YEARS OF ARCHITECTURAL
EDUCATION AT UCL
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris started life at The Bartlett in 1984. More than 30 years later, and with over 50 alumni working across the practice, weâ€™re just as proud to be part of it.
Winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015
THE BARTLETT Editorial direction: Bob Sheil Frédéric Migayrou Editor: Jeremy Melvin Editorial project manager: Laura Cherry Contributors: Neil Bingham, Iain Borden, Adrian Forty, Murray Fraser, Jonathan Glancey, Barbara Penner, Sophie Read, Rebecca Spaven Special thanks to: Laura Allen, Peter Bishop, Peter Cook, Marcos Cruz, Paul Finch, Stephen Gage, Jean Garrett, Emer Girling, Guy Hawkins, Christine Hawley, Kurt Helfrich, Charles Hind, Olivia Horsfall Turner, Emma Kitley, Michelle Lukins, Níall McLaughlin, Kevin Mansfield, Stoll Michael, Paul Monaghan, Peter Morris, Luke Pearson, Alan Penn, Frosso Pimenides, Alicia Pivaro, Peter Rees, Oliver Salway, Paul Smoothy, Philip Tabor, Susan Ware, Mark Whitby, Meredith Wilson, Carola Zogolovitch Our thanks to all the students, alumni, staff and former staff who have contributed to this project in myriad ways, directly and indirectly, including colleagues in the Faculty and UCL
14 IDEAS 30 DESIGN THROUGH RESEARCH 62 HISTORY 78 ALUMNI
THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW Executive editor: Emily Booth Art editor: Tom Carpenter Production editor: Cecilia Thom Business development manager: Lydia Handley Millard Production manager: Laura Barretto AR editor-in-chief: Christine Murray AR editorial director: Paul Finch Group commercial director for Architecture: Beth Pedersen Managing director: Tracey Davies Chief executive: Natasha Christie-Miller Produced by The Architectural Review
OUR THANKS TO ALL THE SUPPORTERS OF THIS PUBLICATION
Cover image: Aiden Deng Ai, ‘New York Automobile Museum’, 2015. MArch Architecture Unit 24
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Hawkins\Brown are pleased to have a close working relationship with The Bartlett School of Architecture
‘We are all, in fact, in a state of transition … We are wandering in a labyrinth of experiments … thus creating a new and peculiar style. This movement has placed the schools of all countries in a state of great uncertainty; as yet we have no fine, leading principle as a guiding star.’
Thomas Leverton Donaldson University College London’s first professor of architecture in 1842
rchitecture existed for millennia before anyone thought to teach it at university; indeed it was practised long before anyone thought of universities. So why is the mere 175th anniversary of a university’s architecture department cause for celebration? The answer might lie in universities’ potential to transform and enhance their subjects. After religious bodies, they are arguably the most resilient institutions in the Western world, outlasting many states, monarchies, legal systems and corporations. Their origins lay in the need for the Church to codify and teach canon law, the ideological basis on which it operated, in an essentially secular world. But that quickly begat the concept of civil law, the foundation of modern political thought. Within a short time of appearing, universities showed their capability to transform old and develop new ideas in response to temporal contingencies. University College London was founded in 1826 to fill a gap England’s ancient universities were ignoring: the challenge of devising and developing ideas to address the social and economic change of the Industrial Revolution. Given that London was then 25 years into a century of population growth (from one to four million), it was almost inevitable that architecture would become part of its stable. When architecture came to UCL in 1841, it could rub up against emerging and traditional subjects, from engineering to classics (the latter being transformed by developments in archaeology and philology), medicine and law. Each could offer the others chinks of light in the barriers to progress, which might have been impossible in their own terms. Their rough or epistemologically unsound parts could be smoothed and relevant new knowledge honed. From the early 20th century other subjects grew
out of the architecture department. These now constitute a faculty of the college known since 1920 as The Bartlett following a donation from Herbert Henry Bartlett. The School of Architecture remains its largest single part. This publication shows how the discipline of architecture has evolved within this academic context. It opens with some of the most powerful imagery created by students, showing advances in digital and image-making technology. The next chapter outlines new approaches to pedagogy that have emerged since Peter Cook was appointed professor of architecture in 1990. The focus then turns to history, identifying the most critical moments in the school’s evolution. And in the final chapter we introduce some of the school’s most successful alumni, among them RIBA Gold Medal and Stirling Prize winners. Many are designers but a notable number have helped set the legislative, academic and cultural terms through which architecture is practised and experienced. If there is one common characteristic throughout the school’s history, it is how the contingencies of the time affect the ways in which ideas can be turned into objects. The most successful pedagogic programmes turn these contingencies to advantages, for students and the subject in general. The following pages show how this has happened in the past and the platform it provides for the future as the school, under Frédéric Migayrou, initiates new courses, occupies new premises and co-opts new technologies to inaugurate a new phase in the history of designing and making. Migayrou and the school’s director, Bob Sheil, set the scene over the next few pages. Jeremy Melvin Editor
ALL IMAGES: STONEHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHIC
(Above) Bartlett studios at 140 Hampstead Road
t’s almost impossible to better Thomas Leverton Donaldson’s imaginative and inspiring vision for architectural education as UCL’s first professor of architecture, which was declared in his inaugural lecture in 1842 and which opens this publication. The ‘labyrinth’ that Donaldson foretold has provided a fascinating and infinite space for subsequent generations to explore that continues to unfold new pathways, cut-throughs, nodes and centres. So in opening this celebratory publication, we could think of nothing more appropriate than to quote our founder, and celebrate this landmark by illustrating how this vision continues to thrive today. By no means a complete overview, this publication aims to illustrate the exceptional diversity, creativity and innovation at The Bartlett School of Architecture, and how it has accelerated over the past 30 years in particular. We make no claim for the school against the world’s most successful practitioners or practices, nor of the most influential buildings or projects; both the discipline of architectural practice and the assembly of buildings are shaped by infinitely more complex ingredients than the alma mater of individuals involved. What we do suggest however is that, on top of its fascinating 175-year history, The Bartlett has, in recent decades, become a world-leading institution for education and research, and the wave of this transformation has extended into recognition for alumni practices such as AHMM, FAT, Softroom, Asif Khan, Duggan Morris and Haptic. And, perhaps more noticeable, the diverse range of practice forms that have emerged from the school in the same period – with notable graduates such as Beatrice Galilee, associate curator of architecture and
(Top) left to right: Peter Cook, Colin Herperger, Christine Hawley, Mollie Claypool (Bottom) Bob Sheil and Frédéric Migayrou
design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, ScanLAB Projects, Bompas and Parr, Factory Fifteen and Umbrellium – each define new ways in which a research-based architectural education may evolve beyond the institution and beyond expectation. We open this story with the future rather than the past. Based on experience, we know it will take us by surprise and challenge us in profound ways. It will present us with familiar problems and novel challenges. It will unfold new social and political structures, new cultural and environmental contexts, new scientific development and understanding, new hurdles for welfare and wellbeing, new economic parameters, new profiles on workforce, new regulation, new tools and capabilities, new visions and new mindsets. It will also present us with new challenges on addressing the old: old possessions, knowledge, habits, old mistakes and old opportunities. We are deeply aware that we cannot merely prepare for the future, we must also help to shape it. In this regard, The Bartlett is not only entering a new phase of its long history but also embarking on the greatest step change in that journey. Over the next two years it will reoccupy its headquarters in Bloomsbury – with twice as much space as in 2014 – it will open a new 4,000m2 facility in East London and it will launch four new design-based Master’s programmes. In all our 175 years, there has been nothing like the present. We begin with a gallery of very recent student projects. Selected as clues rather than evidence, they are projects that appear fresh and unencumbered by the weight of 175 years of precedent. They capture a sense of where our current students and recent graduates are heading, and hint at how they view the future
and the unknown. It is a selection of projects that inform us, as a school, about where we are, and where we are going. Guided by an exceptional body of staff members who are, in their own right, continuously raising their game as inspiring teachers and pioneering researchers, we applaud our students, graduates and alumni for their tenacity and imagination. It is our students who carry the flame that in each individual we aim to ignite and nurture – a flame that is boosted by peers and heroes, and by employers, clients, partners and colleagues. The majority of students graduating later this year were born in the mid-1990s – a time when the school’s current reputation as a leading international institution was being formed. These same generations have yet to reach the peak of their careers, likely to intensify a decade from now, anywhere from Shanghai to Lagos, Mumbai to Mexico City. What the future careers of this generation will entail is certain to be more diverse and unexpected than generations before, and it is the challenge of preparing for an unknown future that we address on an everyday basis in the school. The Bartlett School of Architecture is entering an exciting new phase in its trajectory, as well as that of UCL and its 2034 campaign. The next 25 years will see The Bartlett measured against the dam-burst of optimism and creativity launched through its revival in the 1990s. Our success will, of course, depend on many challenging issues, not least in providing space to bloom and to experiment, and – our greatest priority – in delivering the labyrinth in which to wander. As the current chair and director of school respectively, we both feel immensely privileged to be tasked with leading this extraordinary
school at this time. We pay homage to our immediate and historical predecessors and, in particular, to our current staff and student colleagues: it is they who provide the driving force behind our work and our progress. We also wish to thank the many practices and organisations that came forward in support of this publication. In addition, we offer our sincere thanks to Jeremy Melvin for his immense patience and attention to detail in assembling a vast number of disparate and diverse voices and translating them into a succinct and fascinating account. Finally we wish to express our gratitude to Laura Cherry, who has guided this project with inspiring calmness, skill and – most essential for a work of this kind – diplomacy. Professor Frédéric Migayrou Chair and professor of architecture, The Bartlett School of Architecture Professor Bob Sheil Director, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Guan Lee, from ‘Cast and Camera: An Intimate Engagement with Grymsdyke Farm’, 2014. PhD Architectural Design
Amreen Kaleel, Hyunchul Kwon, Xiao Lin Li (CurVoxels team), ‘Space Curves’ 2015. MArch Architectural Design, Wonderlab RC4
Margaret Bursa, â€˜Sokolovna Landscape of Movement, Pier 54-56, New Yorkâ€™, 2009. MArch Architecture Unit 11
Douglas Miller, ‘The San Francisco Columbarium’, 2015. BSc Architecture UG7
Songyang Zhou, ‘Bio-Algae Suit’, 2014. BSc Architecture UG3
Ned Scott, ‘The War Rooms, St James’s Park, London’, 2012. MArch Architecture Unit 10
Tom Svilans, ‘The Bradbury Transcripts’, 2013. MArch Architecture Unit 23
Chaplin Ko, ‘Centre for Creative Collaboration in King’s Cross’, 2015. BSc Architecture UG10
Justine Bell, ‘Landfall: the Other Shore’, 2010. MArch Architecture Unit 17
STUDENT MARC MEDLAND UNIT UG3, 1996 PROJECT BAPTISTRY FSDFSFGE GSFRHEGTHR RJRFHJR LAUNDRETTE
Emir Tigrel, ‘Vestigial Landscapes’, 2015. MArch Architecture Unit 24
FUTURES DESIGN-LED RESEARCH-BASED EDUCATION
Ben Hayes, ‘Kizhi Island’, 2013. MArch Architecture Unit 17
Marjan Colletti, â€˜The Besking Houseâ€™, 1999. MArch Architectural Design
Carolyn Butterworth, ‘Cushion’, 1993. Diploma Architecture Unit 12
ne unifying thread in the 175-year history of teaching architecture at UCL is the development of principles for research-based education in a design-led subject. From TL Donaldson onwards, almost every professor has made some contribution to this process, whatever the variance in both their stances to the circumstances of their time and their degree of success. These efforts make an index of the evolution of architectural education in a university setting, as opposed to an art school, technical college or independent institution. With the appointment in 1990 of Peter Cook – one of the founders of the experimental architecture collective Archigram and UCL’s 11th Bartlett professor of architecture – a set of principles began to emerge that forged the sort of position for architecture within an academic setting that had eluded many of his predecessors; this related to how these principles related both to the college’s changing circumstances and the fluctuating cultural, economic and professional context. By the time Cook retired in 2006 the school, including staff and students, had collectively achieved a remarkable transformation: design and research worked together to create a distinctive contribution to architectural culture. Ten years later he was knighted for services to architecture. The school was on the international map and, with over 750 students, nearly twice the size it had been in 1990. This in turn provided a platform for it to enter its next phase of development, leading to the appointment of Frédéric Migayrou as the 12th Bartlett professor of architecture in 2011. Migayrou, deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre de Création Industrielle (MNAM-CCI) at the Centre Pompidou Paris, was selected, he believes,
because he proposed keeping the school at ‘the frontline of research, experimentation and creation as it was exemplified by Peter Cook’. His angle, though, is different from Cook’s, coming from his ‘position as a critic and historian defending a re-reading of the avant-gardes as a tool to analyse advanced contemporary scenes’. Bob Sheil, now director of the school, remembers Migayrou outlining his vision for the future, where The Bartlett would build on this momentum as an ‘observatoire’, ‘conservatoire’, and ‘laboratoire’, consolidating its achievements and extending its international stage. In the early 1990s, the school had potential for developing research-based education in ways that had not been envisioned before. Over the preceding generation, ever since Richard Llewelyn-Davies became Bartlett professor of architecture in 1960 (he was raised to the peerage five years later), the school had built up enviable expertise and reputations in subjects ranging from environmental and social science to architectural history, complemented by Master’s and PhD programmes. They were among the most extensive at the time and ensured that Bartlett graduates held influential positions in the context of architecture. What was lacking was a strong track record in design. In 1990 the challenge was to infuse the school with an atmosphere of creativity that would transform the relationship between academic potential and design as a speculative and experimental discipline, and so fulfil the purpose of teaching architecture in a university, particularly one with a radical ethos. What happened depended on how individuals’ abilities and interests combined with possibilities and opportunities opened up by the context of the time. Migayrou recalls that a cycle in international
architectural education, of which there have been many, was coming to an end. The dominance of the Architectural Association and its network in US schools began to slacken as the world lost, in the summer of 1990, the AA’s longstanding chair Alvin Boyarsky, whose influence is still pervasive. At the time, UCL’s new provost Derek Roberts recognised the new professor of architecture had to have an international profile in design education, though it fell to the new dean of faculty and professor of environmental design Patrick O’Sullivan to build the context in which the new appointee could operate. Christine Hawley, who joined Cook at The Bartlett as its first female professor in 1993 from the University of East London (UEL), where she had been the UK’s first female to direct an architecture school (1987-93), remembers Roberts as fearless. His ambition matched Cook’s but he left detail to others. O’Sullivan, recognising the success of his deanship depended on transforming the underperforming architecture school – then by far the largest school within the faculty – pulled out all the stops to make Cook’s appointment work, knowing Hawley was an essential partner in completing the equation soon after. As Roberts negotiated transfer details with Kasper KÖnig, rector of Frankfurt’s Städelschule, Cook issued an open letter headed ‘Observations of the Bartlett’ to ‘staff, students and wellwishers [sic]’, dated 23 March 1990. Cook hinted at some of the measures with which he was planning to infuse design into the school. The students, he wrote, ‘… seem to be fairly OK as people – and quite ready to jump into action when given a clear task … especially if it involves designing something’. Of these students he stated, ‘it must be their voice that I listen to first and their interests that I protect’. He
Neil Tomlinson, ‘Thorax Cybernation’, 1994. Diploma Architecture Unit 21
Abigail Ashton, Andrew Porter, Tony Smart. ‘Mechanical Landscapes’, 1995. Diploma Architecture Unit 21
went on to point out that studio teaching was less well resourced than in comparable schools, and advocated the unit system of teaching ‘because it has been proved elsewhere to intensify the relationship between teacher and student’. And he prophesied, ‘new teachers will come’. On placing design within an academic context, he continued: ‘lectures, cores, electives must be the handmaiden of this [ie architectural] collective culture. So the doors must be opened and the air let in. I know that the best academics and specialists, boffins, critics, fanatics will welcome this if they have the commitment’. These categories of person would all have a significant role ahead but channelled towards design in a way that had not been emphasised or imagined before. Although the appointment of Cook drew international attention, few would anticipate the scale of transformation that lay ahead, with the School of Architecture unrecognisable from its former self by the end of the decade. Within the first few years Cook, Hawley and several new staff such as Stephen Gage, Simon Herron, Susanne Isa, Frosso Pimenides and CJ Lim, along with some already in place, such as Jonathan Hill and Philip Tabor, greatly broadened the school’s horizons around strategic focal points. These were: rethinking the first year as a foundation for an education in design, integrating technology, placing drawing at the heart of design work, developing a relationship between design and making, and pioneering a synthetic union between intuition, critical thinking, representation and craft. The dynamic between these focal points became the essence of how The Bartlett would operate for the next two decades and the underpinning of how research-based education could begin to
evolve for contemporary conditions. It provided substance that could be moulded into a bridge between creative design and academic recognition, such as the MArch Architectural Design and PhD by Design programmes that were established in the second half of the 1990s. The new taught programme, founded and led by Cook himself, successfully attracted a significant rise in the number of high-calibre international students, several of whom went on to become influential tutors and researchers in their own right. Cook, in his open letter, had outlined a programme for the first year. Fleshing this out fell to Pimenides. Her aim, remembers Níall McLaughlin, who taught with her for several years, was ‘to bear witness to what it is to be an architect’. She herself stresses the importance of making installations, sometimes augmented by performance in non-studio locations, as well as the role of visiting speakers and critics. Growing out of the ‘dual relationships’ that Cook specified, collective and collaborative work expands students’ experience and the range of interpretations. Underpinning all of this is a relationship between humour and seriousness where both are always present, even if the swings between them can be wild. Pimenides has made herself the centre of an ethos that has permeated the first year ever since, presenting architecture as a very particular calling. In McLaughlin’s words, this ethos ‘does not teach [students] what to believe, but to see something that will be with them for the rest of their lives’. From 1991 students worked in units, a system borrowed from the AA, which worked well with Cook and Hawley’s wide range of contacts. Cook noted that many wellknown teachers were asking ‘can I come and join you?’ The school’s new ability to draw
international superstars as well as local heroes further augmented and expanded a new ethos of architectural culture. Both understood how important the list of guest speakers and critics would be in raising student ambition and, thus, the school’s reputation. Since it was first launched with the help of advertising executive Frank Lowe, the International Lecture Series, now supported by the Fletcher Priest Trust, has hosted over 480 distinguished speakers, many of whom – such as Enric Miralles, Lebbeus Woods, Liz Diller and Neil Denari – also doubled up as guests in open crits, a strategic tool of Cook’s in framing the work of the school within international agenda and standards. Cook delivered a vast number of lectures himself too, often adopting the format to inform the school of news and gossip picked up on his extensive travels. One further decision that underpinned Cook’s legacy was that he sat on every single portfolio review at interim and end-of-year exams. This gave a direct link to every student and their work, as well as a means to critically measure tutors’ interests and performance. The culmination of this was the annual Summer Show, which, under Cook’s era, was elevated to become the primary external face of the school, with high-profile guest openers such as Berthold Lubetkin, Brian Eno, Thom Mayne and Zaha Hadid. Operating within the inadequacies of Wates House, Cook put people and their work first and, in equal measure, his extraordinary enthusiasm for ‘stuff’, a term he used to describe architecture that was experimental, radical and at the same time real. The staff Christine Hawley brought with her from UEL also injected additional momentum and experience, accelerating progress further. On recollecting the
Nick Callicott and Bob Sheil, ‘Plot 22 (Sunbury Workshops E2 and Sydenham SE26)’, 1994. Diploma Architecture Unit 19
sequence of events surrounding Cook’s appointment, she understood the advantage in concentrating efforts in one place at the exact moment the international scene was on the wane. Hawley, a partner in Cook and Hawley Architects since 1975, had also been external examiner at The Bartlett in the late 1980s before being approached by O’Sullivan. She was under no illusions as to the steep challenge of the task but, after six years as head, left UEL to rejoin her long-term teaching partner from the AA, Peter Cook, as director of The Bartlett. At UEL Hawley had instigated many transformations, leading the school to its first RIBA President’s Silver Medal win in 1991. Her experience and expertise were to serve the school and later the faculty to a significant degree significant degree, both in keeping its operations on an even keel and establishing a core strength for the discipline, which allowed it to thrive in the surroundings of an academic institution. Hawley was the figure who would effect some of the greatest impact, not only as one of the school’s most formidable design tutors alongside CJ Lim in Unit 21, but also as a leading strategist in establishing an avant-garde school within a university context containing internationally renowned departments in many fields such as fine art, engineering and medicine. Her stewardship on managing the school’s complex transition alongside Cook, involving numerous changes to staff and budgeting, was handled behind the scenes with immense skill. From then on, the new teachers and intensified interaction with students focused on design, and drawing in particular. By the mid-1990s drawing skills had increased exponentially, soon after leading to the first RIBA President’s Medals for Bartlett students: Abigail Ashton, Andrew Porter and Tony Smart (Silver 1994), Simon
Aldridge (Bronze 1995), Tim Sloan (Silver 1995), Yutaka Yano (Bronze 1996), Matthew Springett (Silver 1998) and Sonja Stoffels (Bronze 1999). Drawing also had a critical purpose; teachers such as Kevin Rhowbotham and Neil Spiller encouraged students to push the nature of it and explore its potential as a mode of research and invention. This process took many forms but by 1997 Philip Tabor was able to clear numerous administrative hurdles to set up a PhD programme in architectural design. Based on the model of a PhD in music, this calibrated design against the primary measure of academic achievement. As drawing became a way of expanding rather than confirming architectural knowledge and ideas, the relationship between design representations and the physical world began to transform. The linear, mechanical process of research leading to drawing, which itself became an instruction for making, became far more fluid. A project might start in the workshop and move through drawing to identify a theme for research. From the dynamic between drawing and making – the two fundamental processes of design – grew a relationship with research in fields as varied as landscape, narrative and computation. Underlying these various strands was a new sensibility towards technology. In theory this was one of The Bartlett’s great strengths, as Llewelyn-Davies and his colleagues had advanced understanding of how the building envelope, daylight, sound and ventilation affected buildings in use; some also looked at the impact of specific building types, especially housing and hospitals, and interacted with their social context. But these programmes were driven from abstractions rather than the technological challenges of any particular project.
Stephen Gage, within a couple of years of establishing a design unit, took on the additional role of director of technology in 1993. Fully committed to the idea of design as a mode of knowledge, he combined a longstanding interest in cybernetics and logic systems, with a career in practice designing some of the best small healthcare clinics in London of the 1980s. This gave him a fresh perspective on how to relate technology and architecture. While acknowledging that students need a grasp of basic principles of structure, ventilation and insulation, which can be taught in undergraduate programmes, at graduate level he instituted a technological thesis that allowed students to focus on a defining aspect of their design project, thereby developing an element of research that underpinned their project. The point was not to become expert in an abstract realm of building science, but to test how ideas from building science could contribute to a design project. Architects, Gage argues, are generalists and, rather like barristers who become temporarily expert in their cases, architects can absorb a large amount of information on specific points when they relate to an important aspect of a particular project. This information, while technological in origin, becomes part of the way designers ‘invent the world and test it’. Technological research became integral to design development, providing another step on the path to realising research-based education. Final-year technological theses today remain true to these principles, as the baton has been passed on. The combination of drawing, making and a new approach to technology provided fresh ways to develop and communicate ideas, and so opened doors to other UCL departments. Within a few years students such as Neil Tomlinson, Mark Smout, Usman Haque and Mette Thompson were hunting down expert
(Below) Nicola Haines, ‘Cloning Complex’, 1998. Diploma Architecture Unit 18
(Right) Kate Sandle, 1992. Diploma Architecture Unit 11
Graeme Williamson ‘The Undifferentiated Fluid (partial object)’, oil-based printing ink on vellum, 1998. Diploma Architecture Unit 19
support in departments such as Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Geography and Fine Art, casting the mould for research methods now embedded as routine. By the second half of the 1990s, The Bartlett – at least in its design work – was completely unrecognisable from a decade earlier. The first year acculturalised students to the power of architecture, while each unit offered its own perspective in the interaction between research, making and drawing, which are the three legs of research-based education in design. With the majority of new design staff working part-time, their ‘extra-curricular’ activities would form another critical sphere of influence for students. Apart from the trail being blazed in professional practice by part-timers such as Paul Monaghan and Simon Allford of AHMM, and Níall McLaughlin, this period began to witness the emergence of speculative works by others such as: The Illegal Architect by Jonathan Hill; Form to Programme by Kevin Rhowbotham, a founder of FAT; multiple publications on cyberspace, drawing and digital theory by Neil Spiller; and CJ Lim’s speculative projects and exhibitions. Also emerging were novel buildings by Hawley in Tokyo, Cook and Hawley in Berlin and Osaka and, later, Kunsthaus Graz designed by Cook and Colin Fournier, an Archigram colleague of Cook’s and professor of urban design. As a consequence, by the late 1990s, the school became a hotbed for new forms of practice, as well as an incubator and attractor for a new generation of design tutors. This atmosphere, including the high-volume traffic of distinguished visitors, was exemplified by the school’s outpouring of catalogues and posters, many designed by Laura Allen, culminating in The Bartlett Book of Ideas in 2000, a review of the school’s first decade under Cook.
The school’s progression at the turn of the millennium was far from smooth, however. A poor result by the sector in the UK government’s 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and a problematic joint RIBA/Architects Registration Board validation visit around the same time, rattled nerves and shone a spotlight on the school’s performance against other UCL departments. The problem was national, reaching its nadir with closure of the graduate programme in architecture at the University of Cambridge, which fortunately reopened a number of years later. One of the key obstacles in the 2001 RAE was that architectural research was not recognised as a distinct field that bound a hugely diverse set of activities from technical innovation to cultural theory, and of course its central focus, design. Amid a crisis for many schools, under the presidency of Jack Pringle, the RIBA established a Research and Development Committee, chaired by Professor Alan Penn, to lobby the government to include architecture in the newly renamed Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2008. (Penn became Dean of The Bartlett the following year.) This had the effect of redefining architectural research nationally, to include the design of buildings as outputs, and a rebalancing of the field. Research assessment wasn’t the only problem facing architectural education in this period. The often-fraught debate between academia and practice was going through one of its cyclical crises, and the joint RIBA/ARB visiting boards at the time became somewhat of a battleground, rather than the more collaborative dialogues of today. As a result The Bartlett adopted what was regarded by some as an overly cautious response and introduced new modules into the graduate programme that specifically addressed the validation criteria in a somewhat mechanical way.
The freewheeling experimental culture of the 1990s seemed to be under threat and the future of the school was being questioned. In this regard, the school today is as much a product of this phase as it is of the preceding decade of revolution. The prospect of being sidelined – or worse – hung over the school, with a potential increase in student fees also looming. Although this was largely contained by senior staff, including director Iain Borden, the school’s response to meeting the criteria deepened its resolve for design experimentation and strengthened its connection to practice. In 2008, the faculty had achieved a vastly improved result and the intervening validation visits to the school had gone well; each of these turnovers had a critical impact on the school’s funding thereafter. Then UCL president and provost, Malcolm Grant, former pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge, described the faculty in 2008 as ‘a jewel in UCL’s crown’. It is only possible here to scratch the surface of 25 years of creative work, to give some indication of the path travelled. By 2014, however, The Bartlett was named by the 2014 REF as having the strongest research in architecture of any institution in the UK, and second strongest in the world. This achievement unlocked significant support from UCL for an unprecedented phase of expansion of the faculty’s estate that is outlined later. To give some insight into the range and complex dynamic of The Bartlett that led to this phase, we have identified 10 themes that emerged and evolved in generational waves. Together they give a flavour of the school’s range and indicate how they might develop in future. Inevitably they cannot give entirely even attention across the spectrum but, taken together, they give an idea of how the school has grown as a continual ecology of experimentation and critical thought. Jeremy Melvin
(Left) Michiko Sumi, ‘Timepiece, Reconstructing Robben Island’, 2009. MArch Architecture Unit 17
(Left) Dan Slavinsky, ‘In Arcadia at the End of Time: Fragment of Arcadia’, 2010. MArch Unit 19
(Right) Stefano Passeri, ‘Fly-Fishing Centre’, 2008. BSc Architecture Year 1
From 1990 onwards, the school put a huge emphasis on drawing. There were immediate improvements in technique and method, which began to incorporate digital image-making; these developments also transformed the purpose and potential of drawing as the motive force of design and research practice. Professor of experimental architecture Nat Chard, now back at The Bartlett after an absence of more than a decade, explains: ‘One of the pleasures in the drawings that have been emerging from The Bartlett for the past 25 years is that they are often made to have a presence in their own right. Unlike many drawings that are made in practice, where the drawing is created in service of a subsequent building, much of the work at The Bartlett is made with an acknowledgement that the drawing or model is the end (as they are student projects, they will not be built). Many of the drawings are constructed with the sort of critical attention to materials and process as one might hope for when building architecture.’ The drawing, in other words, holds a different status in an academic context to practice. Not just a repository of information or instruction, it is primarily a means of exploration. Luke Pearson takes up this point. Referencing a distinction made by the early 20th-century architectural draughtsman Hugh Ferriss, he points out that ‘The Bartlett is chasing the “authentic” drawing, rather than the “correct” version … the one that truly holds the idea … The school opens the possibility for architects to speculate and propose ideas on many levels of the world around us as they used to so often’. The result is a different relationship between drawing and content, as the drawing becomes an ‘advocate for the architecture being proposed’. It can be the end point or part of a longer process, or even stand slightly outside the process but act as a mirror or a lens into it. In this formulation the drawing is an integral part of the culture of architecture, but it can have many roles within that culture. The richer and more sophisticated character that drawings acquired brought new forms of recognition, from RIBA President’s Medals to the Museum of Modern Art acquiring the diploma portfolio of Colin Fournier’s student John Puttick, and more lately an extensive and growing presence of Bartlett staff and student work in The Royal Academy Summer Show’s Architecture Room.
(Below left) Charles Redman, ‘Welcoming Shelter’ at King’s Cross Skip Garden, 2015. BSc Architecture UG3 (Below) David Ward, ‘[Fabric]ated Growth’, 2015. MArch Architecture Unit 19
(Opposite) Misha Smith, ‘Prototype for a Spatialised Instrument’, 2010. MArch Architecture Unit 23
In the early 1990s various factors gave increased prominence to the workshop as a place for architectural experimentation, initiating a chain of events that have seen it become one of the most advanced workshops in any architecture school and providing one of the most important components for the school’s future. In 1991 Abi Abdolwahabi and Bim Burton were appointed workshop manager and craftsman in residence respectively, the former direct from the AA workshops, the latter, son of Richard Burton (of ABK Architects), a furniture designermaker and former pupil of John Makepeace. Through their infectious enthusiasm they turned the workshop from underutilised and lifeless laboratories into a warren of loud creativity and production, often audible far beyond the confines of the building. There was also an existing interest at The Bartlett, notably from Bob Sheil and Nick Callicott, who joined the workshop in 1995 as teaching fellows soon after graduating. They had set up sixteen*(makers) as students, and were influenced by Steven Groák who left The Bartlett in 1991 to be head of research at Arup. Groák’s book The Idea of Building: Thought and Action in the Design and Production of Buildings (1992) added to the expanding intellectual base behind the
workshop activities. The pair subsequently formed a workshop-located design unit and sixteen*(makers) grew to include Phil Ayres, Chris Leung and Emmanuel Vercruysse. Soon after Cook and Hawley settled in, most students were spending time in the workshop. By the end of the 1990s staff and capabilities had expanded again, Callicott introduced CADCAM and persuaded the school to buy a small three-axis CNC milling machine and wrote one of the first books in architecture on the subject (Computer-Aided Manufacture in Architecture, 2001). This new capacity gave the workshop an external profile, digitally fabricating physical components for the virtual reality research project ‘ARTHUR’ and consulting with recent graduates such as Kieran Gaffney who applied this knowledge on many of Thomas Heatherwick’s early projects such as ‘Materials House’ for the Science Museum. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, the workshop continued to expand with new investments in digital manufacturing technology. Marcos Cruz (director of school 2010-14), whose research into the inhabitable flesh of architecture drew heavily on the school’s ‘making culture’, and his colleague Marjan Colletti, were among the first tutors to promote the new facilities
as a design tooling resource, which later became a defining signature of many of their students in Unit 20. In 2011, as Frédéric Migayrou was appointed as Bartlett chair of architecture, the school was hosting FABRICATE, an international conference on making digital architecture founded by Ruairi Glynn and Bob Sheil. Migayrou presented his vision for a school ‘turned to production’ and within two years of arriving he reinvented the MArch in Architectural Design and MArch Urban Design, rebranded them B-Pro (Bartlett Prospective) AD and B-Pro UD respectively. Student numbers were increased, positions were created for a fresh intake of staff, and significantly, the school acquired a temporary increase of 1,000 square metres of studio space, in the former Royal Ear Hospital, Capper Street, WC1. This momentum has allowed the school to establish a series of new labs beginning with Wonderlab, Interactive Architecture Lab, BiotA (Biotechnology and Architecture) Lab, and Urban Morphogenesis Lab. Migayrou predicts that the logic of the 21st century’s digital design and manufacturing evolution will shift the school’s focus to innovation in construction and building, completing a full circle from Donaldson’s starting point in 1841.
(Opposite)Amreen Kaleel, Hyunchul Kwon, Xiao Lin Li (CurVoxels team), ‘Space Curves’ 2015. MArch Architectural Design, Wonderlab RC4
(Below) Chuti Sringuanvilas, Shuliang Wang, Lingdong Zeng, ‘Flow Catcher’, 2012. MArch Architectural Design, Wonderlab RC1
(Left) Esteban Castro Chacon, Marcin Komar, Aikaterini Papadimitriou, Yilin Yao, ‘Fibro.City’, 2014. MArch Architectural Design Wonderlab RC1
The Bartlett’s teaching in computing equips its students to work in a profession that is unthinkable without computational aid. Its research investigates the impact of digital technologies on contemporary architecture, especially how they can widen the architectural vocabulary and improve the way we design and make buildings. There is a long history in computational research at The Bartlett, for instance in Space Syntax, which proposed a radically different way of understanding spaces and how they could be used. The school’s location brings enormous advantages, giving access to leading engineering and architectural practices in London, and specifically within UCL, which provides opportunities for collaboration and extension of research. One benefit of this was initiating a campus-wide application, bringing together colleagues from across the university in the centre for medical image computing, the research software development group and biomedical engineering. Advanced computing opens up other relationships with fabrication and urban design.
Three senior figures in this domain, Marjan Colletti, Alisa Andrasek and Sean Hanna, distinguish between architectural computation and computational architecture. Architectural computation, they explain, ‘takes a scientific, technological and theoretical approach towards embedded and embodied computation and cognitive sciences, as seen through the lens of the discipline of architecture. The research encompasses interactive installations, realtime adaptive systems and architectures, structures and geometries, intelligent design systems, spatial analysis and computation, inductive machine learning, approximation of behaviour and optimisation systems.’ Computational design is more design-based, ‘where students and researchers innovate within architectural production by mining resources of acute technologies and scientific fields, as well as theoretical paradigms’. These include ‘expertise in generative design, complex form generation (topologies, typologies), fabrication and protocols (3D printing, robotics), engagement with
material science (biotechnology, composites), simulation (high-resolution design, computational physics, graphics processing unit-run supercomputing) and machine learning in design research and real-time robotic fabrication with novel opportunities for expanded aesthetic languages and amplified performance in architecture and design fields’. Colletti, Andrasek and Hanna see The Bartlett’s computational capacity as an asset, which underlies the whole of the school, ‘one of [its] most ubiquitous, rhizomatic and integrated mechanisms’. Openness and agility will be vital in future, with new challenges in robotic fabrication, real-time adaptation in manufacturing processes, artificial intelligence and even the nature of creative thought itself. New facilities will also trigger new initiatives for computing, following the return of the Space Syntax laboratory to the school as well as the relaunch of the MSc in Adaptive Architecture and Computing as an MSc in Architectural Computing involving, among others, visiting professor Robert Aish.
Jörg Majer, ‘Gulliver’, 2006. Diploma Architecture Unit 16
History and theory
History and theory have a long tradition at The Bartlett, stretching back from John Summerson, who was educated at the school in the 1920s, to figures such as Reyner Banham, Adrian Forty and Mark Swenarton, and on to the current cohort of specialists in this field – most recently expanded through the appointment of Mario Carpo in 2014 as the Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory. There has been considerable work on what might be seen as more conventional areas of architectural history and theory, such as Jan Birksted’s Le Corbusier and the Occult (2009), Iain Borden’s Manual: The Architecture and Office of AHMM (2003), Forty’s Words and Buildings (2000) and Concrete and Culture (2012), and Frédéric Migayrou’s La Tendenza (2012), Claude Parent (2010) and De Stijl (2010). All these make important contributions to the understanding of architects, what they build and the ideas they construct. Other research explores particular architectural thematics such as those of the digital, as with Carpo’s The Alphabet and the Algorithm (2011) and Architecture in the Age of Printing (2001), immateriality in Jonathan Hill’s Weather Architecture (2012) and Immaterial Architecture (2006), and media in Robin Wilson’s Image, Text, Architecture
(2015). Critical architecture and architectural history in relation to politics, philosophy and critical theory is another substantial field of interest as evidenced in Peg Rawes’ Relational Architectural Ecologies (2013) and Irigaray for Architects (2007). Gender issues are addressed in Rendell’s Pursuit of Pleasure (2002) and in Jane Rendell, Iain Borden and Barbara Penner’s Gender, Space, Architecture (1999). Bartlett history and theory research also extends further afield, into other related spatial and cultural realms. A further strand explores everyday spatial practices such as Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner’s Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (2009), Penner’s Bathroom (2014) and Borden’s Skateboarding, Space and the City (2001). Similarly matters of urbanism and politics run through Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination (2007, 2012), edited by Ben Campkin and Rosie Cox, and through Campkin’s Remaking London (2013). On a larger scale, international relations lie at the core of Murray Fraser’s Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region (2013) and Architecture and the ‘Special Relationship’: the American Influence on PostWar British Architecture (2007), while Rendell’s Site-Writing (2010) and Art and Architecture (2006) explore art and writing.
Fraser was also appointed general editor for the 21st edition of Banister Fletcher’s ‘bible’ of architectural history, to be published in 2017. As might be expected, all this is heavily connected to the school’s teaching, where students learn everything from a general survey in their first undergraduate year, to discussions of buildings, spaces, technologies, texts and individuals in years two and three, to producing their own dissertations in the MArch Architecture and MA Architectural History programmes. This last, set up by Forty and Swenarton in 1981, and today directed by Rawes, has a particularly good international reputation both for producing innovative historical and theoretical research, and graduates working in history, heritage, journalism, curation and policy. The equally renowned PhD in Architectural History and Theory, directed by Penner, also produces some of the best work in this area, from Jonathan Noble’s focused study of postapartheid public architecture in South Africa, to Amy Thomas’s spatio-economic explorations of London’s financial district, to Lilian Chee’s poetic accounts of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. As a new addition to the array, Migayrou and Carpo have launched an MRes in Architecture and Digital Theory, particularly devoted to innovation in design and computing.
Pascal Bronner, ‘Endless Laboratory: Potatoes, Pixel Water and Pins’, 2009. MArch Architecture Unit 10
Pernilla Ohrstedt, 2007. Diploma Architecture Unit 16
Narrative has been a recurrent theme in the school, promoted throughout the past 20 years by staff including Nic Clear, Jonathan Hill, CJ Lim, Neil Spiller and, more recently, by a new generation including Pascal Bronner, Matthew Butcher, Kate Davies, Thomas Hillier, Ana Monrabal-Cook and Luke Pearson. Penelope Haralambidou, one of the first generation of candidates to complete The Bartlett’s PhD by Design programme, is now a senior lecturer. She suggests ‘one way of understanding narrative in architectural design is as allegory, from the Greek agoria (saying) and allos (other). “Allegorical architectural projects” say one thing and mean another by using architectural design, not as instructions to build but to develop and communicate philosophical or political ideas.’ Hill and Jane Rendell see a strong relationship between narrative and Postmodernism; they trace a line as far back as Laurence Sterne’s novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-67), whose numerous digressions and ‘complex visual and typographical devices – tripping us up as we read – ensure the reader’s concentration and communicate when words cannot, calling attention to the limits of image and text’. John Soane, they posit, also adopted this approach in the multiple interventions, both destructive and constructive, at his house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. These fragments and unfinished stories place an emphasis on the creativity of the user. Writing, argue Hill and Rendell, adds another dimension to narrative in architecture, and can enter into a fruitful relationship with design. Switching between text and image can extend the imaginative and emotional range. Writing, too, can guide one through spaces that are purely imagined. This thread continues to inform student projects and research. Dan Brady and Ifigeneia Liangi both took literary themes as the starting points for projects: Brady used Franz Kafka’s The Trial, while Liangi explored magical realism as the basis for an allegory on Greece’s history and politics. Many other students take film as a source of influence. Such projects often come close to art practice and excite interest in the art world – Charles Saatchi bought Brady’s model. As Haralambidou writes: ‘Projects that use narrative or allegory aim to act as commentary and transcend boundaries of the architectural profession, attracting attention from museums, fine art- and, more recently film-related institutions.’ Her own research includes an allegorical architectural project entitled The Fall – ‘a research hypothesis in the form of a fictitious building structure’ – in her book Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire (2013).
Ollie Palmer, ‘Ant Ballet’, Barcelona, 13 August 2011. MArch Architectural Design Interactive Architecture Lab
Gejin Gao in collaboration with Wang Yujiang, ‘Cellular Reticulations’, 2014. MArch Architectural Design Interactive Architecture Lab
‘The metaphor of performance’, writes Stephen Gage, ‘is really useful when trying to understand how complex ritualised social interactions relate to architecture.’ Architecture ‘is implicitly bound to social performance because it is a necessary setting for ritual’ and ‘both ritual and architecture are exercises in design’. Performance adds the dimension of time to architecture, giving it the capacity to incorporate light, sound, music and memory. Gage’s perceptions about performance, pursued through the work of his unit and latterly by Ruairi Glynn, as well as Gage’s own research on the relationship between the rituals of everyday life, the weather and technical performance of a dynamic building envelope, set the pattern for this thread in The Bartlett’s work. James O’Leary sees a ‘broader definition of performance work as a theme that cuts right
through The Bartlett’, from year one to PhD. ‘Seen through an architectural lens, aspects of performance practice provide very useful tools for architects in their need to understand the central relationship between the human body and the spatial systems that these bodies occupy.’ These spatial systems vary in scale between subcutaneous to the urban – interventions in the human body that modify how it can perform, to interventions in space that change possibilities for performing in it. Many collaborations and pieces of research have come from these ideas. These include spaces for performance (Matthew Butcher) as well as performativity and performances themselves (Jane Rendell). One – a joint initiative between The Bartlett School of Architecture, The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis,
UCL’s neuroscience, computer science and engineering departments – looks at ways of navigating the city. Others aim to present ideas differently, such as a project that makes children predators in a projected environment, to help them understand evolution. There are several partnerships with art institutions such as the Tate and the Folkestone Triennial, which look at the performance aspects of architecture and urban space, while others involve collaboration with distinguished performers, such as the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh. The school’s forthcoming expansion will provide opportunities to engage in collaborative relationships investigating new ways of mediating and experiencing architecture, with new materials, robotics and heightened awareness.
(Opposite) Emma Flynn, ‘Trash Can Utopias: Transforming the Waste Landscape of Long Island Suburbia, Hicksville, Long Island, NJ’, 2012. MArch Architecure Unit 11 (Left) Maria Knutsson-Hall, ‘Architecture and Nature: A Symbiosis Inspired by the Sloth’, 2012. MArch Architecture Unit 20
Landscape and environment
‘Landscape’, say Laura Allen and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, ‘should not be separated from our conception of spatial and temporal phenomena at large.’ The Bartlett, they continue, has long ‘opposed the distinction between landscape and architecture as being false, and has explored instead new architectures that fuse the two categories: bleak lands become intense architectural propositions, interiors become exteriors, complex cities become gardens’. Landscape, as a constructed reality either in physical terms or ideologically in the sense of how our perception of nature is shaped, raises similar issues of place and boundary as does architecture. Landscape has many manifestations within the school. They range from Marcos Cruz’s work on bio-receptive design undertaken in the BiotA Lab, through numerous undergraduate and postgraduate
teaching programmes, to projects that address various aspects of environmental sustainability. A current Research Council UK-funded project led by Cruz is responding to the urgent need to improve air quality in cities by investigating biologically receptive facade design. The project brings together biotechnology, making and landscape, and is informed by the expertise of partners from the manufacturing industry, engineering practice and academics from a range of disciplines. Jonathan Hill suggests that although architectural practitioners tend to see sustainability as a recent concern, dating from the recognition of anthropogenic climate change in the 1970s, ‘the history of poetic and practical responses to weather and atmospheric pollution is actually centuries old’. John Evelyn’s Fumifugium: or The Inconveniencie of the Aer and Smoak
of London Dissipated (1661), he writes, ‘was the first book to consider the city’s polluted atmosphere as a whole … The Bartlett adds to contemporary discourse and practice by revealing the history of lyrical environmentalism and by developing innovative, contemporary responses to this tradition’. Publications from the school in this area include Mark Smout and Laura Allen’s Augmented Landscapes (2007) and Hill’s A Landscape of Architecture, History and Fiction, as well as several PhDs. One doctorate, which shows how the idea of landscape can construct a sophisticated relationship between space and culture, is David Buck’s In an Open Field: A Musicology for Landscape. It explores the musical and aural qualities of landscape, and has become the catalyst for a collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music.
(Left) Jason Lamb, ‘Frackpool: The Legacy of Hydraulic Fracturing’, 2014. MArch Architecture Unit 10 (Below) Ifigeneia Liangi, ‘Nostalgia of the Future’, 2012. MArch Architecture Unit 12
Every architecture school has to acknowledge some relationship between architecture and the city. The Bartlett faculty, rather than trying to develop a unique, homogeneous stance, has nurtured a wide range of different approaches, from Space Syntax to the Urban Laboratory, from planning to design. Having been led by Colin Fournier for the best part of 20 years, the MArch Urban Design programme was recently handed to Mark Smout, whose legacy in speculative building, environmental and landscape design defines the school’s diverse approach to the subject, particularly in terms of its design-led ethos. The curriculum introduces students to diverse fields such as archaeology, anthropology, design theory, ecological history, advanced computing, governance, law, media, philosophy, planning and political theory. Environmental and ecological questions are given high priority in a critical structure that embraces the dispersed, often paradoxical, nature of contemporary urbanism, and the challenge of resolving complex issues facing populations, public space, land use and building typologies through innovative design strategies. A key appointment was that of Peter Bishop as professor of Urban Design in 2012. He injected a vast amount of experience of London into the school, from local politics to practice networks. The new role of director of enterprise was established to offer him an appropriate platform from which to build up The Bartlett’s connections in the city. UCL has over 300 scholars working on urban questions in many departments, so there is huge potential for interdisciplinary collaboration. One important example is the UCL Urban Laboratory, directed by Ben Campkin. Established in 2004 by The Bartlett and UCL Geography, it is centred between new research in geography and architecture. Its commitment to interdisciplinary projects combines work by artists and other cultural producers with that of conventional researchers to construct new ways of looking at urban issues – imagination is the glue holding it together. The Urban Laboratory’s Urban Pamphleteer series of publications has consistently highlighted and advanced discussion of issues such as smart cities,
regeneration, design and trust, and heritage. The expertise in this field continues, including the arrival of the highly regarded Survey of London team from English Heritage in 2013. All of this draws on a deep well of history of social engagement in The Bartlett, from the pioneering sociologist Ruth Glass to student occupations of Tolmers Square in a vain attempt to prevent its redevelopment. These issues have a particular focus in space and time now. London, writes Jane Rendell, is ‘at the nexus of the neo-liberal machine, where we are made hyper-aware of the acts of appropriation going on on a daily basis’. Many research students, she goes on to note, ‘are practitioners, often artists as well as architects and designers, who are working on live projects in urban sites as activists and academics’. Approaches derived from art practice cast different perspectives on problems that can seem intractable when addressed from a single point of view. Campkin refers to a PhD by Felipe Lanuza Rilling that uses experimental photography and moving images to create palimpsests of the Heygate Estate in South London, ‘as a critique of the dominant “scorched earth” or “tabula rasa” approach to urbanisation taking place there’. Another example of how the urban is approached is the MArch Architecture design unit led by CJ Lim and Bernd Felsinger. Unit 10, as Lim says, ‘represents an emerging architectural voice in the discourse of environmental and social urban sustainability … The unit attempts to address what the spatial and phenomenological implications are when sustainable design is applied to a city, what new hybrid typologies of programme and landscape are birthed, and the role that we as citizens will play in the production of a relevant social space’. Taking ‘what if?’ as a starting point, the unit posits ‘a divergent status quo, taking speculative – sometimes impossible – ideas to their logical conclusions’. Fiction, often science fiction, stimulates what Lim describes as ‘strategies for ecological symbiosis between nature and built form to address climate change’, and in JG Ballard’s formulation, projects emotion into the future and speculates on how it will turn out.
(Right) ‘Library/ Bed/Brass’, 2012. Group project by BSc Architecture Year 1 students at John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor House (Below) Akmal Afani Azhar ‘The New House of the Future in Malaysia’, 2014. MArch Architecture Unit 22
Kirsty Williams, ‘Ivrea Natural History Museum’, 2014. MArch Architecture Unit 17
Culture is a problematic term in all sorts of ways but, not least, in that it covers both defined fields of artistic and intellectual practices as well as the everyday life of ordinary people. Design, whether of buildings or household goods, is one obvious point of contact between the two. The Bartlett’s leading architectural historian between 1964 and 1976, Reyner Banham, was among the first scholars to explore this interface, both in subject matter and form of delivery, which included academic writing and journalism. Adrian Forty continued that endeavour in his own research (Objects of Desire, 1986; Concrete and Culture, 2012) and through the MA Architectural History. The addition of the PhD by Design began to test boundaries between teaching, research and practice. Written work no longer held a monopoly on cultural discussion – that could also come in visual form such as the curating and art practices initiated by Jane Rendell. Staff members engage with culture in many ways. Kunsthaus Graz designed by Cook and Fournier, Níall McLaughlin’s Bishop Edward King Chapel, curatorial projects such as Frédéric Migayrou’s extensive catalogue of public exhibitions for the Centre Pompidou, and Christine Hawley’s curatorship at 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in Hong Kong, are notable contributions to defined artistic and intellectual practices. Iain Borden’s work on skateboard park design, the Montpellier Community Nursery by Yeoryia Manolopoulou’s firm AY Architects, One Ocean, the Thematic Pavilion for EXPO 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, by Kristina Schinegger and Stefan Rutzinger of SOMA, and the Cycle to School scheme in Somers Town by Izaskun Chinchilla and Sophia Psarra are all examples of engaging with culture as part of everyday life at different scales and contexts. As design research becomes more widely accepted – not least through the school’s own initiatives such as Design Research in Architecture (2013) edited by Murray Fraser – The Bartlett looks set to remain a leading centre for transforming notions of the complex phenomenon of culture in practice and academe.
(Left) Francis Roper ‘Neo-Detroit’, 2014. MArch Architecture Unit 16 (Below) Nick Elias ‘Rolling out a New Britain: Bowling Green, Lanzarote’, 2010. BSc Architecture UG4
(Right) Sara Shafiei ‘Magicians’ Theatre, Rome’, 2007. Diploma Architecture Unit 20
In 2015 the school appointed Níall McLaughlin its first professor of architectural practice. He was a longstanding unit tutor, first engaged as a year two studio tutor in 1990, and thereafter as a unit tutor initially alongside Philip Tabor, but known primarily to the outside world as a creator of exquisite, refined and inventive buildings. The intention behind his appointment, he explains, was to concentrate on ‘the culture of building’, rather than practise in the sense of professional accreditation – the latter being in the capable hands of Soo Ware for almost 30 years, and whose course has the reputation of being the best RIBA Part III programme in the UK. Other notable practitioners tutoring in the school today are Josep Miàs of Barcelona, Izaskun Chinchilla of Madrid, and Kristina Schenniger and Stefan Rutzinger of Austrian practice SOMA. Previous staff include figures such as the minimalist Claudio Silvestrin, François Roche, Odile Decq, and Salvador Pérez Arroyo. The Bartlett, McLaughlin explains, has a fascination with ‘the device’, a mechanical object that does at least one thing – and often many more. Numerous projects have investigated such devices in drawings, which necessarily makes the project a hybrid, combining both physical and drawn reality. Sometimes the end result is ‘a drawing of a device’. McLaughlin’s interests are to invert that process, trying to understand what the building proposition is, outside or beyond the world of drawing; others in the school hold different views, profiling the school
as an environment where often vehemently opposing philosophies on architecture are exercised within a spirit of intense debate and competition. In one sense this is a similar theme to the others outlined above in the way it untangles and decentres a particular aspect of architectural activity to prepare it as a territory for research that could feed back into teaching. In another sense, though, it is radically different, because this is the point where a proposition for a building emerges, taking account of each of the themes outlined above. It is significant that McLaughlin’s appointment was recent – the other themes had to develop their repertoire of research and education based on that research before they could be reassembled into buildings. Without this distance there would have been a danger of falling into the trap that plagued the Llewelyn-Davies era, where a great deal of erudite research was amassed but with little mediation in the form of design, between it and the activity of building. The activity of building, however, is the most obvious point where The Bartlett’s research-based education triangulates into practice. This relationship has distant origins in the days of Donaldson – he and many of his successors were practising architects and his pedagogical ideas were focused on preparation for practice – but has gone through many phases of dramatic transformation. With the emergence of The Bartlett as an agency of radical and experimental design, this relationship
entered a very particular phase, where avantgarde practices in engineering as well as architecture were invited to become parttime tutors and critics. These networks – reaching into firms such as AHMM, Duggan Morris, Foster + Partners, Grimshaw, Haptic, Hopkins, KPF, Make, RSHP, Wilkinson Eyre, Zaha Hadid Architects, Populous, as well as engineers AKT II, Arup, Atelier One, Buro Happold, Max Fordham, Price & Myers, and Techniker – support the school’s design units and in many cases offer employment and career opportunities for Bartlett students. The constellation of alumni and colleagues, working in all manner of organisations across the construction industry, is evidence of the indispensable bridge that exists between academic institutions and related industries. Many other past and present Bartlett design tutors run practices intimately related with the school such as Ashton Porter Architects, AY Architects, Biothing, Daniel Widrig Studio, Izaskun Chinchilla, Jan Kattein Architects, marcosandmarjan, MIAS Architects, SOMA and Storp Weber. McLaughlin’s appointment confirms that there is a ‘culture of building’ that harks back to Ruskin and Semper, both slightly younger contemporaries of Donaldson, who were, in their own different ways, aware of the importance of building as a cultural activity. The school is looking forward to a future foreseen by Frédéric Migayrou, in which digital technology merges thinking, designing and making.
Unit 20 installation at The Bartlett Summer Show 2015
Into the future
Central to the school’s ambition is the permanent provision of adequate space. In this regard the school was ideally served by Alan Penn who, upon taking office as dean in 2009, set the wheels in motion for a substantial expansion of the estate – the largest investment in the faculty in over 40 years. As a result, in 2014 the school moved into temporary premises at 140 Hampstead Road while its old home, Wates House, at 22 Gordon Street in Bloomsbury, was partially demolished for substantial refurbishment and expansion (due for completion in 2016). The Bartlett is also set to open a further 3,500m2 of warehouse space at Here East in Hackney Wick in 2017, which will bring together faculty partners such as the UCL Energy Institute, UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage, and the university’s department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. This investment demonstrates an additional emphasis on interdisciplinary research and cross-fertilisation in education, a fulfilment of the seed that was sown in the early 1990s when students on their own initiative sought out skills in other departments to inform their design projects. Looking back to his appointment five years ago, Frédéric Migayrou recalls that ‘the idea was to create with the postgraduate programme an operative laboratory … mainly orientated to computation and fabrication, and to assemble a stream of tutors working on the edge of experimentation’. This is now the platform for new research and new teaching programmes and, with the expansion of the school’s estate now fully under way, such new forms of architectural research and education are being generated. The new MRes in Architecture and Digital Theory, established with Mario Carpo, is for both, ‘the first international programme of this kind to pay attention to theory, history, and criticism of digital design and digital fabrication for a better understanding of digital innovation in architecture, urbanism and technologies interrelated with social, political and economic international situations and contexts’. The new MRes will operate closely with the school’s Master’s programmes in Architectural Design. The Survey of London’s arrival at The Bartlett has also led to the creation of a novel-design
Master’s in Architecture and Historic Urban Environments, which was launched last year. In April 2016, at a time of widespread review of the future of architectural education, the school is hosting a major international conference (aae2016) with the Association of Architectural Educators. Structured around the themes of curiosity, risk, participation and production, it will enable review of approaches to research-based education worldwide, particularly in relation to both the future roles of the architect, and of architecture education. This springs in part from The Bartlett’s strong relationships with other architecture schools in the UK and across the world. At various stages, many staff have worked in other institutions – in some cases tutoring award-winning student projects at institutions such as the AA, London Metropolitan University, the University of East London, and the University of Westminster. Significant cross-fertilisation has also taken place with overseas schools such as Aarhus, SCI-Arc, RMIT, Columbia, Yale, Harvard and the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, as staff and some students move between them. In this sense, The Bartlett is a node in a network of ideas, people and projects that, between them, are defining the future of architecture on a continual basis. As part of this responsibility, 2017 will see The Bartlett School of Architecture launch four new programmes: Master’s programmes in Design for Manufacture, Design for Performance and Interaction, and Situated Practice, as well as a four-year integrated Master’s in Engineering and Architectural Design in partnership with UCL Engineering and The Bartlett’s School of Environment, Energy and Resources. A new programme, Landscape Futures, is also being developed, as well as a new interdepartmental undergraduate degree in engineering and architectural design. These courses are predicted to see student enrolment grow from 900 to 1,300 students by 2019, each of whom will be housed in the reconstructed 22 Gordon Street and the high-volume warehouse space in Hackney Wick. These ambitious initiatives recognise the school’s achievements in research and education, and encourage it to continue the record of innovation so emphatically reinvigorated a quarter of a century ago.
For nearly 200 years, UCL has been a vital component of architectural education, helping to shape key players and the profession as we know it today, says Jeremy Melvin
them gradually more receptive to architecture. As a pioneer of those changes – certainly in the UK – UCL provided an appropriate base in and through which architecture could become a fully fledged academic subject. The history of teaching architecture there, outlined over the following pages, reveals how that process has evolved through a series of t is hard now to imagine how radical experiments, a proportion of which, by creating a chair of architecture was when University College London did definition, were bound to fail, while others so in 1841. As writers like Vitruvius, continue to prove remarkably successful. In 1841 there were only two other chairs Alberti and Marc-Antoine Laugier had in architecture in the UK: one was at the shown, architecture was a subject fit Royal Academy of Arts, which was for speculative thought. Meanwhile founded in 1769 and still exists (although Christopher Wren – best known to us as an architect – held various professorships the RA stopped teaching architecture in in different subjects over the course of his the 1940s); the other, established in 1840, was at King’s College London, and its long life (1632-1723), so there had been school of architecture merged with UCL’s some overlap between universities and more than a century ago. As such, UCL architecture for well over a century. has the longest continuous record of But in the 1840s only a select few had teaching architecture of any institution embraced architecture as part of an in the UK. Its history provides us with academic curriculum. What brought about more formal engagement from this insights into the history of British architecture over that period – and in time onwards were rapid technological and social changes that fundamentally particular how architecture has altered the nature of architecture and developed from a practice based on knowledge acquired through pupillage its purposes. These, in turn, demanded more specialist knowledge and a growing with a ‘master’, to a knowledge-based profession brought into being by researchurge for that knowledge to grant status based education. to its holders – all underpinned by Despite the necessary tension between developments in the nature and profession and education, UCL has composition of universities, which made
established bridges between them: its first professor, Thomas Leverton Donaldson, was one of the founders of the RIBA and its president in 1863-64, while Jane Duncan – a student of The Bartlett from 1971-79 – is its current president. The RIBA has recognised the achievements of UCL staff and students, with three professors of architecture, another two professors of planning and several alumni winning its Royal Gold Medal. Numerous students have also won its silver and
A review of TL Donaldson’s inaugural lecture published on 22 October 1842 in the ‘Literary Gazette’
bronze awards. Some of these laureates, such as Allford Hall Monaghan Morris who won the 2015 Stirling Prize, have set up successful and proficient architectural firms. Others have pioneered new modes of practice or even different practices altogether, especially in the field of communicating ideas about architecture. UCL graduates have become successful publishers, writers, broadcasters and curators, helping to establish the terms through which society understands architecture. UCL was far-sighted when it initiated the experiment of bringing architecture into its curriculum in 1841. The presence of an engineering department, established 14 years earlier, and a few decades later fine art and archaeology, up to more recently formed relationships with, for instance, geography, computing and neuroscience, have all helped to give some definition to a subject as protean as architecture. Similarly project-based teaching, which is the core of architectural education, can pose specific challenges that help to focus work in these disciplines. This chapter explains how ongoing ambitions and initiatives at The Bartlett – the name by which the architecture school and faculty that has expanded around it have been known since the early 20th century – are rooted in the synergy between it and its parent college.
WANDERING IN A LABYRINTH OF
EXPERIMENTS MAULL & POLYBLANK, WELLCOME LIBRARY, LONDON
EMPHASISING THE SPECULATIVE, IMAGINATIVE AND INTELLECTUAL APPROACH
Written and researched by Sophie Read and Rebecca Spaven, edited by Jeremy Melvin
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niversity College London’s first professor of architecture, Thomas Leverton Donaldson (1795-1885) quickly recognised the complexity of the task that faced him on his appointment in 1841. New materials and technologies, along with rapid social change, were transforming architecture beyond the post-Renaissance settlement of providing ‘commodity, firmness and delight’ for the upper classes. As he set out in his preliminary discourse the following year, architectural education needed to change but, given the shortcomings of existing methods of training, only experimentation could provide a way forward. At various times in the subsequent 175 years, UCL has ushered in radical changes in architectural education – often after periods of apparent indolence – which have, in turn, influenced modes of practice. Though few explicitly looked back to Donaldson, the ethos he introduced has perhaps persisted more than previously realised. Part of the reason for this lies in UCL’s own origins and history. Founded in 1826, it aimed to offer university education to groups excluded from the traditional universities of Oxford, Cambridge and the Inns of Court – essentially, anyone who was not a male member of the Church of England. It opened its doors to dissenters, Jews, atheists and, in 1878, women. While excluding theology, it started off with a wider curriculum – notably in science – which continued to broaden throughout the following century:
the engineering department dates from 1827, a year after the college’s foundation, architecture from 1841 and fine art from 1871, along with archaeology and other subjects that brought together art and science, practice and theory. All of these provided extra impetus for experiments in architecture education, at some times informally and at others with explicit intent. As Donaldson himself implied, his appointment came at a time of change and opportunity in architecture education. The only institution that offered instruction in architecture in Britain until the early 19th century was the Royal Academy of Arts, established in 1769, and where Donaldson himself had studied under John Soane. King’s College London, founded in 1829 to counteract the perceived godlessness of UCL, had stolen a year’s march on its rival by appointing a professor of architecture in 1840. Various groups formed by students and young architects to advance their own education in the 1840s amalgamated into the Architectural Association in 1847. None of this actually helped to define what should be taught, and this was the question Donaldson addressed in his Preliminary Discourse. ‘It will be our steady aim by suggestion, reference and experiment to make students think for themselves, and excite in their minds a spirit of investigation ...’, he explained. Via this active line of enquiry described as ‘free from false laws of established systems’, and calling on students to ‘strike out an original
(Previous page) Thomas Leverton Donaldson. (Above) the earliest known photograph of University College London
‘Donaldson aimed to enable students to acquire a broad knowledge base that may have otherwise been out of reach’
path’, Donaldson conceived one of the first systematic courses of architecture instruction to be taught. He started by dividing up the syllabus to reflect the constituent branches of the discipline as he saw them, delivering two sets of 30 lectures throughout the academic year in architecture as a fine art (or as a series of historical styles) on the one hand, and architecture as a science (of construction) on the other. UCL’s civil engineering and architecture departments deliberately shared parts of their curricula. Donaldson bemoaned the artificial division between the two disciplines and tried to claim the domain of science for architecture, stating that: ‘whenever construction is concerned the architect can only be worthy of his important mission, who possesses the science now sometimes considered to be exclusively appropriate to the engineer’. He aimed to enable students to acquire a broad knowledge base that may have otherwise been out of reach, and to provide the means to distinguish and elevate their position over that of other building professionals, who had started to challenge the hegemony of the architect. At this period the course appears to have been taught in two ways: in the evenings, running alongside that which would be learned as a pupil in an architecture office, or for two to three years between school and being articled as a pupil. In the latter, students would take evening architectural art and science lectures in conjunction with a fairly flexible programme of classes in different subjects from other departments. Throughout the lectures, professors would show large drawings and diagrams, recycling and sharing these among themselves and encouraging students to take them away to be studied at home. Demonstrations of practical activities such as bricklaying were also offered, as were visits to buildings in London – such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, a ‘Mr Cook’s’ warehouse and the British Museum – to study their construction. Scholarship and recollections of Donaldson paint a picture of an inspiring and tirelessly persisting student and educator. Always lecturing in ‘professorial black’, he undoubtedly projected not only a powerful form of academic charisma but also international diplomacy – actively cultivating and drawing on an extensive network of professional and academic contacts throughout his lifetime across Europe. This served as a distant forerunner of the international contacts brought by Peter Cook 150 years later. Donaldson was, as an account of his paper on polychromy published in Transactions of the RIBA shows, friendly with the great Gottfried Semper and acquainted with Jacques Ignace Hittorff. Having helped to found the RIBA, received its Royal Gold Medal and been its president, he was considered by Nikolaus Pevsner to be ‘the embodiment of the new architectural professionalism’. In 1879 the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) called him the father of the profession, while his obituary in The Builder described him as ‘the last of the old gods’. Donaldson’s interest in professional politics paralleled his endeavours in architecture education. Education was part of a desire not only to meet but also to help regulate, and inevitably bolster, the growing professional status of the 19th-century architect. Although the art/science
structure he established remained broadly in place until the turn of the century, by then debates about the status of the architect had begun to develop. These questions unfolded in the decades after his retirement in 1865. Donaldson’s first two successors Thomas Hayter Lewis (professor 1865-80) and T Roger Smith (professor 18801903) made little change to his pedagogic programme, though some important developments took place in this period. In the 1870s, the department began to hold classes for women, in keeping with UCL’s role in pioneering higher education for groups excluded from the traditional universities. In 1892, as Lynne Walker writes, Ethel Charles (who, along with her sister Bessie, were the first women to apply successfully to join the RIBA) supplemented her training by attending part of UCL’s architecture course after the AA rejected her on gender grounds. Like Donaldson, who designed an extension to the college’s library in a style sympathetic to William Wilkins’ imposing Neoclassical range, his successors left their mark on the college’s built fabric – Lewis with the Slade building (1881) to house fine art and chemistry to the north, and Smith’s building to the south with the west wing (1892) for engineering – which together made Wilkins’ original range into a quadrangle. A decade later Alfred and Paul Waterhouse’s cruciform building (1906) for University College Hospital rose to the west. These changes in the college’s environment were part of a period of growth that inevitably affected its school of architecture. Not only was there an anticipated demand for more architects, resulting in an increase in architecture students, but the moves to regulate the profession also implied a need for change in its education, which reached a climax in the 1890s. Essentially the question boiled down to whether architecture was an art and, as such, was impervious to judgement and regulation, or whether it was a profession, which needed both. Unsurprisingly, architectural grandees for whom membership of the Royal Academy of Arts, fortunes and titles were realistic prospects, supported the former, whereas the latter view was promoted by the RIBA on behalf of the majority who sought status as part of a regulated profession with recognisable entry criteria. The stage was set for UCL’s second radical contribution to architecture education, which saw the first purposedesigned school of architecture in the UK and the building becoming an active pedagogical tool. FM Simpson, professor from 1903 to 1919, was the principal actor. Having steered the University of Liverpool’s school of architecture to offer the first courses recognised by the RIBA and its newly instituted Board of Architectural Education’s standardised scheme of training, he sought to repeat this achievement at his new post. To do so Simpson had to both devise a new approach to education and deal with shrinking accommodation for more students. UCL’s annual reports reveal that discussions were under way from the early 1890s for expansion that would include ‘a collection of architectural models and a School of Architectural Drawing’. Another impetus for a new building came with the merger of the architecture departments at UCL and King’s College, a move that seems to have been brokered by the
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University of London as it sought to consolidate its professionally orientated courses. This brought King’s professor R Elsey Smith to UCL. His experience complemented Simpson’s as he had run the only full-time university course in architecture outside Liverpool. Possibly as a response to this rationalisation – and certainly fortuitously – in 1911 the engineer Herbert Henry Bartlett donated a hefty sum of £30,000 towards a new building to house the architecture department. Designed by Simpson, with its frontage on Gower Street, this new building officially opened in 1914 just before the First World War; it housed extensive open studios for students, offices for staff and its own lecture hall, library and museum. As events transpired, the building was almost immediately requisitioned for hospital use and did not fulfil its original function again until 1919. The new building opened the door to new approaches to teaching. John Burnet, who designed the northern extension of the British Museum, offered a course in Advanced Design and Academic Design that followed the Beaux-Arts model. Simpson’s other pedagogical reforms included replacing the old art/science mode of instruction with a general-knowledge foundation through extensive contact with other departments and associated professors of art history, engineering and the Slade. As Mark Crinson writes, Simpson ‘saw the advantage of a university-based course as a chance to broaden the disciplines related to architecture’. Adopting a studio-based system, he established a systematic daytime two- to three-year degree course, framed as ‘preliminary training’, to be taken before entering pupillage (the age-old system in which architects had acquired their skills through apprenticeship to a ‘master’). Students could study the crafts at The Carpenters’ Company Trades Training School, and made visits to workshops. As well as supplementing these day classes, The Carpenters’ Company continued to pay for evening classes that had, by then, been running for a decade at both elementary and advanced level. Even more ambitiously, in 1914 University College became one of the first institutions to offer planning alongside architecture as a field of study, appointing architect and planner SD Adshead – who later wrote the highly influential Town Planning and Town Development (1923) – as professor. With a new home, improved facilities, expanded study courses and distinguished staff to boot, the first 20 years of the 20th century marked a transformational period in the life of what had become – since the merger with King’s – the only university school of architecture in London.
(Above) the student cards of Ethel Charles and her sister Bessie, who both studied architecture at University College. Unlike more traditional universities, UCL opened its doors to women
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TRADITION & REVOLUTION Dissenting students force The Bartlett to re-emerge as a symbol of experimentation and excellence
n 1919, FM Simpson resigned his professorship at what was becoming known as The Bartlett School of Architecture following Herbert Henry Bartlett’s donation to build a purpose-designed home for UCL’s architecture school and his permission, granted in 1919, for his name to be used. The initial beneficiary of this munificence, and of Simpson’s legacy, was his successor Albert Richardson (1880-1964) who would remain in post until 1946. Though some remembered Richardson with affection and enjoyed his lectures, this would be a period when The Bartlett retreated from the forefront of architectural education, a trend that continued under Richardson’s successor Hector Corfiato. Not until 1960 would The Bartlett again take the lead in architectural education. The syllabus was essentially the same under Richardson and Corfiato. Students took classes in geometry and mathematics, perspective drawing and sciagraphy (the study of shadows cast by architectural forms), engineering and a number of other subjects, including lectures on the history and theory of architecture, which were taught by Corfiato himself. Both his students and the outside world moved on around the stationary Corfiato. By the mid-1950s the modernisers on the RIBA’s board of education had replaced their Beaux-Arts predecessors. But it was students of The Bartlett as much as unsatisfied RIBA visitors who generated the impetus for change. Their frustrations found a means of expression in Outlet, a student-led journal clearly influenced by New Brutalist aesthetics and containing articles on subjects such as Scandinavian Modernism, the work of Richard Neutra and state housing in Britain. From this period The Bartlett produced graduates who transcended their Beaux-Arts education to produce significant works of Modernist architecture, such as John Darbourne who, with his partner Geoffrey Darke designed the Lillington Gardens estate in Pimlico and Keith Ingham, architect of Preston bus station. In 1958, the same year as the game-changing RIBA conference in Oxford, four outspoken students – Tony Monk, Mike Sutcliffe, Tony Hyland and Mike Macrae – sent a letter to the Board of Architectural Education, appealing for an investigation into the state of teaching at The Bartlett. This move was leaked to the Architects’ Journal and the students were brought before the provost of UCL, accused of devaluing The Bartlett’s name. A subsequent review by the RIBA’s Visiting Board was, however, unfavourable, and there was no way of ignoring the appetite for change. The Bartlett needed a radical modernising agent – and so began its third radical contribution to architecture education. The chosen agent was Lord Llewelyn-Davies, a pivotal figure in the Oxford Conference who, in 1960, replaced Corfiato as professor. One of his early appointments was Robert Maxwell, a longstanding and popular design and theory teacher, who characterised Llewelyn-Davies’ task as ‘to initiate a revolution in the name of science and common sense’. Llewelyn-Davies was drawn to architecture after studying engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the
(Previous page, top) Albert Edward Richardson in 1955 (previous page, bottom) final year students in the Atelier, c1959 (Above) Buckminster Fuller (in flat cap) visits The Bartlett, 1962
1930s where, like his father, he had been a member of the ‘Apostles’, a secret society that brought him into association with Soviet spies Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. After obtaining a certificate in architecture from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Llewelyn-Davies joined the diploma course at the Architectural Association, where he became an influential figure, situating himself at the centre of a tussle for power between Beaux-Arts teaching and a modern, planning-led programme. Llewelyn-Davies’ inaugural lecture on 10 November 1960 was a crushing dismissal of The Bartlett’s Beaux-Arts heritage and an uncompromising manifesto for a new programme of teaching at UCL. He criticised the narrow, private world of 19th-century architectural training in Britain, which he blamed for creating a deep division between art and science in the curriculum. He invoked the figure of the ‘Renaissance Man’ and sought a return to the architect trained in a wide variety of disciplines, but including modern subjects like the physics, psychology and physiology of the human environment. The practical problems of heating, lighting and acoustics were introduced early on in the architect’s training as essential,
integrated elements of a building’s design rather than problems to be solved at the last minute by an external technical expert. Llewelyn-Davies insisted on the importance of diversifying architects’ means of communication – moving away from drawing and introducing new methods such as writing and speaking that would make their output accessible to all. First-year students were asked to equip themselves not with drawing materials, but with cameras and typewriters. They were sent off to investigate different areas of London with explicit instructions not to focus on the architecture itself but, instead, to observe the interactions between people, roads, transport, businesses and housing. Llewelyn-Davies introduced a dynamic new element to the school: a strong emphasis on research and specialisation, and a new postgraduate section supported by a team of specialists brought in as permanent and visiting staff. His discreet but considerable influence attracted a number of celebrated figures to The Bartlett, such as R Buckminster Fuller, who gave a series of lectures that would enthral students for up to 10 hours at a time. Crits were given by visiting staff such as Basil Spence, Max
Fordham, Terry Farrell, Nicholas Grimshaw – during their period in partnership the last two designed UCL’s health centre, a Corbusian composition in psychedelic colours – and students attended lectures by, among others, Cedric Price, James Gowan, James Stirling, Richard Seifert and Mario Botta. Other staff included Alvin Boyarsky (who later transformed the Architectural Association), Ralph Hopkinson, Peter Cowan and Niels Lisborg. The psychologist Jane Abercrombie devised ways of profiling students and, in the event of a fire alarm being activated, was widely believed to be more interested in observing how they would save themselves than in her own personal safety. In 1964 Reyner Banham was appointed senior lecturer and later professor of architectural history. Here, he would try out his latest ideas for books on his students, puzzling them by interrupting their regular curriculum with sessions on Los Angeles or motorway service stations. Llewelyn-Davies was an éminence grise, remote and immaculate in his grey suit and black Mercedes. His shadowy operations and reluctance to communicate with students caused unease, especially as in the mid-1960s some of the first serious challenges to orthodox
(Above) Reyner Banham in his office in Wates House, 1976 (Left) student Ana Seroa da Motta in the anechoic chamber at Wates House, c1981 Modernism began to appear. Just as Llewelyn-Davies and some of his protégés were hardening their view of architecture around scientific or quasi-scientific research, some voices – even at The Bartlett – were beginning to dissent. One was that of Richard MacCormac, a student between 1963 and 1965, after completing his undergraduate degree at Cambridge, who was alarmed by the implications of the Fabian tract Architecture: Art or Social Service? Only Robert Maxwell among the staff showed any sympathy, but many students believed the school had lost touch with creative design. After repressing a 1968 student insurgency led by Robin Nicholson (later to chair the Construction Industry Council and play a leading role in Edward Cullinan’s practice), the following year Llewelyn-Davies moved from chair of architecture to chair of planning. He replaced William Holford who had had a huge part in creating the post-war planning system. Although many expected Maxwell to be the new professor, the position went to Newton Watson; he shared Llewelyn-Davies’ commitment to science, though not his charisma or connections. With John Musgrove – another building scientist – as dean, the
senior leadership of The Bartlett began to lose touch with new directions in architecture coming from revisions to Modernism and from sources as diverse as Robert Venturi, Archigram and graduates of Alvin Boyarsky’s AA, such as Bernard Tschumi (who spent a year as a master’s student at The Bartlett in 1970) and Rem Koolhaas. In these conditions research continued to grow and provided opportunities for talented academics to advance their fields. Peter Cowan pioneered research in housing. Bill Hillier moved from the RIBA to set up an academic unit that developed space syntax. Banham’s successors as architectural historians, Adrian Forty and Mark Swenarton, established a highly successful postgraduate programme in the early 1980s. All benefited from the college’s structure, which allowed for taught Master’s programmes and individual research leading to PhDs. The situation worsened when Duccio Turin died in a car crash in 1976. Appointed by Llewelyn-Davies as professor of building, he had been one of few people who could conceptualise an intellectual and academically coherent relationship between construction, making and architecture. Steven Groák, an Oxford graduate in
GERTRUDE LEVERKUS 1898-1989
BARTLETT STUDENT 1915-1925 - ‘Zoom Wave Hits Architecture’, New Society (3 March
G engineering before he studied architecture at The Bartlett, continued Turin’s work in establishing a theoretical bridge between these fields as well as assuming the role of mentor to numerous students. Groák’s departure to lead Arup’s research department in 1991, and his premature death shortly afterwards, put the school at risk of losing an invaluable link with engineering and construction research. Under the current deanship of Alan Penn, professor of architecture Frédéric Migayrou, and director Bob Sheil, one of Groák’s former students, the school is again leading on this agenda as a complementary partnership to experimental design. Robert (Bob) Maxwell’s inaugural lecture, entitled The Two Theories of Architecture, delivered after he was given a personal chair in 1979, began to reorientate attention on design. Reviewing developments at The Bartlett since 1960, he aimed to elevate its status of design after its sidelining under Llewelyn-Davies. In Maxwell’s words: ‘In the dialogue of art and science, he has handed art the dud microphone.’ He found support in some colleagues, such as Philip Tabor – who arrived in 1978 to support him in teaching history and theory but quickly moved into
ertrude Leverkus was born in Oldenburg, Germany on 26 September 1898 and moved shortly afterwards to Manchester with her parents. In 1915 she became the first woman to enrol on the undergraduate Architecture course at University College London. Studying under FM Simpson, she was somewhat isolated as the only woman in a class of transient men, many of whom were soldiers or overseas students. During the holidays she worked contributing drawings for Arthur Stratton’s Form and Design in Classic Architecture alongside a young Hector Corfiato. After getting her BA in 1919, she continued evening classes at UCL under Albert Richardson in order to gain her RIBA membership. She undertook further studies under Stanley Adshead, obtaining the Town Planning Certificate in 1925. In 1930 Leverkus was hired by Women’s Pioneer Housing and converted around 40 properties into self-contained apartments. In 1932, while working for Horace Field, she established the Women’s Committee
of RIBA in order to promote the interests of women architects and in 1943, through Elsie Rogers, a colleague from the Committee, she was appointed the Housing Architect in the Borough Architecture and Town Planning Office of West Ham at a time when it was being used as a test subject for Abercrombie’s Greater London Plan. Leverkus was responsible for publicity for the projects, lecturing to community groups, schools and accompanying local councillors to Westminster. As housing architect she oversaw the design and construction of ‘two-year’ and ‘ten-year’ prefabricated bungalows, also assessing long-term housing requirements for the borough. In 1948 she returned to private practice with Norman & Dawbarn, who had been appointed architects for Crawley and Harlow New Towns. Often asked to act as an advocate for women’s involvement in architecture, in 1939 she was invited by the Suffragette Fellowship to the 21st Anniversary Dinner of women’s enfranchisement to represent her industry. In 1928, speaking at a conference of women voters about architecture as a career for women, she noted that, rather than discrimination, she was more often greeted with bafflement by her male colleagues. She described how on one occasion, ‘a man actually took off his coat for me to kneel on when inspecting an excavation. Later, however, he got so used to me as a fellow-worker that he forgot himself completely and invited me to a public-house’. In the latter years of her professional life she was appointed a governor of the Brixton School of Building, and in 1960 she retired to Brighton where she lived happily until her death on 8 November 1989, aged 91. Rebecca Spaven
design – and Christopher Woodward, appointed after completing his Miesian scheme for Milton Keynes Shopping Centre. Between them, and in the face of opposition from some senior colleagues, they established an annual end of year show in 1981. Initially it fell short of the standard set by the AA but, by 1984, it attracted Peter Palumbo – then trying to build a Mies-designed tower at Mansion House Square – to open it: he was so impressed with one student’s work that he bought a sample of it on the spot. However, design remained the curriculum’s poor relation and, when John Musgrove retired in 1985, Newton Watson moved into the chair of environmental design, to create space for a new professor of architecture with a high profile in design. Richard Rogers turned down the post but in 1986 Peter Ahrends, best known as co-founder of Ahrends Burton and Koralek, accepted. A graduate of the AA, he had also taught there early in his career, but otherwise had little teaching experience. But he had big ambitions for The Bartlett, which, he believed, ‘had the feel of a provincial school’ – a sentiment echoed by his successor Peter Cook. Ahrends brought The Bartlett back into experimental territory. He planned to restructure courses into two
SAM LAMBERT / RIBA COLLECTIONS
‘Diploma crits became significant events, attracting professionals and commentators from across London’
semesters a year, enabling a more intense engagement with project work. Building on a programme instituted by David Dunster, who took over the final year in 1985, he promoted collaboration and group work in his words, to ‘share subjectivities to get somewhere towards being objective’. As part of his restructure, he planned to place Christopher Woodward in charge of the undergraduate school with Dunster taking responsibility for the postgraduate design programme. A Bartlett student in the 1960s, Dunster returned in 1983 to teach history and theory, replacing Bob Maxwell who had moved to Princeton. On taking over the final-year design studio he found students Simon Allford, Jonathan Hall, Paul Monaghan and Peter Morris, who would later set up AHMM. With his encouragement they embraced collaborative working whereby students’ projects were required to take account of, and relate to, other student projects on nearby sites. Diploma crits became significant events inside and outside of the school, attracting professionals and commentators from across London. Farshid Moussavi was a student in a subsequent year. With support from UCL’s provost James Lighthill and an informal advisory committee that included Arup
(Left) Lord LlewelynDavies in 1960 (Top) Peter Ahrends at The Bartlett (Right) Robert Maxwell at an exhibition of Cedric Price’s work at the RIBA, 1975 (Far right) students Kevin Mansfield and Jane Gosney, 1981
eyner Banham, renowned historian and critic, wrote these words – ‘Wham! Zoom! Zing! Rave!’ – in 1966, two years into his 12-year stint at The Bartlett. They make readers start in surprise. Wham! It sounds as though something big has crashed to earth at high velocity, something anarchic and game-changing – in this case, Pop architecture and Archigram. Banham specialised in virtuoso polemics and pyrotechnical wordsmithery. He had a sure finger on the cultural pulse and a sharp eye on the future. He was enormously popular among Bartlett students, who flocked to his lectures, whether on Palladio or the Festival of Britain. He was the embodiment of the contemporary style – casual, approachable and voluble. Students dubbed him the ‘Professor of Trend’. This guru of trend, this lover of pop culture and cars, also happened to be one of the most eminent of scholars, with a PhD from the Courtauld Institute under Nikolaus Pevsner. Each reference to tail fins
REYNER BANHAM 1922-1988 ‘WHAM! ZOOM! ZING! RAVE!’ - ‘Zoom Wave Hits Architecture’, New Society (3 March 1966)
or gizmos was met by others to John Soane and Le Corbusier. While Banham saw his hundreds of pieces of criticism as ephemera, he believed his books would endure. He published some of his most significant – namely The New Brutalism (1966), The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment (1969), and Megastructure (1976) – during his Bartlett years. No wonder Lord Llewelyn-Davies made Banham the first full-time professor of architectural history in the UK. Or that talented PhD students, such as Charles Jencks and Adrian Forty, sought him out. But Banham didn’t want acolytes; he wanted adventures. In 1976 he left The Bartlett for the siren call of Buffalo, New York, and Santa Cruz, California, and the grain silos and deserts of America. But, as Murray Fraser recalls, now and then he would pop back to lecture at The Bartlett, clad as a cowboy, as vivid and mythic to a new generation of students as the landscapes he loved. Barbara Penner
luminary Jack Zunz and Bernard Cohen, then head of UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art, Ahrends made some progress with his plans. However, he found the division of his energies between practice and academe an increasing strain. When offered the deanship in 1989 he felt unable to accept; it was subsequently offered to the newly appointed professor of environmental design, Pat O’Sullivan, who believed that Ahrends’ proposals would not address underlying structural problems. When Ahrends resigned the same year, it became clear that running the school of architecture required two separate roles: a professor along with a director of architecture. This new structure, together with the renewed and partially successful emphasis on design under Ahrends, made the professorship attractive to high-profile international figures. In 1990 a search committee of which O’Sullivan, Tabor and Dunster were members appointed Peter Cook, a founder of Archigram and long associated with the AA. Cook and Tabor, as professor and director respectively, worked together for most of the next decade. The stage was set for another visit to the labyrinth of experiments.
FORMS OF PRACTICE SIXTEEN*(MAKERS)
SHAPING THE WORLD BEYOND ARCHITECTURE
55/02 in fabrication, for Kielder Water, Northumbria, by sixteen*(makers) & Stahlbogen GmbH, 2009
(Below) Richard MacCormac, one of the first to benefit from a new era of creative design at The Bartlett (Bottom) Richard Seifert in front of his iconic NatWest tower (Opposite) Cartoon by Louis Hellman, doyen of Bartlett image-makers
ohn Evelyn, one of the first authors to write about architecture in English, suggested it comprised four categories of person: the architectus ingenio, the architectus sumptuarius, the architectus manuarius and the architectus verborum. It is no coincidence that eminent architectural historian Adrian Forty should cite that at the beginning of his book Words and Buildings. Having spent almost his entire career at The Bartlett he has seen graduates enter each of those four categories – which he interpreted as ‘the superintending architect ... the patron ... “artizans [sic, Evelyn’s spelling] and workmen”... [and] the architect of words’. Bartlett graduates have had a hand in each of those interpretations of what it is to be an architect, frequently extending the conventions of practice in each and adding in a few new categories. This filigree of Bartlett graduates shaping the practice of architecture in its broadest sense goes back to TL Donaldson. As an academic, practitioner and operator in professional politics, he sought to define the role of architecture in a complex and changing society. His accolades of the RIBA Gold Medal and Presidency, as well as his appointment as UCL’s first professor of architecture, testify to his success. But even he could not have foreseen the depth and influence that Bartlett graduates have had in the evolving world of architecture. Here we present a selection of alumni, grouped into several categories that show both historical continuities and new directions. Some have developed the scope of conventional architectural practice, often moving those conventions to fit changing social and economic circumstances. Others have pioneered experimental techniques or forms of practice often some way outside those conventions. The first woman to be a member of the RIBA, Ethel Charles, studied at The Bartlett in the 1890s, although it was not until 1915 that the first woman to complete the full course, Gertrude Leverkus, enrolled (page 75). The balance between male and female students moved slowly towards equality, with women undergraduates outnumbering men for the first time in 2009 and, aside from one year of absolute parity (2010), they have done so ever since. Bartlett graduates have also challenged conventions from other perspectives – changing the cultural and intellectual understanding of architecture – as imageand film-makers, historians, writers and publishers, or redefining the political and statutory context that frames architecture.
The last 30 years have probably seen more Bartlett graduates make their reputations as designers than in the previous century and a half. This may partly be due to the increase in numbers but owes a lot more to the emphasis on design and experimentation that was introduced in the 1990s. The roots of this, however, go back further. Bartlett alumni had left their mark across architecture for generations and, although records of student names are virtually non-existent before the
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1920s, from that point on it is possible to trace a number who have had an impact. They include several who would greatly influence the commercial and cultural worlds in the middle of the 20th century. Richard Seifert and Herbert Fitzroy Robinson were prominent in a small group that transformed commercial architecture in the 1960s and ’70s, while few architects have made as wide a contribution to national cultural life as Hugh Casson. And in 1937 John Stillman and John and Elizabeth Eastwick-Field met as undergraduates at The Bartlett; after the Second World War their firm designed a number of distinguished schools and social housing projects. In the period immediately after the Second World War the most notable graduate was Colin St John (‘Sandy’) Wilson, a leading figure in the second generation of British Modernism. John Darbourne was a very recent graduate when he, with Geoffrey Darke, won the competition for Lillington Gardens, a vast and ultimately much-celebrated social housing scheme in Pimlico in 1961; it formed the bedrock of their partnership. The arrival of Robert Maxwell to the staff in 1962 provided some outlet for creative design in the otherwise deterministic era of Lord Llewelyn-Davies; Richard MacCormac, who arrived from an undergraduate degree at Cambridge in 1962, was an obvious beneficiary. Alex Reid, later to be director general of the RIBA, followed the same path a few years later. MacCormac’s long-term partner David Prichard spent all his time as a student at The Bartlett shortly afterwards. Some graduates of this period would find an outlet for their particular skills in major institutions. Geraint John,
HUGH CASSON 1910-1999 MARGARET CASSON 1913-1999
he husband and wife duo of Hugh and Margaret Casson was one of the most dynamic in British design in the 20th century. They met while studying at The Bartlett: Margaret Macdonald Troup – Reta to her friends – was starting her first degree in architecture when Hugh Casson, who had already completed his BA in architecture at Cambridge, arrived to do his second degree. Hugh, in a hurry as always, missed the first terms and fasttracked by taking the registrar’s surreptitious correspondence course. Marrying in 1938, Hugh spent the war years in service as a camouflage artist for the Air Ministry, while Reta raised their three daughters. In 1948, he became Director of Architecture for the Festival of Britain of 1951 on London’s South Bank. With his ebullient and winning personality, he drew on his wide circle of friends and colleagues to put together a team of brilliant designers and create the hugely successful exhibition. Although he only designed a small section of the Festival site, his coordination of the design of the whole exhibition reflected his very personal and serious intention to promote good design in an entertaining fashion. In the New Year’s Honours list 1952, Casson, aged 41, received a knighthood. Casson’s position as director ended soon after the exhibition opening, so he and Reta took up the offer to set up a new department of interior design at the Royal College
of Art: Hugh became professor and Reta became senior tutor (which meant doing most of the day-to-day work). Over the next 20 years, they shared the same office, brought on an eminent cast of tutors, produced stellar graduates and, thus, raised the much-maligned profile of the interior designer. Assisted by HT Cadbury-Brown and Robert Goodden, Hugh designed the new RCA building in Kensington Gore. In 1952, Hugh set up in architectural practice with Neville Conder. Although Conder was responsible for much of their output, Casson pulled out a few plums of his own: as a favourite of the Royal Family, he created the interiors of the Royal Yacht Britannia and suites of rooms at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. Architecturally, his most admired work remains the Elephant and Rhinoceros Pavilion at London Zoo (1965). Charisma and diplomacy made Hugh Casson one of the most outstanding presidents of the Royal Academy of Arts (1976-84), bridging the gap between traditionalists and the new moderns, and setting the RA on a firm financial footing. He was also a prolific watercolourist, exhibiting often and illustrating the many articles he wrote for architectural journals. Casson published books of his drawings throughout his career – to the public, his reputation as an artist was greater than that as an architect. Neil Bingham
BARTLETT STUDENTS 1932-1934 & 1932-1935
an expert in sport and stadium architecture, has been honoured by the International Olympic Committee, while Peter Rees was the incomparable chief planning officer for the City of London when it saw off all competition to cement its position as one of the world’s two pre-eminent financial centres. Maxwell’s influence continued through the 1970s, as Llewelyn-Davies and his closest colleagues focused on planning Milton Keynes and working out how to optimise daylight in hospitals. At the beginning of the decade Bernard Tschumi spent a year studying for a Master’s degree though without obvious distinction. As the decade progressed, new members of staff such as Philip Tabor and Steven Groák, in quite different ways, helped to make space for discussing design. Out of this milieu came 9H, which originated as a magazine and mutated into a gallery, and a couple of undergraduates who would move to the Architectural Association and begin to make an impact in the design world: Peter St John, co-founder of Caruso St John, and Robert Mull, a member of the NATO group and, much later, dean of The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University. Thomas Croft, a baronet who does not use his title, has built up a successful niche practice for people with a taste for contemporary art and design, and the means to pay for it. Bill Gaytten, former creative director of Dior, graduated from The Bartlett School of Architecture in 1982 before switching to fashion to work alongside John Galliano. In the last 30 years this trickle of leading designers has turned into a steady flow. Although boosted by the emphasis that was placed on design in the 1990s, seeds were planted a few years previously: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s founders and, a couple of years later, Farshid Moussavi, co-founder of Foreign Office Architects before starting her own practice, graduated from the school in the 1980s. AHMM, the first Bartlett-alumni-founded firm to win the Stirling Prize, saw from the start that an overhauled traditional concept of architectural practice was still the most effective way of achieving high-quality design. It argued that this allows it to develop effective long-term relationships both with clients in the public and private sectors, and with contractors and fabricators. Its growth to more than 300 people, and frequent presence on the
shortlist for the Stirling Prize before winning in 2015, shows the success of its approach. Previous Stirling Prize shortlists have included Duggan Morris, Softroom and Peter Cook for the Kunsthaus in Graz designed with Colin Fournier. Cook has since set up practice with alumnus Gavin Robotham as CRAB Studio, which had notable success at the World Architecture Festival in 2014. After leaving The Bartlett, Moussavi took a different path. She went on to study at Harvard with Rem Koolhaas, then working at OMA before winning the Yokohama Ferry Terminal competition with Alejandro Zaera-Polo. It was with Zaera-Polo that Moussavi set up Foreign Office Architects; after its dissolution she founded Farshid Moussavi Architecture. FAT – an acronym of Fashion Architecture Taste – emerged from the intellectual maelstrom of The Bartlett in the early 1990s. Tutors Kevin Rhowbotham and Nic Clear curated an exhibition called Barbitecture, featuring Barbie dolls in various states of undress and dismemberment, suspended on thin cord in an intriguingly lit abandoned warehouse in the thenrundown district of Shoreditch. This challenged various conventions of subject matter, mode of presentation and location for architectural education and set the agenda for FAT. Shoreditch was being adopted as the favoured venue for studios by the young British architects who similarly played with familiar objects and codes of taste, and with whom FAT maintained various relationships. The early membership of FAT was fluid but eventually stabilised with two Bartlett graduates, Sam Jacob and Charles Holland, as partners alongside Sean Griffiths. Their polemics challenged and refreshed architectural thinking with the same sort of verve that the Young British Artists applied to art. Their built work includes The House for Essex, designed with artist Grayson Perry, who gave the first Donaldson Lecture in January 2016. In 1994 the shortlist for the Cardiff Bay Opera House stunned the architectural world. Not only was Zaha Hadid selected as the winner – although her scheme was later shelved in controversial circumstances – but among the last eight was a group of four Bartlett
COLIN ST JOHN WILSON 1922-2007
on of a bishop, an officer in naval intelligence during the Second World War, noted art collector, architect of the British Library and professor of architecture at Cambridge 1975-89, ‘Sandy’ Wilson was also a student at the Bartlett from 1946 to ’49. It was not his first choice, his biographers Sarah Menin and Stephen Kite record; he would have preferred the Architectural Association’s ‘unremarkable teaching’ to Hector Corfiarto’s ‘dim classicism’. However Rudolf Wittkower’s lectures at the nearby Slade offset this with a rigorous and richer interpretation of Renaissance classicism that he published in the year of Wilson’s graduation as Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism. Like a number of his contemporaries – Alison and Peter Smithson, Reyner Banham and James Stirling among them – Wilson appreciated how Wittkower gave architecture intellectual roots based on the relationship between proportion and Platonic thought. Another of their contemporaries, Colin Rowe, explained in The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa how that could be traced in the work of Le Corbusier.
Despite graduating with a distinction, Wilson was, Menin and Kite note, ‘amazed that one could be passionate about [architecture]’. He was more enthused by – and showed promise in – painting, although he rejected the opportunity to take David Bomberg’s legendary Saturday morning drawing classes at the Slade because he thought them ‘too old fashioned’ and eventually realised he lacked the painter’s ‘necessity to explore an idea or issue’. His interest in painting evolved into friendships with, commissions for and purchases from artists such as Kitaj, Paolozzi, Nigel Henderson and Michael Andrews. He, meanwhile, began his career as an architect. From low-key beginnings he moved to London County Council – a hotbed of radical architectural and social thought (although there was a split between those who promulgated each type of radicalism) – where his ultimate boss was Leslie Martin. A lectureship at Cambridge and partnership with Martin set his career firmly towards the professorship and British Library commission. Much of his art collection can be seen at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, whose extension designed with Long and Kentish was one of his last architectural works.
HARUKO TOMIOKA KRZESZOWIEC
JANET HALL / RIBA COLLECTIONS
BARTLETT STUDENT 1946-1949
(Far left) The British Library, London, by Sandy Wilson (Left) Farshid Moussavi (Opposite, top left) Abedian School of Architecture by CRAB Studio, 2014 (Opposite, top right) Alfriston School sports centre by Duggan Morris Architects, 2014 (Opposite) Kielder Belvedere by Softroom, 2009
(Opposite) ‘A House for Essex’ by FAT and Grayson Perry, 2015 (Right) T4 Barajas Airport by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, 2005 (Bottom right) Competition drawing for Foster + Partners’ Beijing Airport by Narinder Sagoo 2005 (Below) Competitionwinning design for New Parliament Complex, Iraq, by Assemblage, 2012
FOSTER + PARTNERS
MANUEL RENAU / AENA
students: Christopher Bagot, Dan Evans, Gary Fell and Oliver Salway. Soon afterwards, buoyed by this success, the quartet formed Softroom, now led by Bagot and Salway. At a time before digital representation was mainstream, Softroom quickly made its mark through a series of digitally rendered speculative projects, such as Mason Canif, which were published in the early editions of Wallpaper magazine. These projects allowed the practice to pioneer the use of high-definition renderings as a persuasive design tool for highly bespoke projects. Softroom has completed numerous projects for cultural institutions, setting a path that others, such as Block Architecture, founded by Graeme Williamson and Zoe Smith in 1998, would follow a few years later. Softroom also makes sophisticated, small-scale structures that are subtly attuned to their context. In 2000, Belvedere at Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland won the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize as well as the Royal Fine Art Commission Jeu d’Esprit Building of the Year. The RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize has since been won by three Bartlett graduate practices: Duggan Morris Architects (2012), AY Architects (2013) and Denizen Works (2014). Assemblage, founded in 2003 by alumni Hannah Corlett and Peter Besley, has also developed a profile in urban and institutional projects. With several projects in Iraq, including a competition-winning design for the parliament complex in Baghdad, it takes architecture to some of the most critical situations of our time.
Bartlett alumni infuse numerous large and notable practices with their talent. Ivan Harbour’s contribution to Richard Rogers’ practice, where he was responsible for two Stirling Prizes for Madrid’s Barajas Airport and the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital in London, is now recognised in the practice’s name of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Patrik Schumacher, the driving force after the founder herself of Zaha Hadid Architects, participated in the Master’s in Architectural History. Leading London practices such as Farrells, Grimshaw, Hopkins, Make, Scott Brownrigg, Sheppard Robson and Wilkinson Eyre, as well as major international firms such as Studio Libeskind, Morphosis, Herzog & de Meuron and Heatherwick Studio, all have, or have had, Bartlett graduates in senior positions. Several Bartlett graduates have developed major masterplans: Jonathan Rose at AECOM has led the masterplanning for the Rio Olympics; Jonathan Kendall at Fletcher Priest did the same for London 2012; and Huw Thomas at Foster + Partners has coordinated the proposal to reboot south-east England’s transport infrastructure with an airport in the Thames estuary. Philip Johnson at Populous, designers of the stadium for the London 2012 Olympic Games and many others, along with both Ray Winkler and Ric Lipson at Stufish, have made significant contributions to architecture for performance and entertainment, with venues and installations. Stufish, founded by the late Mark Fisher, has designed sets for the Beijing Olympics, Rolling Stones, Queen, Madonna, U2 and Pink Floyd. More recent graduates who are rising to the top include: Asif Khan, designer with Pernilla Ohrstedt of the Coca-Cola Beat Box, part of the cultural Olympiad associated with London 2012 (Khan was also shortlisted for the Guggenheim in Helsinki); Thomas Stokke, Scott Grady, Timo Haedrich, three of the four directors of Haptic, a young practice populated with many recent graduates; GilBartolome
ASIF KHAN / MIR
HUFTON + CROW
(Left) U2 concert in 2015, designed and staged by Stufish (Centre) Coca-Cola Beatbox by Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt, 2012 (Bottom left) Casa del Acantilado, GilBartolome Architects, 2015 (Opposite) Guggenheim Helsinki competition shortlisted entry, Asif Khan, 2015
Architecture; We Made That; Saraben Studio; You+Pea; Archmongers and Threefold.
along with the implications for urban design from bodies such as the Design Museum, Wellcome Trust and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work is found in cities as far apart as Seoul and Bradford. Before founding Umbrellium, Haque developed a real-time environmental data infrastructure and online community for the Internet of Things and sold it to LogMeIn, which has rebranded the software as Xively. Several Bartlett graduates use technological analysis and production to modify the urban environment. Jason Bruges and Cinimod Studio, founded by Dominic Harris, both specialise in lighting design; their projects include the changing lighting facade of the W London hotel in Leicester Square (Bruges) and the London Eye Mood Conductor for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Paul Bavister focuses on sound. His firm Soundforms delivers acoustic performance shells. As an associate director at Flanagan Lawrence – of which Jason Flanagan is a founder – he contributed to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, which won Best Welsh Building in 2011, as well as international recognition at the World Architecture Festival.
(Below left) ‘Halo Glyph’ lighting performance by Cinimod Studio, 2013 (Bottom left) Soundforms, an acoustic shell by Flanagan Lawrence, 2012 (Below) Teresa Borsuk of Pollard Thomas Edwards (Bottom right) ‘Dichroic Blossom’, interactive feature wall by Jason Bruges, 2014 (Opposite) ‘Burble’, a public performance by Umbrellium first presented in 2006
Technology and experiment
Armed with the experience of research-based education, many Bartlett graduates continue to experiment in their subsequent careers. Some embrace new technologies, either to enhance the design process or to expand the scope of the results – or both. For many, improving the public realm is a sine qua non, sometimes through clever exploitation of new technology or a combination of imagination and social entrepreneurship that identifies opportunities for buildings that conventional architectural thinking overlooks. Umbrellium, recently founded by Usman Haque, explicitly uses digital technology to engage with social action and physical interaction. Haque’s previous company, Haque Design and Research, won a number of prizes for interactive design, art and science crossovers,
USMAN HAQUE / UMBRELLIUM
MORLEY VON STERNBERG
A number of Bartlett graduates practise architecture in ways that directly address social conditions that span architecture’s potential for bringing benefits to society, to the social composition of the profession and modes of professional practice. One firm that straddles much of this spectrum is AY Architects. Its socially engaged projects include a series of primary and nursery schools – success was affirmed when one of the founders, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, was shortlisted in the Emerging category at the AJ Women in Architecture Awards in 2014. Bev Dockray of Coppin Dockray and Hannah Lawson, as director at John McAslan Architects, gained the same recognition in 2013 and 2012 respectively; Lawson went on to win the award. Teresa Borsuk, a graduate from the early 1980s who, as a partner in the Bartlett-founded social housing specialists Pollard Thomas Edwards has
COURTESY OF CINIMOD STUDIO
Celebrating 175 years of architectural education at UCL Scott Brownrigg is committed to supporting the next generation of architects and to the talent identified through architectural education.
Project designed by Bartlett alumnus Darren Comber, CEO Scott Brownrigg
Technology in Architecture (CITA), and head of Institute of Architecture and Technology and associate professor David Garcia. Mark Mückenheim combines his post as graduate director in the school of architecture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with running his practice MCKNHM. Stefano de Martino is dean of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Innsbruck, Martyn Hook is dean of the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, and Ulrike Mansfeld is professor in Hochschule Bremen’s School of Architecture. Lesley Lokko combines writing bonkbuster novels with being an associate professor of architecture at the University of Johannesburg. Bartlett School of Architecture staff currently number more than 220, many of whom graduated in the late 1990s under Cook and Hawley’s stewardship.
Architectural history RICHARD BECKETT
Even before Adrian Forty and Mark Swenarton had set up the Master’s in History of Modern Architecture in 1982, several Bartlett alumni distinguished themselves as architectural historians. Two have been awarded the RIBA Gold Medal: John Summerson and Joseph Rykwert. Mark Girouard, author of Life in the English Country House and biographer of James Stirling, took the undergraduate design course in the early 1970s in order to understand his subject matter better. By then, though, The Bartlett’s contribution to architectural
facilitated its workforce becoming more than 50 per cent female, won Architect of the Year in the awards in 2015.
(Above) Alga(e)zebo, marcosandmarjan, 2010 (Top right) Universal Tea Machine by Smout Allen with You+Pea, 2012. Concept with Iain Borden. Fabrication and design installation: Nick Westby (Westby Jones) and Oliver Palmer (Right) Montpelier Community Nursery by AY Architects, 2012
The Bartlett has a long tradition of being open to wider ideas about architecture and education, and sharing pedagogy with other institutions. The 2016 AAE Conference is a contemporary manifestation of this characteristic, but it goes back far further. BB Bednarczyk, in an undated and unpublished typescript held in UCL’s archive, states that The Bartlett’s ‘influence in architectural education has covered the country and some parts of the world. The departments of architecture at Liverpool, Sydney and Tokyo can trace their origins to University College …’ Liverpool provided several notable professors of architecture and planning in the early 20th century; at the century’s end, David Dunster went the other way, moving from The Bartlett via a brief stint at Southbank University to become Liverpool’s Roscoe professor. Numerous alumni spend some time teaching at The Bartlett. Some stay while others move to various schools or into practice. AHMM’s Simon Allford and Paul Monaghan ran a successful unit in the 1990s, some of whose graduates went on to work for them; seven of their associate directors are Bartlett graduates. Latterly, Allford has been a visiting professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, overlapping with Farshid Moussavi, whose work there led to her publications on the functions of ornament, form and style. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, has three Bartlett graduates in leading positions: Professor Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (head) and associate professor Phil Ayres at the Centre for Information and
JOHN SUMMERSON 1904-1992 STEPHEN HYDE / NPG, LONDON
BARTLETT STUDENT 1922-1926
y his own account, Summerson had little talent for design and, after graduating, he worked with little enthusiasm for a series of mostly second-rate architects. In 1934 he decided to abandon practice altogether to focus on writing and broadcasting about architecture. At both he proved remarkably successful, writing and speaking with an admirable fluency and lucidity; within 10 years he had made for himself a reputation as one of the pre-eminent architectural historians in Britain. In 1945, he was appointed director of Sir John Soane’s Museum, a position he had coveted and which he held until his retirement in 1984. I met Summerson in the late 1970s, some 50 years after he left The Bartlett; by then he was a venerable figure. Mark Swenarton and I had contacted him when setting up the Master’s in Architectural History at The Bartlett, the first such course in the UK. Rather than courteously brushing us off, he welcomed us, took us far more seriously than we expected and even surprised us by going off to read (and later question us on) some of the proposed texts. He engaged fully with what we were doing and generously accepted the role of ‘patron’ – helping to disarm the school’s resistance to our plans. He came to lecture our students and, until he retired, hosted at Sir John Soane’s Museum a seminar he tailored to our interests: drawings and documents spread out all around, he would talk through the operations of Soane’s office. No attendees will
Denis dolor autempo reiciatem sendemporest aut liquas ut diam, explam natur, odit arum quos ipiti con nectoreres acerrum arcit experem rem sum, officid ut fugia ditissi te verspiet quis dolupta turiam esto dolore venimod ipsaectio. have forgotten these sessions. Onsectium fugias Denis We had approached Summerson dolor autempo reiciatem rather than anyonesendemporest else because autwe liquas both admired his book Georgian ut diam, explam natur, odit London. It was thearum firstquos architectural ipiti con history book I evernectoreres read andacerrum for a arcit experem rem sum, officid long time after everything else had been a disappointment. What we particularly liked was his presenting builders’ and architects’ activities on equal terms, describing the process of building the city as a combination between patterns of building investment and architectural visions. This dual approach and attention to economic realities was not customary then and is still unusual today. We asked him how he had arrived at the scheme for Georgian London. His answer surprised us. Rather than saying it was influenced by the new art history of the 1930s, he explained that, at that time, he had been employed to write editorials for The Architect & Building News, alternating between discussion of the building industry and the architectural profession. As such, this was the formula he adopted. Summerson later said he had not realised how original Georgian London had been. Whether this was true or, as was his custom, he was being self-deprecating, what came across was his belief in the historian’s obligation to respect the evidence. Neither in his writing nor his seminars would he be drawn into speculation – and he always avoided windy generalisations and resorting to unverifiable concepts (‘the spirit of the age’ and so on), which some of his contemporaries favoured. He was as rigorous in his application of historical method. In person he was generous and open-minded to others’ interests, in demeanour he was effortlessly stylish. One had only to watch him light a cigarette to appreciate the true meaning of the word ‘elegance’. Adrian Forty
history was being shaped by Reyner Banham. The appointment of the Courtauld-trained historian reflected the elimination of history from design teaching, which allowed it to develop its own academic trajectory. Banham’s PhD students included Charles Jencks as well as Forty and Swenarton who, in turn, asked Summerson to advise on the Master’s course. Its graduates have continued to influence architectural history and historiography both inside and outside The Bartlett. Among them are: Iain Borden, professor of architecture and urban culture; Murray Fraser, whose remit at The Bartlett now includes vice dean of research, and general editorship of Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture; Jane Rendell, professor of art and architecture; and Joe Kerr, now a professor at the Royal College of Art.
Curating and communicating
Shortly after ‘abandoning his T-square’, Hubert de Cronin Hastings took over the editorial direction of the AJ and the AR, establishing a connection between The Bartlett and the media. Hugh Casson and John Summerson were among the lustrous roster of writers who contributed frequently to the magazines during the period of almost half a century while ‘H de C’ was in charge. He also employed Reyner Banham until his appointment at The Bartlett and, a few years later, took on one of Banham’s first PhD students, Sutherland Lyall, who would go on to edit Building Design. Other publishing and curating skills also incubated within The Bartlett. In the late 1970s a group of Bartlett students who all spoke at least one language other than English realised there was a great deal of important architectural theory in those languages that was unavailable to those who only read English. The magazine 9H was the result; its leading lights included Richard Burdett, Rosamund Diamond and Wilfried Wang. With support from The Bartlett, 9H published texts translated from German, French, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish as well as, increasingly, original works too. Burdett and Wang went on to create the 9H Gallery – in a building shared with Blueprint magazine and David Chipperfield Architects – which mutated into the Architecture Foundation with Burdett as its first director. Wang later became director of the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, and Burdett set up the London School of Economic’s Cities programme and directed the Urban Age project. A number of subsequent graduates – many from the history Master’s course – have followed their lead into various strands of media and curating: Tom Dyckhoff, George Clarke and Ptolemy Dean have all become regular broadcasters, the last doubling up as surveyor to the fabric of Westminster Abbey. Helen Castle and Thomas Weaver are both book and journal editors, overseeing Architectural Design for Wiley Academy and AA Files for the Architectural Association respectively. William Menking founded the Architects’ Newspaper, a leading professional publication in the US, and curated the American Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale. Rosalie Kim, who completed an MA and
(Right, top to bottom) Beatrice Galilee, Joseph Rykwert, Charles Jencks, Tom Dyckhoff, Adrian Forty, Rosalie Kim
REI MOON / MOON RAY STUDIO
BARTLETT STUDENT 1919-1922
ARCHITECTURAL PRESS ARCHIVE / RIBA COLLECTIONS
HUFTON + CROW
HUBERT DE CRONIN HASTINGS 1902-1986
de C’ Hastings was once described as the ‘Diaghilev of English architecture’ by distinguished historian John Summerson. He was not wrong. When, in 1927, the 25-year old H de C took over the editorial reins of both The Architects’ Journal and The Architectural Review, Modernist architecture was given a convincing English voice by architectural publishing’s greatest impresario. Hastings modernised these sibling magazines, founded in the 1890s, in no uncertain terms. The AR soon boasted bold new typefaces, striking layouts, innovative photography and inspired writing by, among others, John Betjeman, Evelyn Waugh, Robert Byron and, above all, that multilingual epicurean Philip Morton Shand, an old Etonian on speaking terms with Le Corbusier. Hastings’ Archie was the finest architectural journal of its era. The young H de C, however, had been drawn to Modernism through art rather than architecture. Leaving school at 16, he joined the Architectural Press, founded by his father, and learned the publishing
ropes there while attending The Bartlett. Revelling in the company of art students at the Slade, he soon had nothing but contempt for the Beaux-Arts Bartlett presided over by Professor Albert Richardson. Abandoning his T-square, he settled for publishing full time, doing far more than his level best to introduce friends, fellow countrymen and architects to European Modernism. The Bartlett’s loss was publishing and architecture’s gain. Although he drove his journals from the back seat, ‘Obscurity’ Hastings, as Betjeman dubbed him, portrayed and debated Modernist architecture for half a century with a pronounced concern for history, conservation and a sense of place in company with many of the best writers, photographers and graphic artists of succeeding generations. His books – among them The Italian Townscape and Civilia, The End of Sub Urban Man: A Challenge to Semidetsia written under pseudonyms – remain enchanting. In 1971 he was the first architectural editor to be awarded the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. Jonathan Glancey
PhD at the school, curates the Korean collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, while Beatrice Galilee is curator for architecture and design at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Jeremy Melvin followed Richard Burdett as second director of the Architecture Foundation before taking a major role in establishing an architecture programme for the Royal Academy of Arts, and has been curator of the World Architecture Festival since its launch.
(Below) Jane Duncan (Centre) Arthur Kay (Bottom) benandsebastian, ‘Made in Ruins’, 2009-11 (Opposite) ‘Alcoholic Architecture’, Bompas & Parr, 2016
Industry and commerce
For some students The Bartlett’s creative streak finds a commercial outlet. Working alongside Stuart Lipton as a director of Stanhope, Vincent Wang who completed his diploma in 1974, played a leading part in some of the most significant property developments of the last 30 years including, in particular, Stockley Park. He has also devised and managed development plans for cultural organisations such as the Royal Opera House and Donmar Warehouse. Maxwell James is chief executive of Quintain, which is undertaking a huge regeneration and renewal scheme in Wembley, north-west London. Delwar Hossain, a diploma graduate in 1992, switched course from a career in practice, including a stint at Foster + Partners, to study psychology and apply his new knowledge to the architectural profession as a careers and recruitment consultant. He has run the Adrem recruitment agency since 1998. Kristina Ehlert and Nick Callicott – a founder of sixteen*(makers) and driving force in the development of the workshop during the 1990s – are founders of Stahlbau GmbH, a steel fabrication firm located in Blankenburg, Germany, that specialises in digital manufacturing processes. Projects include the RIBA Award-winning 55/02 at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland, which was designed in collaboration with sixteen*(makers).
A few years ago two Bartlett students, Arthur Kay and Ben Harriman, realised that coffee grounds could be recycled into biofuels. Although outside of the construction industry altogether, the pioneering approach of Kay’s company, bio-bean, to reusing a waste product that is emblematic of contemporary urban life has received numerous accolades from politicians and sustainability experts.
TL Donaldson himself took an interest in the regulatory framework that sets terms for practising architecture. In recent decades several graduates have followed his lead into the ever-increasing number of statutory and voluntary bodies in this field. The current president of the RIBA, Jane Duncan, is an alumnus, the first Bartlett School of Architecture graduate to hold that position since Richard MacCormac in the early 1990s. Paul Hyett, who was awarded an MPhil from The Bartlett School of Planning, was president 2001–03. Robin Nicholson, an Old Etonian scion of a family of gin distillers, who followed MacCormac’s path from Cambridge to The Bartlett a few years later, is also steeped in professional politics. In between escaping the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, working for James Stirling and being right-hand man to Edward Cullinan, he found time to be a founding commissioner for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and chair of the Construction Industry Council. Debra Shipley, a graduate of the Architectural History Master’s course, was elected a Labour MP in Tony Blair’s landslide election victory of 1997. Serving two terms, she sat on the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, scrutinising the ministry that established CABE. Lay Bee Yap and Kelvin Ang have prominent posts in Singapore’s admirable government institutions: Yap as a director at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and Ang as director of conservation management in the same organisation. Seeking to take architectural thinking to situations that neither government nor the private sector can, Cameron Sinclair co-founded Architecture for Humanity in 1999. Before it closed in 2015, it initiated humanitarian and disaster relief projects in locations such as Kosovo, Haiti, Rwanda and Myanmar, and took the familiar format of the design competition to the unfamiliar purpose of alleviating extreme poverty.
The Bartlett’s proximity to the Slade School of Fine Art, and being part of UCL, offers many opportunities to discover and develop architecture’s position in, and potential to contribute to, culture. Numerous students have skills and sensibilities that have taken them into other fields, including double Oscar-winning film set designer, the late Ken Adam, the subtle and allusive filmmaker Patrick Keiller, as well as Justine Frischmann and Brett Anderson, who met at The Bartlett before going on to found Elastica and Suede respectively. Anderson has remained in the music industry while Frischmann is now an artist in San Francisco. Artist duo Ben Clement and
(Below, from top) Justine Frischmann of Elastica; Brett Anderson of Suede; poster for ‘Jonah’ by Factory Fifteen; Writtle Calling/2emmatoc by Post Works, 2012
The doyen of Bartlett alumni who make images of architecture is cartoonist Louis Hellman. An institution in his own right, his sympathetic but acute commentaries on the plight of architects and architecture have graced the AJ and Building Design for decades. As a student, he spanned the Hector Corfiato and Llewelyn-Davies eras, spending a year at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris before returning to The Bartlett and its new regime for his final year. Several recent graduates share the spirit, if not the method, of Hellman’s work. Lynn Fox emerged from Kevin Rhowbotham and Nic Clear’s design unit a generation after FAT. Graduates Christian McKenzie, Patrick Chen and Bastian Glaessner began working as computer graphics artists, establishing their reputation with their debut work Hayling for FC Kahuna. They
KEN ADAM 1921-2016 BARTLETT STUDENT 1938-1939
COURTESY OF VICE
Sebastian de la Cour, who work as benandsebastian, also met at The Bartlett as Unit 12 students. They take the language of architecture into the context of the art gallery as a strategy to explore the condition of physical and psychological spaces. Another alumni practice emerging in this area is Post Works led by Melissa Appleton and Matthew Butcher, whose temporary radio station, Writtle Calling: /2emmatoc, and forthcoming The Flood House are temporary built projects that consciously sit between event, performance, art and architecture. On occasion Slade students have contributed to architecture. The Honourable Eileen Gray, designer of a couple of magnificent Modernist houses and some of the most recognisable Modernist furniture, enrolled there in the years either side of 1900 at a time when the walls between the Slade and the architecture department were very porous. In addition, George Grey Wornum, another Slade graduate, won, from hundreds of entries, the competition to design the RIBA’s headquarters completed in 1934. He was also the institute’s Gold Medal laureate in 1952. For several years up to 2014, The Bartlett’s end-of-year show took place in the Slade’s studios.
never wanted to be an architect’, says Ken Adam, the Oscarwinning film production designer famed for his work on Bond films and with Stanley Kubrick. ‘But in 1934 I met Vincent Korda, the great set designer, when he was working on Knight without Armour. I said I wanted to do what he did. He advised me to train as an architect.’ Adam (born Klaus Adam) signed up for evening classes at The Bartlett while articled to CW Glover & Partners. Glover had proposed a circular airport over the sidings at King’s Cross in 1931 and, 30 years on, also devised plans for a new Covent Garden market there, complete with rooftop heliport – this sci-fi world was the antithesis of Albert Richardson’s at The Bartlett. ‘I was a fan of the Bauhaus’, says Adam, ‘but The Bartlett was all fussy Beaux-Arts classicism. A teacher taught me architectural drawing and introduced me to the MARS group for whom I did a lot of sketches.’ Before he could graduate, Adam found himself designing air-raid shelters. Although still a German national, in 1943 he joined the Royal Air Force, serving in the thick of it before, during and after D Day. It wasn’t until 1947 that his film career took off with superb designs including the war room in Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) and the stupendous villain’s lair in You Only Live Twice (1967). ‘It was the largest set ever built for a European film. Blofeld’s secret chamber in an extinct volcano, was 400ft long by 120ft high, requiring 700 tonnes of steel. The lake on top was real and the roof did open. It cost $1 million – a lot of money then. I had to be production designer, engineer, quantity surveyor and, yes, also architect.’ Jonathan Glancey
DEUTSCHE KINEMATHEK - KEN ADAM ARCHIVE. Â© 1963, RENEWED 1991 COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES
Ken Adam on his set for Dr Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
worked with leading architects, broadcasters, scientists and artists from across the world – a recent project was Rome’s Invisible City for the BBC, a documentary on Rome’s subterranean city. The increasing ability of Bartlett alumni to apply digital technologies to design and construction suggests they will continue to influence how architecture is conceived, made and perceived. This is one strand of the path Frédéric Migayrou is mapping for the school; the development of a technique for 3D printing of concrete by 2015 architectural design graduates Amalgamma is a harbinger of what may lie ahead.
(Below) ‘Fossilised’, a recent project by Bartlett MArch Architectural Design graduates Amalgamma (Francesca Camilleri, Nadia Doukhi, Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez and Roman Strukov) (Right) Lynn Fox’s video for Bjork’s ‘Oceania’, 2004 (Opposite) Fleafolly Architects, ‘Grimm City: An Architectural Fairytale’, 2012 (Page 102) Burntwood School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, winner of the 2015 Stirling Prize
LYNN FOX / ONE LITTLE INDIAN
went on to form a long-standing relationship with Björk, creating music videos and visuals for her world tours and her performance at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games. McKenzie and Chen have since moved on to Park Pictures while Bastian Glaessner is now a solo director. Sam Bompas and Bartlett alumnus Harry Parr’s Bompas & Parr mixes architecture with culinary arts, creating unexpected and entertaining gastronomic experiences. Having made their name creating models of buildings in jelly, they have moved on to immersive experiences such as ‘alcoholic architecture’, which stimulates other senses as well as taste. FleaFollyArchitects, with partners Pascal Bronner and Thomas Hillier, makes models and texts that are altogether more architectural, miniaturised and uncanny depictions of structural forms and urban spaces. Other alumni have also embraced digital imaging technology. Squint/Opera, founded by Bartlett alumni, originated as a producer of films that showed what a building would be like, but has gone on to develop skills around image-making, branding and visual strategy. ScanLAB Projects, formed by graduates Matthew Shaw and William Trossell, specialises in exploring the use of large-scale 3D scanning for architecture and the creative industries and has become one of the UK’s pioneering agencies in the field. It is also behind designs for online environments, immersive installations, objects and mobile applications. Founded in 2010, ScanLAB has