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
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Kent School of Architecture warmly welcomes Dr Davina Jackson as its first Honorary Academic. Her appointment coincides with the publication by Lund Humphries of her latest book, Data Cities: how satellites are transforming architecture and design, in which she explains how rocket science and electronic technologies have changed obsolete practices and are expanding potentials for architecture and environmental design. The text surveys exceptional projects created by leading architects, scientists, artists, engineers, geographers, urbanists, gamers, gardeners, filmmakers and musicians who are reimagining life on our planet — and elsewhere.
Dr Jackson completed her PhD by publication at KSA in 2017, following the publication of her book on the Kent-born, New Zealand / Australian architect Douglas Snelling: Pan-Pacific modern design and architecture, on which she gave a talk to a full house for the Twentieth Century Society last year. Dr Jackson is an authoritative and highly respected historian and critic, and the CREAte research centre is delighted to host a continuing collaboration.
Riverscapes are the main arteries of the world’s largest cities, and have, for millennia, been the lifeblood of the urban communities that have developed around them. These human settlements – given life hrough the space of the local waterscapes – soon developed into ritualised spaces that sought to harness the dynamism of the watercourse and create local architectural landscape. Theorised via a sophisticated understanding of history, space, culture, and ecology, this collection of wonderful and deliberately wide-ranging case studies, from Early Modern Italy tyo the contemporary Bngal Delta, investigates the culture of human interaction with rivers and the nature of urban topography. Riverine explores the ways in which architecture and urban planning have imbued cultural landscapes with ritual and structural meaning.
Edited by Gerald Adler and Manolo Guerci, the book results from the CREAte (Centre for Research in European Architecture) conference held in 2014, and contains a selection of papers from that event in addition to pieces specially commissioned for the publication.
Dr Luciano Cardellicchio presented the first results from his Leverhulme-funded research project ‘Our Future Heritage’ at the 8th International Conference on Construction Research organised by the prestigious Eduardo Torroja Institute in Madrid. The principal purpose of the institute is to carry on scientific research and technical development in the field of construction and construction materials.
The paper titled ‘Ageing pattern of Contemporary Concrete: the case study of the Jubilee Church by Richard Meier in Rome’ has received a mention from the conference jury, which included the editor of Casabella Professor Francesco Dal Co, award-winning Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto De Moura, and the Director of the Eduardo Torroja Foundation Pepa Cassinello.
Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be joining the world’s leading architects at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam at the end of November. The Festival’s super jury includes Sir David Adjaye and Nathalie de Vries, director and co-founder of MVRDV, and other participants include Simon Allford, Allison Brooks, Nigel Coates, Peter Cook, Deborah Saunt and many more from all over the world. Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf and Charles Jencks are among the speakers, and Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, and the editor and critic Catherine Slessor will also be participating.
Dr Brittain-Catlin will be part of a judging panel that includes Joyce Owens of Studio AJO and Torben Østergaard of the international Danish practice 3XN for the Future Projects category. The Festival runs from 28th to 30th November and will be held at the RAI Amsterdam convention centre.
The World Architecture Festival is the only global awards programme where architects present their completed buildings and future projects live to a panel of internationally renowned judges and delegates from around the world. This year there will be more award finalists to see, more presentations and prizes to be received, more delegates to network and more fringe activity than ever before.
‘Architecture is concealed unto itself: Helmuth Plessner and his influence on twentieth-century architecture’, written by Gerald Adler has just been published in the latest issue of the journal Architecture Philosophy. This is the journal of the International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, and is a special issue devoted to papers presented at its major conference in 2016 at Bamberg University, Germany. The conference topic was ‘The Human in Architecture and Philosophy’ and Adler presented a paper on Plessner, one of the key philosophers of Weimar-era ‘Philosophical Anthropology’. He elucidates Plessner’s ‘place’-centred philosophy, and contrasts this with the time-centred thinking of his far more well-known peer Martin Heidegger. Adler presents the architectural implications of Plessner’s thinking, demonstrating this through the design of his own house (by Lucy Hillebrand), and by allusions to the pragmatic approach of the Viennese architect Josef Frank. The article will be of interest to those who wish to go beyond mere appearances to get to the philosophical underpinnings of design. It will also come as an antidote to those who recoil at ‘philosophy’ (and certainly the difficulties of Heidegger’s writing), and to those with an interest in the wider cultural and anthropological implications for architecture.
Guest-edited by the conference organisers, Martin Düchs and Christain Illies, the journal contains a number of interesting articles, including ones by keynote speakers Karsten Harries and the (recently topical) Roger Scruton.
This week’s PhD Seminar Series will take place in the PGR Hub, Digital Crit Space on Wednesday 14 November from 16.00 – 17.30, given by Maria Dimitriou, a Kent School of Architecture PhD Candidate in Architectural Heritage and Conservation. Her talk, based on her research is titled, ‘Transformation of Industrial Heritage: The Case of Volos, Greece’.
De-industrialization poses a major challenge for the preservation of the heritage of industrial towns in Europe. Volos, an industrial harbour town in central Greece, provides a typical example of this phenomenon. Redundancy and decay of many of the city’s 20th-century industrial buildings threaten the survival of a significant aspect of the heritage of Volos. Infusing new life in these buildings requires the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders as well as the development of new management and conservation strategies. For this reason, the urgent contribution to the European discussion on preservation and future maintenance of such areas will require vital solutions that will save them from falling into ruin.
This dissertation applies an interdisciplinary approach that will seek to identify an innovative model for the strategic management and re-use of the industrial heritage of Volos. It provides new ways to understand preservation theory and management objectives for industrial heritage sites by analyzing existing mechanisms for their preservation through values and practices. In addition, this research identifies characteristics and values aimed at expanding the framework of historic industrial preservation practice. It argues that management strategies based on traditional preservation practices are insufficient for interpreting the complexity of these historic places, and that historical industrial preservation is best served by attending to the range of values and processes associated with the historic landscape and its protection.