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

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin joins the World Architecture Festival

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.

Postmodern listings – A Turning Point in Building Conservation

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.

KSA’s Dr Davina Jackson to speak at Twentieth Century Society event

The Australian architectural historian and critic Davina Jackson, who has completed her PhD at KSA, will be speaking next week at a special event in London held by the Twentieth Century Society and The Modern House estate agency in London.

The event, entitled ‘Douglas Snelling – Pan-Pacific Adventures in Modern Design and Architecture’ will take place on Monday 9th October at 6.30p-m in FCB Studios 20 on Tottenham Street in London.

Davina Jackoson is the author of the first study of Douglas Snelling’s pan-Pacific life an works. Based in Sydney, Davina works as an author, editor and curator and writes extensively on modernist architecture and design in Oceania. She was also professor of a multi-disciplinary design at the University of New South Wales and an editor of Architecture Australia.

For further information about the event, please see click here.

KSA members can attend free of charge.

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin on British Postmodernism

Timothy Brittain-Catlin spoke to a packed house on Thursday evening, 2nd March, on the subject of British Postmodernist architecture. This talk concluded a sell-out series on different styles in architecture organised by the Twentieth Century Society, the national amenity and building conservation group, of which Dr Brittain-Catlin is deputy chairman.

The lecture was the first comprehensive reassessment of the style, and especially of some of its well known buildings from the 1980s. Raising awareness of postmodernism has become especially important because of the threat of demolition or mutilation to so many significant buildings. The Twentieth Century Society recent played a central role in the listing of James Stirling’s No 1 Poultry, in the City of London, in order to save it from unsympathetic changes. Another recent victory for the Society has been the decision by the Chancellor of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Southwark to protect Thomas Ford’s 1951 interior at St John’s church, Waterloo.

Sir Terry Farrell, one of the world’s leading postmodern architects and masterplanners, and Carl Laubin, whose fine paintings of buildings by Dixon Jones have come to define the era, attended the lecture, which was recorded and will be posted online in due course. Dr Brittain-Catlin will give the talk again on 27th June and tickets for this are already available at http://c20.datawareonline.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=62&EventId=516