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.
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.
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
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.
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 Monday 20 January from 6pm – 8pm in the Moot court room, Widoger Law Building. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.
Dr Nikolaos Karydis, Senior Lecturer and MSc Architectural Conservation programme director at Kent School of Architecture and Planning recently gave a lecture titled, ‘The lost gateway of early modern Rome: the development of the port of Ripa Grande from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century’ at the British School at Rome on 2 December 2019. The lecture explored the development of the Ripa Grande, the main river port of Rome during the Early Modern period. Find out more about the lecture here.
Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti, Associate Dean, and Professor in Architecture and Urban Design at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) recently presented her paper titled, ‘The Window and the Map: Representation of Space and Collective Life in Early-Modern Europe’ at the 16th Annual International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) in November 2019.
The presentation was part of Professor Fontana-Giusti’s long-term research on perspective in the architecture, urban design and the new consciousness in the Early-Modern period. The focus of the paper was on two models of spatial representation and related epistemological paradigms: the one that has emerged at the Italian peninsula and the other developed in Holland. By comparing the two models, the conclusions were drawn about their differences, complementarities and legacies.
Gordana Fontana-Giusti is a member of the AHRA Steering Committee Group and has been actively involved in its work. She was also the founding director of KSAP’s MA Architecture and Urban Design course, as well as a PhD supervisor with areas of interest in architectural theory, representation and urban design.
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 Adler, 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 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.
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.