Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s Professor of Planning, Samer Bagaeen, recently discussed current global challenges, including Covid-19, in relation to urban planning and resilience as part of our new mini-lecture series which can be found on YouTube.
Professor Bagaeen, programme director for MA Urban Planning and Resilience, has also written an article titled, ‘Covid-19: Is this the new normal for the urbanised world?‘ for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). In this piece, Professor Bagaeen discusses the growth of the pandemic and the impact this is having on the built environment and the economy.
The Edwardians and their Houses: the New Life of Old England, is the title of the latest book by Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin. It is published by Lund Humphries this Wednesday, 1st April, and is already attracting enthusiastic praise from critics. The book is beautifully illustrated by 100 new images, commissioned especially from the photographer Robin Forster to showcase the canon of houses which tell the story, as well as by 120 historical and other illustrations. Design tutor Patrick O’Keeffe contributed the spectacular photograph of Kingsgate Bay from the sea which concludes the book.
The book is the first comprehensive re-evaluation of Edwardian domestic architecture since the 1970s. It focuses on the role played by Liberal Party politicians over the first decade of the twentieth century in adapting and remodelling old houses as grand mansions or holiday homes for themselves, but also in establishing the legislation that made a higher standard of architecture possible for everyone. The section on the design of the area around Smith Square in London was the subject of a report on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour towards the end of last year. This book will also become an authoritative source of information about the early years of the conservation movement, and it explains how Tudor architecture in particular was reinvented for modern living.
Two Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s PhD students, Ben Tosland and Rafaella Siagkri are due to present at The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s Architectural History Workshop 2020. This year’s workshop is due to take place at a postponed date, and will take place at The Galley in London. The theme of this year’s workshop is, ‘Beyond the Academy: Architectural History in Heritage, Conservation and Curating’.
Ben Tosland will be presenting with his talk titled, ‘Methodological reflection: problems researching 20th century architecture in the Persian Gulf’. Ben’s doctoral thesis thesis faced numerous methodological challenges which this presentation will discuss, sharing the problems – in some cases unsolved – with researching a region in constant political and economic flux, characterised by cultural, political and economic contrasts. He will discuss the issues surrounding what study material to choose, or which buildings might be necessary, explaining the case studies and architects I chose for my thesis (focusing on Max Lock, Candilis-Josic-Woods, Alfred Roth, Doxiadis Associates and Jørn Utzon), describing their position in the Gulf’s contribution to a picture of a global modernism.
Rafaella Siagkri will be presenting, ‘Virtual Reality as an investigative tool to better understand architecture in historical films’. Her presentation will assess the significance of Virtual Reality (VR) as a reconstruction method. Using 3Ds Max Software to model film sets from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and using Unreal Software to transfer to Oculus Rift technology will allow the generation of VR simulations to be used in this study. This provides the capability to recreate old, iconic expressionist film sets and to better understand its space.
BA (Hons) Architecture Programme Director, Chloe Street Tarbatt, and Lecturer, Jonathan Tarbatt are delighted to announce the publication of their new book on urban form: ‘The Urban Block: a guide for urban designers, architects and town planners’.
The Urban Block explores the influence of urban form on the quality of the built environment, and by extension, on the quality of life of its inhabitants.
The book maps the process of understanding, defining, structuring and designing the block. Outlining a taxonomy of urban forms, it explains the potency of each type to either unite or divide communities: to create walkable neighbourhoods or car dominated ones; to foster a sense a community or a sense of isolation, or; to provide a setting in which the theatre of street life may flourish or wither. These themes are illustrated with a range of case urban and suburban examples, showing how different building typologies have been articulated through different urban forms, and what this might mean for the people who live in them.
The authors find that ‘good’ urban design starts with ‘good’ urban form: the block. Yet, their case examples demonstrate that while good urban form is more likely to produce the kinds of places we want to live, it takes more than either good urban design or good architecture, to achieve these. Excellent design across the full range of scales must be integrated through innovative procurement routes, if we are to produce high-quality living environments that are somehow greater than the sum of their parts.
Kent School of Architecture and Planning MSc Architectural Conservation students recently visited restricted areas of Canterbury Cathedral.
Student, Chandler Hamilton, writes, ‘We had the chance to tour the sections of the Cathedral that are under repair. All these areas are normally unavailable to the public. I focused on Gothic Architecture in my undergraduate degree, and for me, this was a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour of a structure that I have studied intensely in the past. The tour started off with meeting the Head of Conservation and Site Manager, Heather Newton, who basically has my dream job! She gave us an introduction to the conservation project and an itinerary for the day. The project that started in 2016 and is set to finish around October 2021 is a 25-million-pound development that is focusing on the roof of the cathedral.’
Read the full blog post about the experience over on the MSc Architectural Conservation blog.
A big congratulations to Stage 4 MArch student, Benjamin Warner, who has received a summer research scholarship at the Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University at their annual Summer Seminar. This year’s research seminar is about the intersections between religion and the arts. Brigham Young University will fly Benjamin out to their campus in Utah for six weeks of intensive seminars and self-directed research in June 2020. The event culminates with a public symposium where Benjamin will present his findings.
Image: Design for church-like sneaker store in Canterbury, inspired by the city’s rich history of religions and cults by Benjamin Warner
Deputy Head of School and Professor of Sustainable Architecture, Marialena Nikolopoulou, gives lecture titled, ‘Performance of buildings: thermal comfort, occupant perception and use of space’ at Universidad de Sevilla on Friday 6 March 2020.
Professor Nikolopoulou will discusse her research looking at the environmental comfort conditions of open spaces in cities. Professor Nikolopoulou writes, ‘Investigating thermal comfort conditions in outdoor urban spaces, has thrown some light on the complexity of the issues involved, demonstrating that a quantitative approach is insufficient in describing comfort conditions outdoors.’
Professor of Architecture and Urban Regeneration, Gordana Fontana-Giusti, was recently interviewed by Turkish television channel, TRT World as part of their flagship arts and culture programme, ‘Showcase’ on 26 February to discuss Zaha Hadid’s architectural design philosophy. The interview discussed title of ‘female architect’ and how Zaha Hadid continually broke glass ceilings in her cause for promoting new architecture. Watch the full interview online now.
Architect and Assistant Professor at Università Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Antonello Alici, will be giving a lecture to MArch Unit 1 titled, ‘The spirit of the place. Learning from Giancarlo De Carlo’ on Tuesday 10th March 2020.
Giancarlo De Carlo (1919-2005) is a major figure in the architectural theory and practice of 20th Century for his capacity at dealing with the value of the historic city and townscape and for a dialogue with its inhabitants. Born in Genova in 1919, the son of a naval engineer, he sapent his childhood in different Italian port cities before moving to Tunis. His university education in Milan Polytechnic and in IUAV Venice provided the connection with the modernist avant-garde, namely with Giuseppe Pagano and Ernesto N. Rogers and at the same time with William Morris and the British culture. His main contribution – for which he was awarded the prestigious Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1993 – lies in his belief in architecture as a militant profession, free from ideologies and stereotypes, sustained by exemplary design experience in historical cities all over the world. The lesson of Giancarlo De Carlo will be presented through sketches and narratives of some key projects in historical cities as Urbino, Dublin, Siena and Ancon.
Antonello Alici, architect and architectural historian and critic, based in Rome and teaching in Ancona at Università Politecnica delle Marche, is currently working on the relations between Italian and British architects in the Post-war, and on the travels of Nordic architects to Italy. Since 2014 he is the Program director of the summer school ‘The Culture of the City. Understanding the Urban Landscape’ dealing with the regions affected by earthquakes.
The next KASA Open Lecture will be given by Tilo Guenther, Senior Associate at Niall McLaughlin Architects with his talk titled, ‘Past and Current Projects’ on Tuesday 10 March at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
The practice designs high quality modern architecture with a strong emphasis on the inventive use of building materials, the qualities of light and the relationship between the building and it’s surroundings. In the past 30 years of practicing, Niall McLaughlin Architects have worked on a broad range of projects from town masterplans, to schools, health centres, community buildings, group housing, private residential houses, exhibitions, furniture and bandstands.
In this lecture, given by Tilo Guenther, we will take a look back over these 30 years of work and what the practice is currently working on. Tilo Guenther is a Senior Associate at Niall McLaughlin Architects having joined the practice in 2006. Since then, he has worked on a variety of projects including the National History Museum and The Tapestry Building in London.