• Sunday , 17 November 2019

AIARG 7: Keynote Announced


Location: Queen’s University Belfast

Dates: 25 – 26 January 2018

Registration is now open for the seventh conference of the All Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG) which seeks to explore architecture and the public realm. The term res publica defines a public affair and architecture is necessarily the most public of the arts: to engage in architecture is to engage in a public discourse.

AIARG 7 are delighted to announce that the keynote speaker is Professor Mark Swenarton (University of Liverpool) who will be talking about his recently released book entitled Cook’s Camden: The Making of Modern Housing (Lund Humphries 2017). It explores the exemplary housing design projects produced in the London borough of Camden by Neave Brown and a host of others under the aegis of Sydney Cook in the 1960s and 70s. It is widely regarded as the most important housing built in Britain in the last 100 years. Swenarton has expertly catalogued and intelligently constructed some very interesting readings and original material on these critical and influential works.

More information including fees conference fees etc. can be found here:  https://aiarg2018.wordpress.com

About the Keynote

Mark Swenarton is an architectural historian, critic and educator. In 1981 with Adrian Forty he set up the UK’s first masters degree in architectural history and in 1989 with Ian Latham founded Architecture Today, which he edited until 2005. He was subsequently head of the architecture school at Oxford Brookes and then the first holder of the James Stirling chair of architecture at Liverpool, where he is now emeritus professor. His books include Homes fit for Heroes and Architecture and the Welfare State. Professor Swenarton will be discussing aspects of his most recent and acclaimed book Cook’s Camden: The Making of Modern Housing (Lund Humphries, 2017)

The housing projects built in Camden in the 1960s and 1970s when Sydney Cook was borough architect are widely regarded as the most important urban housing built in the UK in the past 100 years. The schemes – which included Alexandra Road, Branch Hill, Fleet Road, Highgate New Town and Maiden Lane – set out a model of street-based housing that continues to command interest and admiration from architects to this day. Cook recruited some of the brightest talent available in London at the time, including Neave Brown, Benson & Forsyth and Peter Tabori, and also commissioned up-and coming practices such as Colquhoun & Miller, Edward Cullinan and Farrell Grimshaw. The Camden projects represented a new type of urban housing based on a return to streets with front doors. In place of tower blocks, the Camden architects showed how the required densities could be achieved without building high, creating a new kind of urbanism that integrated with, rather than broke from, its cultural and physical context. This book examines how Cook and his team created this new kind of street-based housing, what it comprised, and what lessons it offers for today. New colour photographs by Tim Crocker combine with the original black and white photography by Martin Charles to give a fascinating ‘then and now’ portrayal not just of the buildings but also of the homes within and the people who live there.

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