Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin to speak at University’s Roundtable on Heritage

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin is one of the speakers at the first in a series of Roundtables on Heritage, organised by the University’s Centre of Heritage under the direction of Dr Sophie Vigneron, Reader at Kent Law School. The event will look at the significance of historic buildings as cultural symbols, and how to address the problems and ethical questions that surround their restoration; i.e. who plays a role in the process? What kind of decisions are they making?

One of the central issues is that of the historical recreation, sometime referred to as ‘pastiche’ architecture, and this came to the fore particularly in the aftermath of the recent major fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Dr Brittain-Catlin will speak on the theme, ‘There is no such thing as pastiche’. He will be joined by the Surveyor to the Fabric of Canterbury Cathedral, Jonathan Deeming who will be speaking about ‘Challenges of preservation for the Cathedral of Canterbury’, Dr Emily Guerry from the School of History on the topic, ‘The history and identity of the Gothic cathedral’, and Andrew Edwards from Canterbury Cathedral Trust who will be finishing the evening off with, ‘Giving for a good cause, why give to heritage?’.

The first roundtable will be on Tuesday 26 November from 6-8pm in the Moot court room at the Wigoder Law Building / Kent Law Clinic. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

Professor Gerald Adler to speak at ‘Bye Bye Bauhaus’ Symposium

The ‘Bye Bye Bauhaus’ Symposium, organised by Kent School of Architecture and Planning Lecturer, Professor Alan Powers, in conjunction with the Twentieth Century Society will be held at the University of Westminster School of Architecture on 30 November 2019.

The Bye Bye Bauhaus one-day symposium offers new perspectives and stories that have not yet been told, concerning design in Germany and Britain during the past century. The programme includes Professor Gerald Alder, Head of School, Kent School of Architecture and Planning, who has recently been commissioned by Bloomsbury to write a monograph on Heinrich Tessenow, the German ‘reform’ architect.

Professor Alan Powers comments, ‘For me, the Bauhaus centenary this year has been a fascinating thing to be part of, with my book, Bauhaus Goes West, published in February by Thames and Hudson, and getting quite widely reviewed, and a lot of other activities around the theme of how Britain related to the Bauhaus. My conference is a miscellany rather than a thesis as the centenary year draws towards its end. While the Bauhaus itself continues to be a subject of interest, it is the peripheral things about Germany and Britain that offer scope for new discoveries, and the event on 30 November brings together a lot of disparate knowledge in ways that I think will be new to a lot of the audience. It is great that we are still within the range of direct memory of some of the people involved, including my panel at the end about people who were students at the Bauhaus and then came to Britain.’

The symposium opens with Richard Hollis on the Belgian Art Nouveau designer Henry van de Velde, includes Dr David Haney, author of When Modern was Green (2010), and Professor Frederic Schwartz, UCL who poses the question, ‘What was the Bauhaus?’. The afternoon programme includes Valeria Carullo, Curator at the RIBA British Architectural Library, Sophie Jump, theatre designer and the final session introduces five lesser-known Bauhäusler in Britain: Jilly Allenby on her grandfather, the sculptor Johannes Ilmari Auerbach; Marcus Williamson on René Halkett, painter, designer broadcaster and lyricist for the punk band Bauhaus; John Allan on the graphic designer George Adams (Teltscher), Rachel Dickson on puppeteer Werner ‘Jacky’ Jackson and Danyel Gilgan on his grandfather, the maker and teacher Wilfred Franks.

Book your place online; tickets include refreshments with sandwich lunch and post-conference drinks.

IMAGE CREDIT: PAUL AND MARJORIE ABBATT PLAY TRAY, DESIGNED BY FREDA SKINNER, C. 1935

Sir Terry Farrell introduces masterclass at Kent School of Architecture and Planning

Sir Terry Farrell personally introduced a masterclass session at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) on Friday 25th October with a talk about his urban design projects. His audience included students from all levels at the School, plus a group of 35 4th and 5th year visiting students from ENSAP (Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture et de paysage de Lille), led by Gilles Maury and his colleagues. Gilles Maury and the school are old friends and partners of KSAP, and their arrival followed a tour around the South East which included visits to Philip Webb’s Red House and Standen, the University of Sussex and the Ditchling Museum of Arts + Craft. The event was planned by KSAP tutors John Letherland and Dr Ambrose Gillick, with the participation of Dr Tim Ireland and Dr Peter Buš.

Sir Terry followed the design session with a lecture at the University organised by the Canterbury Society. His theme was the way in which his own design career had evolved from his earliest landscape paintings of the Northumberland countryside, through his major London projects, his Thames Gateway plan and championing of Kentish towns, to his current large-scale work in China. Sir Terry was introduced to the audience by Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin who played a central role in the Twentieth Century Society’s campaign to protect postmodern buildings in England.

 

‘The Edwardians and their Houses’ on BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour

Timothy Brittain-Catlin presented an episode from his forthcoming book The Edwardians and their Houses on BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour last night. This told the story of how from 1900 the London County Council, controlled by members of the Liberal Party, transformed a district of industrial works and slums at the southern edge of the Palace of Westminster into an idealised ‘late Stuart’ residential quarter around the baroque church of St John, Smith Square.

Some of the finest buildings here, including 4, Cowley Street (pictured), were designed by the architect Horace Field, whose commercial buildings look as if they were the homes of prosperous Restoration merchants and were thus the harbinger of much interwar high street bank architecture. Appropriately, this house, which had been built as the offices of the North Eastern Railway, served as the headquarters of first the Social Democratic Party and until recently, the Liberal Democrats. Today the district serves as a fine example of a politically inspired residential area which looks as if it has ‘always’ been there.

The report starts at 45′ on BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour.

CREAte Open Lecture: Richard Reid

The first CREAte open lecture of the academic year will be given by Richard Reid with his talk titled, ‘Dancing Through the Veil: the Ruskinian Concept of Savageness or Changefulness’ on Tuesday 29th October at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

The relevance of Ruskin’s The Nature of Gothic, with his six moral elements of architecture, is as great today as it ever was – savageness or rudeness and changefulness or variety are the most interesting to the modern architect. Richard Reid will explain why.

Richard Reid is the award-winning architect of Epping Forest council offices, one of Britain’s greatest postmodern buildings. He is the founder of Richard Reid and Associates, based in Sevenoaks with a studio in Guangzhou, China, and is best known for their work on the development at Lower Mill Estate, competition winning projects for Kleinzschocher, Leipzig, the Bertalia-Lazzaretto District, Bologna, and the masterplan, in collaboration with Max Lyons of Lyons+Sleeman+Hoare, for the Garden City of Greenville for the Urban Village Group. They also prepared the masterplan for Nansha Bay. While working on this scheme, they were also awarded the prize for the best small house in The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2012. The practice are also specialists in regeneration and mixed use housing developments where place making is the key, as seen in their work in Leipzig, Germany, Nansha, China and in the UK at Thurrock and Ashford.

All welcome!

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin features in the new Sir Banister Fletcher: the ultimate architectural history book

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is among the 88 contributors to the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture, edited by Professor Murray Fraser of the Bartlett, the first global and multi-media edition of the world’s most respected architectural history textbook. The new edition has been fully rewritten to include expert writing on the history of buildings from across the world, from an account of Sumer and Akkad, present-day Iraq, in c.3500 BCE, up to the present day. The book will appear in two substantial printed volumes as well as online for educational users, and is fully illustrated throughout.

Dr Brittain-Catlin has written the section on architecture in Britain and Ireland from 1830-1914, reflecting his own research interests and incorporating his new ideas on early Victorian realism and historicism. The book will be published next month, and details are already available on the publisher’s website. Dr Brittain-Catlin has also participated in a special webpage on the RIBA’s site about the experience of working on this great and historic project.

The Canterbury Diocese and Queen Anne’s Bounty

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be joining Professor Catherine Richardson and Professor Kenneth Fincham of the Schools of English and History in an event on Saturday 28th September that celebrates the treasures of Kent’s diocesan archives. He will speak about the fascinating collection of late Georgian and early Victorian mortgage application drawings submitted by architects that can be found in the Archives and Library of Canterbury Cathedral. The full story is told in his book The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century (Spire Books) that was launched at the University in 2008 during the Lambeth Conference that took place here that year. The illustration seen here is the design of 1841 for the elevation of Stalisfield vicarage, between Charing and Faversham, designed by the architect F. Brown of Torrington Square.

The event, ‘LUCIT IN TENEBRIS VERITAS’: researching the archives of Kent’s Anglican dioceses’, will be held at the Kent History and Library Centre Maidstone, and more information can be found about it here.

 

Professor Gerald Adler and Dr Manolo Guerci celebrate ‘Riverine, Architectures and Rivers’ book launch

Gerald Adler and Manolo Guerci recently launched their newly published book Riverine. Architecture and Rivers (Routledge 2019) at the London office of the architects Penoyre and Prasad, who kindly hosted the event. The poet and contributor to the book Kate Miller read from her poem ‘Waterloo Sunrise’, while Manolo Guerci recited an extract in the original dialect of ‘Er Temporale’, a poem from the 19th century Roman poet Gioacchino Belli. Gerald Adler concluded the event by remarking the genesis and range of the book, which brings together essays and photographic excursi dealing with all aspects of riverine, from east to west, north to south.

 

Timothy Brittain-Catlin at the London Festival of Architecture

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be appearing again at events during London Festival of Architecture, this year acting as chairman at two contrasting discussion evenings. Both events are planned by long-term supporters of Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) in the professional world. The first, which takes place on 6th June, is hosted by Proctor & Matthews at the Oxo Tower, and takes the form of a debate entitled From Boundaries to Belvederes. The discussion, with the participation of Dr Husam AlWaer, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Design and Evaluation, University of Dundee and Mark Newman, Archaeological Consultant, National Trust North Region, will focus on the definition of settlement edges, articulating the importance of the interface between public and private realms and identifying the thresholds between an inner inhabited and domesticated world and the wild landscape beyond.

The second event, Style Wars, will be a lively discussion on 26th June at the offices of Donald Insall & Associates about the use and meaning of style in architecture today, and it will complement the discussion on a similar theme held at KSAP at the end of last year. The speakers will be the architects Charles Holland, Amin Taha, and Tanvir Hasan, the lead director of Insall’s London office, as well as the architectural historian John Goodall, author of The English Castle and architectural editor of Country Life.

Dr Manolo Guerci to give talk at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Dr Manolo Guerci will be giving a talk titled, ‘The Great Houses of the Strand: an overview’ at Sir John Soane’s museum in London on Tuesday 4 June. Based on his upcoming book, ‘Great Houses of the Strand: the Ruling Elite at Home in Tudor and Jacobean London’, Dr Guerci will give an overview of the ‘so-called Strand palaces’ in London. For further information about the talk and to book your place, see here.