PhD students to present at SAHGB Architectural History Workshop

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.

MSc Architectural Conservation students tour restricted areas of Canterbury Cathedral

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.

Professor Fontana-Giusti interviewed by TRT World television

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 Antonello Alici to give lecture to MArch Unit 1

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.

MSc Architectural Conservation students work on live restoration project

This academic year, SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has given our MSc Architectural Conservation students the opportunity to work on a live restoration project of St. Andrew’s Chapel, near Boxley Abbey, Maidstone.

Programme Director, Dr Nikolaos Karydis writes, “Built in the 15th and the 16th century and modified in the 19th century, the ‘chapel’ is currently in an advanced state of decay. SPAB are currently surveying the building with the view to restore it and our students visited the site several times and were guided by SPAB specialists. SPAB Director Matthew Slocombe introduced the Society’s work and project officer Jonny Garlick surveyed the building with the students and gave us an unforgettable tour of Boxley Abbey, focusing on previous SPAB repair work.

During the Spring Term, the students will prepare a conservation plan, engaging in tasks that reflect their individual backgrounds. Those with an architectural background have the option to design the adaptation of the building into a new use. Students with backgrounds in other fields have several options which include researching the building’s history, analysing its significance and drafting conservation strategies. The resulting work will be submitted to the SPAB with the aim to contribute to the future conservation of this magnificent building.”

To keep up with the latest news on the MSc Architectural Conservation programme, you can follow their blog.

Conservation Principles and Theories

The MSc Architectural Conservation module ‘Conservation Principles and Theories’, recently concluded, had another very positive year. Module convenor, Dr Manolo Guerci, reflects below:

The group, made by professionals in different fields, from the planning to the conservation sector, as well as from the broader constituency of architectural work, was very cohese. As usual, the module engaged the theoretical as well as the practical analysis of areas based in Canterbury, but not exclusively, considering that students can chose their own sites for both tasks related to the module. This year we also benefitted again by international experts, who contribute to our module. Prof. Judi Loach, professor emerita at the University of Cardiff, and a leading scholar in the field of architectural conservation, delivered a stimulating lecture on ‘The 20th century, a case study: ways of conserving Le Corbusier’. Prof. Loach had led DocoMomo UK, and her expertise on the topic was extremely useful to our cohort.

MSc Architectural Conservation students also benefits from an extensive corpus of weekly lectures and seminars organised by the three reseach centres in the school, respectively dealing with history and theory, sustainable environment, and digital architecture. The school’s student association also runs a programme of lectures, while our PhD students give weekly seminars where their research is presented in an informal environment. Indeed, students from our masters programmes often continue with doctoral research in the school. And Marcon is no exception. Joining our programme is an excellent way to both gain expertise in the broader field of conservation, and to equip yourself for further academic research.

IMAGE: MSC ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION STUDENT, JOEL HOPKINSON

CREAte Open Lecture: Adam Richards

The next CREAte Open Lecture will be given by Adam Richards with his talk titled, ‘Playing with time – fiction and history in recent projects’ on Tuesday 18th February at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Adam Richards will talk about the ideas and themes that have informed some of his recent projects, including Nithurst Farm and Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. Adam Richards is a British architect whose work has encompassed architecture, interior design, furniture and landscape design. Adam Richards Architects is an award winning practice recognised for its work on a range of arts, heritage and cultural projects including the Ditchling Museum of Art and Crafts. The practice has a particular interest in architectural history and cultural continuity within contemporary situations.

All welcome!

Interested in Postgraduate Study? Join one of our Google Hangouts to find out more

Kent School of Architecture and Planning are pleased to announce we will be hosting a series of Google Hangouts for prospective students and current applicants interested in our postgraduate courses. These events are free, and will be held online, hosted by our respective programme directors. The full list of dates and times are below:

To book your place on any of our online Google Hangouts, please email ksapadmissions@kent.ac.uk with the Google Hangout(s) you would like to attend, and the email address you would like your invitation sent to.

Postgraduate Research Seminar: Iliona Outram-Khalili

The first Postgraduate Research Seminar of the year will be given by Iliona Outram-Khalili with her talk titled, ‘Unity within diversity: Masonry, method and analogy in the Byzantine Church of Hagia Sophia, Thessaloniki’ on Wednesday 22 January from 4 – 5pm in the Digital Crit Space.

This PhD thesis proposes that load-bearing masonry architecture contains analogies for timeless, metaphysical truths, experienced with all the senses. How can one prove this if the mason-builders of the great historical cathedrals, mosques, palace precincts, and temples never wrote it down? There aren’t any masons who wrote, “while I was setting up the central compass I was meditating on God as the unitary source of all being, and then I started to build the dome in a circle and I thought, yes, the circumference depends on the centre but the centre does not need the circumference!”. Therefore, how can one show that the poetics of building could be an initiation into a holistic, creative meditation, and a journey to mature consciousness?

This thesis selects the typical 7-8th century Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia Thessaloniki, to compare the ritual actions and iconography with the masonry architecture; it is a unique example of this Byzantine dome-in-cross ‘typos’ because it has the core of its original mosaics, and in it the early liturgies are still celebrated. My research finds analogous themes in all three disciplines, enabling me to propose intention by the master masons to transmit such timeless and metaphysical truths through the architecture. This helps us to re-discover a language of architecture that guides humans to being in harmony natural environment, much needed at a time that humans are destroying the earth. The thesis also seeks to rediscover creative hands-on work as a healing for the individual and the community. It is to be hoped that the conclusions of this research are transferable to modern architecture and sustainable arts and technologies.

By Iliona Outram-Khalili, PhD Student

CREAte Open Lecture: John Goodall, Country Life

The next CREAte Open Lecture of the academic year will be given by John Goodall, Architectural Editor of Country Life, with his talk titled, ‘Under a spell: Gothic 1500 – 1700’. The lecture will take place on Tuesday 21 January at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

It is often supposed that the course of 16th century England abandoned its medieval traditions of architecture. In fact, medieval buildings continued to be admired and to shape English architecture. This lecture will explore some of the ways in which medieval architecture was preserved, imitated and understood prior to the Gothic revival in the 19th century.

All welcome!