This lecture, taking place today from 2.00 – 2.30pm in the Digital Crit Space, looks at the impact-related conservation workshop organised by Nikolaos Karydis on the island of Lesvos in Greece. Following the earthquakes the hit the island in 2017, this workshop aimed to familiarise local conservation professionals with the island’s vernacular structures and their impressive earthquake behaviour. The latter had been analysed in Karydis’ book Eresos (2003) as well as in his recent paper of 2015. Despite these publications, Lesvos’ architects and engineers were not familiar with these structures and their earthquake-resistant qualities. The workshop was an opportunity to make Karydis’ new research available to these professionals. It also raised awareness of the dangers of the use of cement and reinforced concrete in the repair of these stone and timber structures. At first, local engineers were reluctant to abandon these incompatible methods. Still, during the workshop, most of the participants were convinced that these structures can be repaired with natural materials following the building logic of Lesvos’ vernacular buildings. This helped to develop a new attitude to the historic structures of Lesvos and their future preservation.
The upcoming CASE Open Lecture will be given by Dr Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism and Planning at the University of Hertfordshire on Tuesday 16th October at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
Her talk entitled, ‘Just what is ‘sustainable urbanism’ when it comes to food?’ will explore some of the ways cities and food are intertwined – drawing on urbanism research from the historical and contemporary city and its peri-urban edges, and will consider food’s sustainability as a highly contested area today in relation to what foodspace ‘works best’. Drawing on her own (and others’) applied research in the UK and elsewhere, Susan will consider some current design and planning focused urban foodscape and systems proposals for food-centred placemaking and retrofitting. Susan will argue the proposition that these approaches might contribute to responding to sharpening sustainability imperatives now and into the future.
Dr Susan Parham is Head of Urbanism and Planning at the University of Hertfordshire and Academic Director of the International Garden Cities Institute (IGCI). She researches and teaches on placemaking including food and urban design, planned settlements, sustainable materials, and masterplanning and retrofitting. Susan’s most recent book is Food and Urbanism (Bloomsbury, 2015) and her latest book chapters are in The Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food (2018), Agrourbanism (2018) and in Future Directions for the European Shrinking City (RTPI Library Series, 2016). Susan is a member of the Royal Society for the Arts and the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Timothy Brittain-Catlin has been appointed to Historic England’s national advisory committee. This group advises the heritage and conservation body on policy matters and casework (excluding London) where they are novel, contentious or set a precedent; it plays a key role in supporting Historic England with the intellectual, informed, balanced, long-term tools required to maintain public confidence, sometimes working on decisions which are part of a story several hundred years old. The committee is chaired by the distinguished archeologist Professor Michael Fulford CBE.
CREAte members have long-standing connections with Historic England and its predecessor English Heritage, with both Dr Brittain-Catlin and Professor Gerry Adler contributing monographs to the British C20 Architects monograph series. Dr Brittain-Catlin wrote Historic England’s Introduction to Historic Assets: 19th and 20th Century Convents and Monasteries (2016), which acts both as an authoritative statement of the heritage value of these important buildings and also as a primer for the general reader.
The appointment is made by Duncan Wilson, the chief executive of Historic England, and follows a competitive selection process.
CASE, alongside Thanet Council and the School of Psychology, have been working on the Dalby Square project in Margate.
The project aims to tackle climate change, an ageing population and housing shortages. The refurbishment of the heritage townhouse in Dalby Square, Margate, has now been completed and Kent County Council are seeking the tenants. The three-generation family will be part of the innovative project, where extensive monitoring will take place, to evaluate the climate change adaptation strategies, focusing on overheating, thermal comfort and energy performance, while testing the concept of multi-generation living. The team was interviewed for the BBC news for the south-east last autumn.
Howard Griffin’s projection of Cantuarian, a poem for Canterbury by Lemn Sissay was officially launched on Saturday evening. The installation will be shown during the evening when performances are taking place at the Marlowe Theatre.
On Friday 11 May, Dr Karydis gave a lecture at Trinity College, University of Oxford. Entitled ‘Visualising Justinian’s Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople’, the lecture presented Karydis’ work on the church of the Holy Apostles, which will be published in a forthcoming Dumbarton Oaks volume. Other lectures Karydis delivered during this academic year included a paper on Early Byzantine Architecture at the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art in Paris (30/10/2017), and a lecture on 19th-Century, Greek Revival Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (12/1/2018). A video recording of this lecture can be found through the following link: http://www.blod.gr/lectures/Pages/viewspeaker.aspx?SpeakerID=4982
Historic England has announced this week that a number of major postmodern buildings will receive listed building status, thus preserving this important period of British architecture for posterity. Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, CREAte member and deputy chairman of the Twentieth Century Society which campaigned for the change, hailed this as a major event in architectural conservation history.
Dr Brittain-Catlin said ‘The Twentieth Century Society sees this announcement as an important turning point. Many of these buildings were at serious risk, and some were already being damaged or destroyed. This decision by Historic England comes as a result of a long campaign by the Society to draw attention to the monuments of British postmodernism and the risk they are at. We were the first to organise a major symposium on the issue, we made a presentation at the RIBA with a group of highly influential speakers, and we have organised walking tours and sell-out lectures to spread the word. It is important when making the case to protect buildings that show that there is wide public interest in them.
‘We won an important battle to protect James Stirling’s No 1, Poultry in the City of London from mutilation, and this latest decision shows that we were in the vanguard of the movement to protect Britain’s best postmodern heritage.
‘We supported the successful campaign to protect Sir Terry Farrell’s Comyn Ching development in 2016. KSA and the CREAte research centre value very greatly our connection with Sir Terry and we are delighted to be playing this an active role.’
Architectural historians Elain Harwood and Geraint Franklin from Historic England recently published their book on post-modern buildings in Britain in collaboration with the Twentieth Century society.
Image: Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Charles Jencks’ Thematic House has been listed at Grade I.
Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt has been invited to speak about his current research project at the UK Spring Conference of the International Association of Museum Facilities Administrators (IAMFA), which is held at the Natural History Museum, London, on 3 – 4 May 2018. For the full list of speakers, see here.
He will be taking part in the main plenary session entitled‚ ‘The Technology Challenge Modernising Estates’ Systems‘. The event will be attended by 70 delegates, which include facilities managers from most major museums in the UK and Henrik will be will be exploring how findings of his current research project at the Houses of Parliament could be used to address questions of sustainability in historic museum buildings. The project investigates how far historic principles of ventilation could be reutilised and integrated within a modern sustainable system. As many museum buildings from the nineteenth and early twentieth-century followed similar approaches to ventilation and as such the research can offer potential lessons for their refurbishment. Can the reuse of historic principles provide an alternative to the installation of completely new technologies?
Former MArch student, Megan Catt, has published her paper, ‘The Reality of Wellbeing-Focused Design in Dementia Care – A Case Study of Acute Dementia Wards in the UK’ in the Health Environments Research and Design Journal (HERD), a USA based journal, supported by Kent School of Architecture’s Dr Giridharan Renganathan.
The paper studies the design of dementia wards in NHS hospitals, looking at wellbeing-focused design, an approach that considers the effects of the built environment on an occupant’s physical and psychological health. Dementia is a pressing health concern in the UK, with a high psychological care requirement. The potential for the built environment to reduce the impact of symptoms is significant, with an established body of research proving that by making even small adjustments to spatial design (with considerations for light, sound, quality of space, promoting social interaction and independence, maintaining privacy and dignity and triggering memories) improvements to patient health and care outcomes can be achieved, such as reducing falls, time spent in hospital, or blood pressure and stress. Design concepts for achieving these and other health improvements were analysed in the paper, and compiled into a framework of criteria that could be used to test for evidence of a ‘good’ dementia environment. The framework was used in several case studies, at wards which had recently undergone wellbeing-driven refurbishments. The observations, staff interviews, and testing against the framework, carried out during these visits highlighted successes and failures of the projects, showing where further progression is required in the creation of wards that passively assist health.
The research for this paper was originally undertaken for Megan’s MArch dissertation at KSA, where she looked at the design of wards for both dementia and maternity patients, two very different patient groups, each with specific psychological care needs. Since graduating in 2016, Megan has continued her research into the subject, focusing on design for dementia, with continued support from Giridharan Renganathan, who has helped me to develop the paper for publishing.
On 19 April, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin joined a review of work from the Azrieli Global Studio at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture at McGill University in Montreal. The Studio, funded by the Azrieli Foundation, is a collaboration between McGill and Carleton Universities in Canada, and the Technion and Tel Aviv University in Israel, and brings together MArch students from both countries to explore extreme environments through intensive research and design projects.
McGill students presented their work on sites around the Dead Sea and Negev Desert at a crit in Montreal just before their Israeli partners set off for the far north of Canada. Dr Brittain-Catlin reviewed their projects in a panel with project tutor Professor Howard Davies; School Director, Professor Martin Bressani; Mary-Jean Eastman, principal and founding partner of the global New York architectural practice Perkins Eastman; and architect Henry Tong. Associate Professor Aaron Sprecher and Tom Shaked of the Technion and Dan Shapira of Tel Aviv University also attended.
The partnership between KSA and McGill goes back to 2010 when Dr Brittain-Catlin first joined Professor Bressani’s students for postgraduate seminars on nineteenth-century gothic revival architecture. With Professor Emeritus Jan de Maeyer of KU Leuven, they published Gothic Revival Worldwide: A.W.N. Pugin’s Global Influence last year.
Dr Brittain-Catlin joined a crit panel the following day to review projects from the vertical MArch / Stage 3 studio led by the renowned Quebec architect Gilles Saucier, whose practice Saucier + Perrotte won this year’s Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.