to residential buildings. In the past, vernacular architecture did not use formal-educated architects, but depend on tradition and the skills of local craftsmen and builders. However, since the end of the 19th century, a lot of specialised architects have worked in this style which now represents part of sustainable design. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of living of the cultures that produce them.’ – Rawan Allouzi

Professor Gerald Adler speaks at Paris School of Arts and Culture

Professor Gerald Adler, Deputy Head of School at Kent School of Architecture will be speaking at the Paris School of Arts and Culture on Tuesday 12 February about his new book, ‘Riverine – Architecture and Rivers’, co-edited with Dr Manolo Guerci, Senior Lecturer at Kent School of Architecture. The talk titled, ‘Rivers and memory – Georges-Henri Pingusson’s Memorial to the Deported in 1960s Paris’ will take place at 7pm in Reid Hall, 4, Rue de Chevreuse in Paris. For any queries regarding this event, please email paris@kent.ac.uk.

Dr Ambrose Gillick’s project for Baxendale shortlisted for RIBA Journal’s MacEwan Award 2019

Kent School of Architecture warmly welcomes two new academic members of staff, Dr Sylvio Caputo and Dr Ambrose Gillick. Dr Gillick’s recent work in practice, Baxendale Studio, has been not only been shortlisted for the RIBA Journal’s MacEwan Award 2019 but is also gracing the cover of the February issue of The RIBA Journal. Raising the Roof by Baxendale Studio for the Portland Inn Project (2018), was led by artists Anna Francis (Community Maker) and Rebecca Davies (The Oasis Social Club). The project was supported by AirSpace Gallery, Appetite, My Community Matters, Arts Council England, Aziz Foundation and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Baxendale designed and built the small structure in four days for a project fronted by two local artists, Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies, as a space to teach local children how to make pottery and other making activities, to provide a space of creativity and joy for children and parents in the community and to promote and support local capacity-building enterprises. The form was based around standard scaffold pole lengths and only utilized generic materials in its making. It replicated the size of a room within the Portland Inn which will become a pottery making space in the near future. Click here to view all the projects on the The MacEwan Award 2019 Shortlist.

 

Upcoming Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Christopher Leung, The Bartlett School of Architecture

The next Digital Architecture open lecture will be given by Dr Christopher Leung from The Bartlett School of Architecture with his talk titled, ‘Digital fabrication: Dialogue through manufacturing processes’ on Tuesday 12 February at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Architects have become accustomed to designing the physical fabric of buildings using digital tools. However, in an age of advanced manufacturing where there are possibilities enabled by the adoption of robotics and automation that are now widely available to architectural practice, architects are increasingly designing processes as much as components and assemblies. In this shift, architects can have a role to “Design for” aspects of these processes, where a given process can be for “Assembly”, “Disassembly” or “Measurement” to name a few.

Reflecting on the “Design for” considerations found in other industries such as automotive and aerospace, this lecture surveys a selection of the possibilities now afforded by digital fabrication and considers the implication for design options at the interface between digital representation and processes of making. These are presented through a series of case-study projects that have been carried out in collaboration with other educators, researchers and industry practitioners as well as current work at the Bartlett.

Christopher Leung trained as an architect at the Bartlett with experience in architectural and environmental design practice. He completed his engineering doctorate at UCL on passive variable performance facades. He is the programme director of the Masters in Design for Manufacture at UCL Here East, the new centre dedicated to making based at Stratford in east London.

He has worked on government-funded research projects into low-energy building technology, proof-of-concept build projects and post-doc research on the environmental evaluation of bio-receptive concrete. He has taught at the Bartlett in the Interactive Architecture Lab, BiotA Lab and the M.Sc in Architectural computation. He also carries out research into solar activated materials including bi-metals and shape memory alloys for novel applications in the facades of buildings to improve energy performance in collaboration with leading industry partners.

All welcome!

Upcoming MArch Open Afternoon on Tuesday 5 March

Kent School of Architecture are hosting an MArch Open Afternoon from 3pm – 5pm on Tuesday 5th March 2019 in Studio C, Marlowe Building on the Canterbury campus.

If you are interested in studying on the MArch programme, or have already applied, and would like to find out more information about the course structure, unit system, entry requirements and would like an opportunity to speak with the MArch programme director, Michael Richards, please email ksaadmissions@kent.ac.uk to book your place.

CREAte Open Lecture: ‘Pedagogy and Practice – a long view of architectural education’

The next CREAte Open Lecture will be given by Alan Powers with his talk titled, ‘Pedagogy and Practice – a long view of architectural education’. The open lecture will take place on Tuesday 19 February 2019 at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

That you cannot learn architecture until you do it, and you cannot do it until you have learnt it remains a paradox of this discipline. Alan Powers will look at crises and episodes of change in the past 140 years of architectural education in Britain and elsewhere, and ask whether it is a uniquely problematic subject, or simply one in which vested interests have usually stood in the way of common sense.

Alan Powers chose as his PhD subject ‘Architectural Education in Britain 1880-1914’. He has continued to be interested in training both as an expression of changing architectural ideals through history and as a significant factor in transmitting them. Not having studied architecture himself, he has had opportunities to observe the mystifying process in action at the Prince of Wales’s Institute and the University of Greenwich, and currently at the London School of Architecture and University of Westminster.

All welcome!

KASA Open Lecture: Fred Pillbrow, Pillbrow & Partners

The upcoming KASA (Kent Architectural Student Association) open lecture will be given by Fred Pillbrow, one of the founding partners of Pillbrow & Partners on Tuesday 5th February at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Fred has over 25 years’ experience working in sensitive historic environments and with listed buildings in the UK and abroad. Besides the mixed-used urban masterplan in Birmingham with a Grade I listed train station at its heart, the practice is restoring Sir Christopher Wren’s Grade I listed St Mary’s Somerset in the City of London and the Grade II listed Walthamstow Granada Cinema. He has also been responsible for designing a number of significant London projects including the Heron Tower in the City of London whilst a Partner at KPF and the Francis Crick Institute at St Pancras whilst a Partner at PLP Architecture. Fred currently chairs the Design Review Panel of Hammersmith & Fullham and teaches at Yale University.

All welcome!

Timothy Brittain-Catlin speaks at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is the first speaker in a series of talks and discussion evenings at Sir John Soane’s Museum that looks at critical moments in history and their influence on architecture. His theme is the year 1906, when the Liberal Party won a landslide victory in the general election, and embarked on an intensive period of legislation that had a long-term impact on our towns and houses. The Housing, Town Planning Act of 1909 was the first comprehensive exercise in modern democratic planning in Britain, finally making an inroad into the rights of private landowners, and senior Liberals themselves built high quality homes at a great rate, creating not only country houses but urban landscapes such as that around Smith Square in Westminster. This talk is based on Dr Brittain-Catlin’s research for his book The Edwardians and their Houses: the New Life of Old England, which will be published next year by Lund Humphries.

The series of talks is organised by Owen Hopkins, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Museum and Tim Abrahams, in partnership with Machine Books. It invites writers, critics, historians and architects to identify and reflect on a single Year Zero – when the trajectories of architectural and broader history connect and coincide and the status quo is changed forever. Further information about the event can be found here.