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Rank #27 in Visual Arts category

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Visual Arts

About Buildings + Cities

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #27 in Visual Arts category

Arts
Design
Visual Arts
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A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

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A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

iTunes Ratings

160 Ratings
Average Ratings
129
20
6
1
4

Nest architecture podcast I’ve heard yet

By bsteinthal - Feb 21 2020
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Fantastic content, and very engaging presentation. I learned much of this stuff decades ago—bet it would’ve stuck better if I’d heard it from these two. Plus, where does all this fascinating supporting anecdotal info come from?! Love it.

Great Deep Architecture Talk

By kincaidedward8 - Apr 11 2019
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Probably the least colloquial podcast that I regularly listen to, but in a good way.

iTunes Ratings

160 Ratings
Average Ratings
129
20
6
1
4

Nest architecture podcast I’ve heard yet

By bsteinthal - Feb 21 2020
Read more
Fantastic content, and very engaging presentation. I learned much of this stuff decades ago—bet it would’ve stuck better if I’d heard it from these two. Plus, where does all this fascinating supporting anecdotal info come from?! Love it.

Great Deep Architecture Talk

By kincaidedward8 - Apr 11 2019
Read more
Probably the least colloquial podcast that I regularly listen to, but in a good way.
Cover image of About Buildings + Cities

About Buildings + Cities

Latest release on Jul 10, 2020

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A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

Rank #1: 48 — OMA 1989 — Going Big

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Rem Koolhaas and the firm he founded with three partners in 1975 — Office of Metropolitan Architects, OMA — are fascinating, critical and provocative presence within the architectural culture of the 1970s and 1980s, riding the wave of the crisis of modernist collapse while positioning themselves outside or against all of the main tendencies in the post-modern.

In this episode we’re focussing on a particular, transitional moment, in which the early ‘paper’ projects start to be replaced by real buildings and large scale competition entries, culminating in three fascinating competition entries from 1989 — the Zeebrugge Sea Terminal, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) and Très Grand Bibliothèque (TBG).

Lee Rosevere ‘Baldachin’ from the album ‘Music for Podcasts 3’ on the Free Music Archive

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

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Feb 11 2019

1hr 17mins

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Rank #2: 26 – Le Corbusier – 1 – Have Formwork, Will Travel

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We’re taking on the origin story of (for better or worse) the most important architect of the 20th century — Charles-Edouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier. His origins — petit bourgeois, Swiss, provincial — can make his eventual rise to world-enveloping notoriety and era-defining influence seem all the more unlikely. We’re digging into his childhood, family, education and travels as a young man before taking on a couple of early projects.

We discuss — 

  • La Chaux de Fonds
  • Charles L’Eplattanier, his teacher
  • Jugendstil & Art Nouveau

Early projects — 

  • Villa Fallet
  • Villas Stotzer & Jacquemet
  • Villa Jeanneret
  • Villa Favre-Jacot

Travels, and meetings with — 

  • Otto Wagner
  • Josef Hoffmann
  • Vienna Secession Building
  • Auguste Perret
  • Rue Franklin Apartments
  • Peter Behrens
  • Mount Athos

And a more detailed look at — 

  • Villa Schwob (including Colin Rowe’s ‘Mannerism and Modern Architecture’)
  • Maison Domino

We've been reading —

  • Nicholas Fox Weber ‘Le Corbusier: A Life’ (2008)
  • Jean-Louis Cohen ‘Le Corbusier: Le Grand’ (2014)
  • Oppositions 15-16 (1980)

Music — 
The final part of Beethoven’s 9th — the Ode to Joy

An excerpt from —  Mahler: Symphony No. 3: iii. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast from archive.org

Britt Brothers — ‘Alpine Milkman Yodel’ (1933) from archive.org

Thanks for listening!

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Nov 13 2017

1hr 10mins

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Rank #3: 61 — Leon Battista Alberti — 1/2 — De Re Aedificatoria

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In this first episode of a two parter, we tackle the original big beautiful bouncing boy of the High Italian Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti, and his 1485 blockbuster publication, On the Art of Building in Ten Books. After Vitruvius' original Ten Books, De Re Aedificatoria represents only the second explicitly architectural treatise in the history of Western Architecture. Alberti's work covers everything you'd need to start building and much more, including: sacrificial animal murder; mysterious gases that leak from the ground; how best to control a mob; endless quotations from Classical sources and some ruminations on the nature of beauty. We also discuss the historical context of Renaissance Italy, Florentine class-warfare shenanigans and the many strange and unexpected twists and turns of this enigmatic cornerstone of the canon. In the second episode we will be discussing Alberti's buildings!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Nov 05 2019

1hr 39mins

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Rank #4: 03 – How To Run An Efficient Dystopia – Taylorism and Science Fiction Cities

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George & Luke survey three dystopian cities; the glass perfection of Yvegny Zamyatin’s ‘We’, the consumer World State of Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, and the shattered ruin of George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Competing visions of technological progress gone awry, and the real-world ideas that inspired them.

We read:
Yvegeny Zamyatin ‘We’ tr. Clarence Brown (Penguin, 1993)
Aldous Huxley ‘Brave New World’ (1932)
George Orwell ‘1984’ (1948)

Music:
‘Shadows’, ‘Fearweaver’, ‘Bindings’ and ‘Demons’ from the album ‘Phantoms’ by Three Chain Links. From the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org

Aug 24 2016

1hr 34mins

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Rank #5: 46 — Robert Venturi's 'Complexity & Contradiction' — Valid Banalities

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For the first AB+C of 2019 we’re tackling one of the seminal texts of the 1960s, and an iconic moment in the stylistic overthrow of the postwar modernist order — Robert Venturi’s ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ (1966). It’s a slim, lavishly illustrated volume, which seems lucid and straightforward, but upon closer reading turns out to be much more elusive. What are complexity and contradiction, where are they found, and what are architects supposed to do with them?

On the bonus we’ll be discussing the early projects of Venturi and Rauch.

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus — a streaming learning service with video lectures by experts in all sorts of fields. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/BUILDINGS to get a month of free access to thousands of courses.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

Jan 14 2019

1hr 55mins

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Rank #6: 59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

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As requested by the listeners, part one of a two parter on Reyner Banham!

Banham was an architectural critic, historian, scenester and prophet of the future, with a flair for iconoclastic and pugilistic writing. In this first episode we discuss his background in Norwich and his studies at the Courtauld Institute under Nikolaus Pevsner, where he wrote his PhD on the history of the modern movement. We then consider his involvement with 'The Independent Group' at the Institute of Contemporary Art, his support for the 'New Brutalism' of Alison and Peter Smithson, and his role in British architectural culture.

Central to the development of Banham's project was his obsession with technology and his growing fascination with the potentials of American consumerism and the ways it might change architecture. We conclude with his ecstatic vision of the mechanical pudenda of technological architecture, in his first visits to America and his plastic bag homes.

Here are the key Banham texts we discussed in this episode:

PhD thesis (later to be published as Theory and Design in the First Machine Age)

'School at Hunstanton, Norfolk' Architectural Review, September 1954

'The Machine Aesthetic' Architectural Review, April 1955

'Vehicles of Desire' Art, September 1955

'The New Brutalism' Architectural Review, December 1955

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, 1960

'The History of the Immediate Future' RIBA Journal, May 1961

'What Architecture of Technology?' Architectural Review, February 1962

'A Clip-On Architecture' Design Quarterly 63, 1965

'A Home is Not a House' Art in America, Vol. 2 1965

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Sep 22 2019

1hr 22mins

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Rank #7: 40 — '2001 – A Space Odyssey' 1/2 — Pink Upholstery in Cartesian Space

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Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001 a space odyssey is the iconic depiction of space travel, channeling the optimism and excitement of radical advances in space exploration and technology. It’s an uncompromising, utterly singular film, whose vision of a possible future is carried through comprehensively. Its scope and ambition are still basically unequalled. Kubrick is famous for the obsessiveness of his research — in this case bringing in expertise from leading scientists, cutting edge digital pioneers, animators, makers of special effects. As a result, 2001 seems to capture the imagination of a very particular era of technological optimism in the mid 1960s in America and worldwide.

We talk about the film, its amazing worlds and interiors, the Worlds Fairs in Seattle and New York which were a proving ground for many of those involved, as well as passing references to — Chris Marker’s La Jetee
— Charles and Ray Eames
— Xerox PARC
— Superstudio

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. On this episode's bonus — we're talking Osaka Expo and Space habitats.

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Aug 02 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #8: 39 — Catastrophe Curves — Early 90s Computer Architecture

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The 1990s were when computers really entered the mainstream of architecture. The rise of personal computing, with wider access to inexpensive machines, the world wide web, advances in software and hardware, all took place against the background of global political transformation that at the time was theorised as the End of History, the breakup of the Soviet Union, democratisation, and the apparent rise of a single, global, liberal capitalist world order.

But the exploration of CAD, rendering, generative design and CNC manufacture would all be theorised through a pre-existing set of ideas and agendas, drawing heavily on ‘French theory’ — Derrida, (and particularly) Deleuze — and a partially pre-digested blend of complexity mathematics. We find ourselves — among the blobs, deformed surfaces, landscapes and evolutionary forms — in a world of ‘affective singularities’, ‘the Fold’, pliancy, Catastrophe Theory…

We talk technology, key actors, and attempt a glossary of key concepts…

Under discussion — 
— Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture
— Revit / BIM
— The F117 and B2 defense projects
— Peter Eisenman
— John Frazer
— MIT Computer Lab
— the Bilbao Guggenheim
— Cardiff opera house
— Yokohama ferry terminal
— NOX’s Freshwater and Saltwater pavilions
— The Affective
— Catastrophe Theory
— D’Arcy Thompson
— The Fold
— Singularity
— Max Reinhardt Haus
— Phallogocentrism & Helene Cixous

Recordings are from Peter Eisenman’s Lecture ‘Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media’ (1993) (AA archive)[https://www.aaschool.ac.uk//VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=737]

Music —
Lee Rosevere ‘Quizitive’
Lee Rosevere ‘Curiosity’
Lee Rosevere ‘Thoughtful’ all from (Free Music Archive)[freemusicarchive.org]

Clips of —  Awesome 3 ‘Don’t Go’ (1992)
Liquid ‘Sweet Harmony’ (1992)
2 Bad Mice ‘Bombscare’ (1992)
M.A.N.I.C ‘I’m Coming Hardcore’ (Original Mix) (1991)

*Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. *

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Jul 17 2018

1hr 31mins

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Rank #9: 18 – Junkspace – Rem Koolhaas & the End of Architecture

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A fuzzy empire of blur, a low grade purgatory, a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends…

We're discussing Junkspace (2001), Rem Koolhaas's notoriously elliptical wander through the dystopian and formless morass of early 21st retail architecture that seems gradually to be devouring the city, and the world.

In keeping with the essay, the episode is radically unstructured, only barely makes sense, and is held together largely by hyperbole.

We discussed –
– Rem Koolhaas and OMA
– The books SMLXL and Delirious New York
Exodus: The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture
– Frederic Jameson's review of Junkspace in NLR 21 (2003)
– Jameson's Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991)
– Walter Benajmin's Passagenwerk or Arcades Project

Music –
'Ruca' and 'Agnes' from the album 'Teal' by Rod Hamilton
and 'Curiosity', 'Quisitive' and 'Biking in the Park' from the album 'Music for Podcasts' by Lee Rosevere; both from the Free Music Archive
Blue Gas 'Shadows From Nowhere' (1984)

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Apr 17 2017

1hr 3mins

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Rank #10: 34 — Adolf Loos's 'Ornament and Crime' — Bathroom Kink

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Adolf Loos’s essay ‘Ornament and Crime’ (1910) is considered the classic modernist polemic against the frills and folderols of the established arts of the day.

We're in the city of Freud — and the neurotic subtext is very close to the surface.

We discuss a little of Loos’s career as an architectural iconoclast, jersey fanatic, and pervert :-/

Then we go on to a more freeform discussion of ornament in the contemporary, during which we massively contradict ourselves several times.

We discussed — 

  • Freud Nietzsche Hegel Darwin
  • Louis Sullivan
  • Mrs Beeton
  • English Free Building — Hermann Muthesius
  • Peter Behrens
  • Karl Friedrich Schinkel
  • Joseph Maria Olbrich
  • Henry van der Velde
  • Joseph Hoffmann
  • Josephine Baker’s 'Banana Dance'
  • The black granite bathroom at Villa Karma
  • (On the subject of reprehensible characters) Albert Speer

Contemporary ornamenters — 

  • Caruso St John
  • Farshid Moussavi & her book on facades

Music — 

  • Victor Sylvester and his Ballroom Orchestra ‘Vienna, City of my Dreams’
  • The Three Suns ‘Alt Wien’ (1949)
  • Philharmonic Orchestra Berlin ‘Von Wien durch die Welt'
  • Oldbrig's zither trio ‘Wien bliebt Wien’
    All from archive.org

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Apr 10 2018

1hr 5mins

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Rank #11: 62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

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62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

Having discussed his magnum opus, 'De Re Aedificatoria' in the last episode, here we discuss the curious collection of buildings that Alberti designed across Italy over the course of his lifetime. From the hulking and austere white stone of the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini to the carefully proportioned fine marble inlay of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence, these buildings have a unique feeling, that reflects the idiosyncratic interests of Alberti in conjuring the authentic mood of Classical Architecture, within the confines of his rigid understanding of proportion and geometry. These moments of strangeness are heightened by the incomplete nature of much of the work, and his own distance from the construction process, most of which he directed by letter. Make sure you check out the pinned story on our instagram for this episode, where you will find lots of high quality images of the buildings we're discussing.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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Dec 09 2019

1hr 48mins

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Rank #12: 47 — Venturi Scott-Brown & Learning From Las Vegas

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We continue our discussion of the theoretical works of Robert Venturi with this episode on ‘Learning from Las Vegas — The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form’ — researched and written with Denise Scott-Brown and Steven Izenour, and published in 1972.

The book, which examines the architecture of the Vegas strip, is the origin of the famous ‘Duck vs Decorated Shed’ comparison, and contains a lot else besides, including denunciations of the cult of Space, praise for the ‘ugly and ordinary,’ a certain amount of ostentatiously-wielded erudition, and so on.

Music:
Al Smith 'Road House' https://archive.org/details/78road-houseal-smith-a-smith-c-carter_gbia0054635a

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus — a streaming learning service with video lectures by experts in all sorts of fields. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/BUILDINGS to get a month of free access to thousands of courses.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

Jan 28 2019

1hr 30mins

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Rank #13: 37 — Le Corbusier — 8 — Five Points Towards a New Architecture

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We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode.

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerret's 'Five Points' (1926) were an attempt to condense the fundamental structural and design principles underlying their new architecture. Drawing on the discoveries made during design and construction of their early villa projects, the points are in a sense the culmination and fulfillment of the original 'Maison Domino' idea of 1914.

The points set the template for the most famous 'Purist' villas of the later 1920s, culminating in the Villas Stein-La Monzie and Savoye, icons of what became the 'International Style.'

This episode started off as a single chat but there was too much so we've split it.

We discuss —  — Villa Church (need photos of spaces)
— Pierre Chenal's film 'L'architecture d'aujourd'hui'
— Five points towards a new architecture
— Villa Meyer
— Villa Ocampo
— Ramps
— Villa Cook

Music — 'Modern Design' Johnny Messner And His Orchestra from archive.org

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Jul 01 2018

41mins

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Rank #14: 13 – Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' – 1 of 2

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This isn't one of those book reviews where you're expected to read the book first – we did it so you don't have to.

Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' is a 750 page long novel which at times is physically painful to read. It's a supposedly 'philosophical' book in which none of the motivations and actions of the characters make any sense. People have long conversations which are nearly impossible to follow. Rand maunders on about apparently random bits of mise-en-scene for pages. Even if you were going to live for a thousand years, it would still be an outrageous misuse of your time.

In spite of this, it's probably the most successful and influential depiction of an architect in fiction – the indominatable will of one (orange haired) man, Howard Roark, pitted against the entire resources of a corrupt and servile society, determined to try and make him care about other people's well-being.

Millions of people have read (and claimed to enjoy!) it.

We've had a moderately good time making fun of it.

Expect bad language and worse politics throughout.

Features music by Chris Zabriskie –
'Heliograph' from the album 'Divider', 'The Dark Glow of the Mountains', 'I need to start writing things down' and 'We always thought the future would be kind of fun' from the album 'The Dark Glow of Mountains' and 'Cylinder 3' from the album 'Cylinders'. All at the Free Music Archive

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Jan 30 2017

56mins

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Rank #15: 38 — Le Corbusier — 9 — Villa Stein & Villa Savoye

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We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode.

Projects like the Villa Stein and Villa Savoye are icons of modernist architecture — among the most famous of all modern buildings — images and symbols of what modern architecture is. Below all the machine age crispness, there's also a certain amount of weird bourgeois sex stuff as well.

This is the second part of the conversation we began in episode 37 — it's best to listen to that one first.

Music — 
'Easy Living' Bob Howard and his Orchestra from archive.org

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Jul 02 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #16: 42 — John Ruskin — Rock Lover

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John Ruskin’s ‘Stones of Venice’ is one of the monuments of architectural theory in the 19th century. But it’s a hard book to get through, or to get inside. It’s incredibly long, and animated by a kind of moralistic passion that feels a little alien, at best quaint, or childish. Part of the reason is that Ruskin was a Victorian — indeed, one of the great formers of Victorian taste.

We were planning to talk about the first part of the book, but in the end we just spent the whole episode trying to get to grips with what that means. Why was he like this?

We’ll read the first two parts in the next episode. Thanks for being patient!

As usual we got a couple of things wrong — Little Nell is actually in ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. Also the number of volumes of ‘modern painters’ isn’t five — there are 7, actually — though often sold as five volumes.

Music — 
Tita Ruffo ‘Visione Veneziana’

Audio includes — the following site recordings from the Radio Aporee project on archive.org
Ksamil, Albanie - Midnight waves / by François-Emmanuel Fodéré (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee2534929390]
17590 Ars-en-Ré, France - Waves wheeling / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee4030746036]
river Drava, Loka - dry grass, river flow, stones / by OR poiesis (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee2505729057]
larnichtsberg, swallows, crows and insects / by Frank Schulte (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee1154413596]
Venice, Italy - fish market / by Carlos Santos (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee1646119081]
12230 Nant, France - Nant bells / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3222937026]
Ksamil, Ksamil island, District de Sarandë, Albanie - Waves and waves / by François-Emmanuel Fodéré (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3014034668]
Bruges, Belgique - Brugge bells / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3179836523]

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

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Sep 30 2018

1hr 20mins

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Rank #17: 60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

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In our second and final episode on Reyner Banham, we discuss his pivot to Los Angeles, his love affair with Archigram, his theories of Megastructure, and his later projects on American industrial vernacular ('Concrete Atlantis') and his unpublished book about the High-Tech movement.

After his support of the Smithsons and the 'New Brutalism' Banham was next renowned for supporting and publicising the work of English paper-architecture utopia-envisioners Archigram. We discuss Archigram, their lack of built fabric and the potentials of ecstatic 1960s techno-optimism. Banham's most iconic work is probably his 1972 documentary 'Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles' and we discuss the documentary, Banham's idiosyncratic presenting style, as well as his blind spots around race, class, and the un-freedom of bottomless consumption. You will hear a series of clips from the documentary scattered through the episode. We also reflect on Banham's legacy, the revival of his reputation, and the difficulties of techno-optimism in the face of the climate crisis.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. The next bonus episode will be discussing the ropily-acted Sci-Fi cult classic 'Silent Running' in all its Banham-ite glory.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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Oct 10 2019

1hr 21mins

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Rank #18: 04 – Barbican Estate – Establishment Brutalism

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Exploring the history and architecture of the inimitable Barbican Estate, the joys of brutalism, concrete, late modernist planning, concealed historical references, getting lost, etc. Includes a couple of short forays into the imagined lives of inhabitants and visitors...

Music includes:
‘Β6’ from the album ‘ΝΕΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΚΟΚΚΑΛΑ’ by Kοκκαλα and ‘Heavy Traffic’ from the album ‘The Happiest Days Of Our Lives’ by Three Chain Links. Both from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org

Look at pictures on our Google+ page:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822

Aug 29 2016

1hr 2mins

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Rank #19: 31 – Le Corbusier – 5 – Urbanism – Of Men & Asses

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The first of a two part episode exploring Le Corbusier’s infamous and much-derided urban proposals, exhibited in the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in 1925. In this part, we’re conducting a close reading of ‘Urbanism’ (sometimes known as ‘The City of Tomorrow and its Planning’).

We mostly stayed on topic but there are allusions to

  • Camillo Sitte
  • Augustus Welby Pugin’s ‘Comparisons’

Music —

  • Glass Boy ‘WELP’
  • Lovira ‘All Things Considered’
  • Loyalty Freak Music ‘Once More With You’ and ‘Waiting TTTT’
  • Three Chain Links ‘Heavy Traffic’
  • All from the Free Music Archive

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Feb 13 2018

53mins

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Rank #20: 15 – Michelangelo – 1 of 3 – David and the Sistine & Medici Chapels

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The first of a three-parter in which we try to understand the work, and myth, of Michelangelo Buonarroti, referred to by followers as ‘the Divine’, and genuinely described by his biographer as a messenger sent from God to stop people from doing bad art.

It’s a long recording and we may have spent a bit too long talking about the ‘New Sacristy’ in Florence. But the 15 minute, rhapsodic description of David’s perfect body?

We regret it Not At All.

Some slightly excessive chat about a particular part of David's body but otherwise extremely wholesome.

Music –
GF Handel’s ‘Unto us a son is born’
‘Kyrie Chant’ from Cantores in Ecclesia on archive.org https://archive.org/details/CantoresInEcclesia/05Track5.wma

Outro:
Kano ‘I Need Love’ (Full Time / Zig Zag, 1983)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AypT-SaUJE

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Mar 06 2017

1hr 26mins

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71 — Christopher Alexander — 2/2 — Pattern Language

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In our second episode on Christopher Alexander, we discuss 'A Pattern Language', the book he wrote with Murray Silverstein and Sara Ishikawa, published in 1977. The text proposes a list of patterns, derived from experience, imagination and vernacular traditions, from the scale of the city to the balcony and the flowerbed. The text has been influential on many professions, from architects to computer programmers, and its blend of universal claims, spatial analysis, political idiosyncrasy and design logic makes it a unique and intriguing piece of theory. We then discuss some of Alexander's buildings, which we admittedly have not been to visit, but generally we find them to be somewhat wanting!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EcyqtGiWkAEMrgH?format=jpg&name=900x900" title="Sala House" />

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EcyqtGiWkAEMrgH?format=jpg&name=900x900" alt="Sala House"
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Jul 10 2020

1hr 26mins

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70 — Christopher Alexander — 1/2 —Notes on the Synthesis of Form

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This is the first episode of a new series on Design Theorist, Architect, Mathematician and Computation Fan, Christopher Alexander. Alexander studied Mathematics at Cambridge University in the 1950s, then undertook the first ever PhD in Architecture at Harvard, where he applied newly emerging ideas of computational analysis to questions of design. The results of this combination are bizarre, often illogical, undeniably of there time, but also lay the foundations for much subsequent interaction between design and computation, including the Parametricism that we discussed in our last series on Zaha Hadid. In this first episode we mainly discuss his 1964 work Notes on the Synthesis of Form, which was based on his PhD thesis. Make sure to subscribe to catch the next episode, where we will discuss his 1977 work with Ishikawa and Silverstein, Pattern Language.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Jun 17 2020

48mins

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69 — Zaha Hadid — 4/4 — The Parametric Years

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In this final episode on Zaha Hadid we discuss a small fraction of the huge number of projects that ZHA produced from the early noughties up to Zaha's untimely death in 2016. We attempt to reflect on Zaha's legacy as a designer, try to understand what concepts defined her design process, from Parametricism to pure sculptural form. There are so many projects from this period that we could have talked about, so we focus on discussing the most

Projects discussed: Maxxi Museum in Rome, Ordrupgaard Museum Extension in Denmark, Phaeno Science Centre in Wolfsburg, the Kartal Masterplan proposed for Istanbul, Bergisel Ski Jump and the Nordpark railway stations in Innbruck, the London Aquatic Centre built for the 2012 Olympics, the Library at the University of Economics in Vienna, Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, the SOHO projects in Beijing and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Saudi Arabia.

Pictures of all these projects will be on our pinned instagram story titled 'Zaha 4'.

The site recording at the London Aquatics Centre will be published in full on our Patreon, which you can access for just $3 a month.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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May 17 2020

1hr 39mins

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68 — Zaha Hadid — 3/4 — Vitra to Cardiff

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The third part of our ongoing series on Zaha Hadid! In this episode we discuss the early buildings of the practice, including IBA housing in Berlin, Vitra Fire Station, Spittelau Viaduct Housing, and the unbuilt competition winning design for the Cardiff Opera House. As always, make sure you check out our pinned instagram story to see pictures of all of the projects we discuss. Thanks for listening!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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May 03 2020

1hr 23mins

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Bonus Unlocked — 48.5 — OMA — Bigness

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UNLOCKED PATREON BONUS

This unlocked bonus episode comes from our Patreon feed, where we post extra content and bonus discussions with every episode of the podcast. This bonus follows on from Episode 48, discussing the early projects of OMA and the theory of BIGNESS developed by Rem Koolhaas. If you want to access many hours of bonus material like this, you can subscribe to our Patreon for just $3 a month at www.patreon.com/about_buildings.

Our series on Zaha Hadid will continue next week.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Apr 22 2020

34mins

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67 — Zaha Hadid — 2/4 — The Peak

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In our second episode on Zaha Hadid, we're covering the rest of the 1980s, from the competition to design the Peak Leisure Centre in Hong Kong, to the Deconstructivism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The episode also includes an interview with Andrew King, a principal at Lemay Architects in Canada, Professor at McGill University and winner of two AIA Progressive Architecture Awards. In the late 1980s Andrew worked in Zaha's office, and the interview gives a wonderful insight into Zaha's method and the close personal relationships she forged with people who worked for her. We want to warmly thank Andrew for his time and memories of Zaha, and also thank friend of the show Kai Woolner-Pratt for putting us in touch with him. If you want to listen to the full length interview, you can find it on our Patreon.

Make sure you check out the Zaha Hadid pinned story on our instagram to see all the images for this episode.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Apr 14 2020

1hr 4mins

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66 — Zaha Hadid — 1/4 — AA Days

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In our first episode on Zaha Hadid, we dive into the spell-binding work of one of the most famous, controversial and interesting architects of her generation. We begin by imagining the unique atmosphere of the Architectural Association in the 1970s, where Zaha was a student, taught by Leon Krier, Rem Koolhaas and innumerable other architectural luminaries. We examine two of her student projects, Malevich's Tektonik and A Museum for the 19th Century, both heavily influenced by an interest in Russian revolutionary avant-garde art, from Suprematism to Constructivism. We then discuss one of her earliest competition entries, the residence for the Irish Taoiseach in 1979. In the next episode we will cover her competition entry for the Peak in Hong Kong and interview Professor Andrew King, who worked at her office in the late 1980s.

The Rem Koolhaas lecture that Luke discusses in the episode can be found on the AA Lecture Archive.

Go to Instagram, and have a look at our pinned story for Zaha, which will include all the images you could desire in the correct order with captions and explanations.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Apr 08 2020

58mins

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65 — Andrei Tarkovsky — 3/3 — Nostalghia and The Sacrifice

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In our final episode on Andrei Tarkovsky, we discuss the two films he directed after leaving the Soviet Union: Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986). Both films see a continued intensification of the directorial moves that Tarkovsky had been developing for his whole career: from heightened and ecstatic soundtracks to long and suspenseful shots; from close-ups of valuable objects in the mud to underdeveloped and over-emotional female characters. The films both draw heavily on the landscapes of Northern Italy and the island of Gotland in Sweden, which are rendered sublimely beautiful through Tarkovsky's unique blend of painterly compositions and disorientating surrealism. We hope you enjoyed this series on the films of Tarkovsky, next up we will be returning to architecture in the company of the inimitable Zaha Hadid!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Mar 17 2020

1hr 15mins

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64 — Andrei Tarkovsky — 2/3 — Stalker

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In our second episode on Soviet director and auteur Andrei Tarkovsky we discuss his most well known film and possibly his magnum opus, Stalker (1979). The last film that Tarkovsky made whilst living in the Soviet Union, Stalker is loosely adapted from the novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

In Stalker, Tarkovsky takes decaying the post-industrial ruinous landscapes and transforms them into the mysterious 'Zone', a land full of hidden rules and invisible threats, that our trio of anguished and existentially angsty protagonists must traverse. Our characters are the Writer and the Professor, guided through the mysterious and dreamlike landscape by the eponymous Stalker. In this episode we discuss the unique artistic and technical feats that make this movie such a cult classic, and some of our quibbles with Tarkovsky's ethic.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Feb 28 2020

1hr 7mins

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63 — Andrei Tarkovsky — 1/3 — Setting the Stage

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In this first part of our new series on legendary Russian director Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky we discuss his early films: Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972) and Mirror (1975). We will also be releasing a Patreon bonus very shortly with discussions of the work Tarkovsky did whilst studying at film school, including The Violin and the Steamroller (1961).

Tarkovsky's work is greatly favoured among architects, despite not being explicitly architectural. His strange dream-like visions conjure up a unique spatial experience, with strange and often confusing materiality that hovers somewhere between a childhood memory and a disturbing nightmare. In this episode we discuss his interest in the paintings of Bruegel, the importance of faith to his work, his overpowering Oedipal complex, his run-ins with the Soviet authorities, and the artificial naturalism of his sets.

Make sure you subscribe to catch our next Tarkovsky episode, where we will be discussing Stalker (1979).

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Feb 03 2020

1hr 35mins

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62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

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62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

Having discussed his magnum opus, 'De Re Aedificatoria' in the last episode, here we discuss the curious collection of buildings that Alberti designed across Italy over the course of his lifetime. From the hulking and austere white stone of the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini to the carefully proportioned fine marble inlay of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence, these buildings have a unique feeling, that reflects the idiosyncratic interests of Alberti in conjuring the authentic mood of Classical Architecture, within the confines of his rigid understanding of proportion and geometry. These moments of strangeness are heightened by the incomplete nature of much of the work, and his own distance from the construction process, most of which he directed by letter. Make sure you check out the pinned story on our instagram for this episode, where you will find lots of high quality images of the buildings we're discussing.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Dec 09 2019

1hr 48mins

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61 — Leon Battista Alberti — 1/2 — De Re Aedificatoria

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In this first episode of a two parter, we tackle the original big beautiful bouncing boy of the High Italian Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti, and his 1485 blockbuster publication, On the Art of Building in Ten Books. After Vitruvius' original Ten Books, De Re Aedificatoria represents only the second explicitly architectural treatise in the history of Western Architecture. Alberti's work covers everything you'd need to start building and much more, including: sacrificial animal murder; mysterious gases that leak from the ground; how best to control a mob; endless quotations from Classical sources and some ruminations on the nature of beauty. We also discuss the historical context of Renaissance Italy, Florentine class-warfare shenanigans and the many strange and unexpected twists and turns of this enigmatic cornerstone of the canon. In the second episode we will be discussing Alberti's buildings!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Nov 05 2019

1hr 39mins

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60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

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In our second and final episode on Reyner Banham, we discuss his pivot to Los Angeles, his love affair with Archigram, his theories of Megastructure, and his later projects on American industrial vernacular ('Concrete Atlantis') and his unpublished book about the High-Tech movement.

After his support of the Smithsons and the 'New Brutalism' Banham was next renowned for supporting and publicising the work of English paper-architecture utopia-envisioners Archigram. We discuss Archigram, their lack of built fabric and the potentials of ecstatic 1960s techno-optimism. Banham's most iconic work is probably his 1972 documentary 'Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles' and we discuss the documentary, Banham's idiosyncratic presenting style, as well as his blind spots around race, class, and the un-freedom of bottomless consumption. You will hear a series of clips from the documentary scattered through the episode. We also reflect on Banham's legacy, the revival of his reputation, and the difficulties of techno-optimism in the face of the climate crisis.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. The next bonus episode will be discussing the ropily-acted Sci-Fi cult classic 'Silent Running' in all its Banham-ite glory.

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Oct 10 2019

1hr 21mins

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59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

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As requested by the listeners, part one of a two parter on Reyner Banham!

Banham was an architectural critic, historian, scenester and prophet of the future, with a flair for iconoclastic and pugilistic writing. In this first episode we discuss his background in Norwich and his studies at the Courtauld Institute under Nikolaus Pevsner, where he wrote his PhD on the history of the modern movement. We then consider his involvement with 'The Independent Group' at the Institute of Contemporary Art, his support for the 'New Brutalism' of Alison and Peter Smithson, and his role in British architectural culture.

Central to the development of Banham's project was his obsession with technology and his growing fascination with the potentials of American consumerism and the ways it might change architecture. We conclude with his ecstatic vision of the mechanical pudenda of technological architecture, in his first visits to America and his plastic bag homes.

Here are the key Banham texts we discussed in this episode:

PhD thesis (later to be published as Theory and Design in the First Machine Age)

'School at Hunstanton, Norfolk' Architectural Review, September 1954

'The Machine Aesthetic' Architectural Review, April 1955

'Vehicles of Desire' Art, September 1955

'The New Brutalism' Architectural Review, December 1955

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, 1960

'The History of the Immediate Future' RIBA Journal, May 1961

'What Architecture of Technology?' Architectural Review, February 1962

'A Clip-On Architecture' Design Quarterly 63, 1965

'A Home is Not a House' Art in America, Vol. 2 1965

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Sep 22 2019

1hr 22mins

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58 — The Reactionaries — 3/3 — The Empire Strikes Back

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In our final episode on Reactionaries, we explore the politics and theory that underpinned the reactionary rejection of Modernism in the 70s and 80s. We discuss Prince Charles' architectural interventions and the theories of our future king's favourite architect, Leon Krier (and Krier's problematic fave, Albert Speer). We also dive into the hotbed of Trad theorising, Peterhouse College Cambridge, and its two favourite sons, architectural historian David Watkin and philosopher Roger Scruton. We explore the framing of traditionalist theory against modernist hegemony, and ask if the architectural consensus of the 21st century is a bit more Trad than some advocates would admit.

We also dip our toes into the culture war, and ask questions about the political connotations of architectural style in the age of social media. Is an obsession with style actually holding us back from confronting the real social, economic and political problems that ail the city? Ultimately, we lament the destruction of good architecture of any style, with a poignant reflection on the proposed fate of the Aton Estate in Roehampton

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Aug 19 2019

1hr 21mins

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57 — The Reactionaries — 2/3 — Caesar's Palace without the Fun

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In our second episode on Reactionaries, we explore the rejection of modernism by traditionalist architects and theorists in England after the Second World War. Modernism became the hegemonic architectural and urbanist mode in England during this period, and we examine those who rejected the consensus, and sought to continue the retreat into the past, designing architecture that occasionally verges on Caesar's Palace, without any of the fun.

In this episode, we discuss Raymond Erith, the traditionalist architect who restored Number 10 Downing Street in the 1960s. We go on to discuss his pupil, Quinlan Terry, whose Richmond Riverside Development we went to visit and recorded our observations in situ. Their stodgy, and often unsuccessful attempts to revive and reconjure a classical vernacular expresses a political and ideological agenda that we attempt to unpack, and will go on to discuss in our final episode on the Reactionaries.

As always, find images on our social media feeds, and footage from the trip to Richmond in a pinned story on our instagram.

There will be a bonus episode discussing the cult 60s TV Show The Prisoner for Patreon Subscribers.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Aug 01 2019

1hr 23mins

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Conversation 3 — Dulwich Picture Gallery — Soane in The Colour Palace

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This is the audio from our live panel discussion at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where we were joined by the gallery's assistant curator, Helen Hillyard, and Neba Sere, founder of WUH Architecture and co-director of Black Females in Architecture. The discussion took place in the gallery's summer pavilion, the Colour Palace, which we strongly recommend going to visit.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery was designed by John Soane in the early 19th Century. In this panel we discuss Soane, polychromy, tombs, the architecture of cultural institutions, and the social context of the gallery.

The images from the presentations can be found, with timestamps, on a pinned story on our instagram, so you can follow the images along as you listen. Let us know if you like this feature, and we will incorporate it into other episodes!

Thank you to everyone at the Dulwich Picture Gallery for making this event possible.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Jul 27 2019

1hr 11mins

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56 — The Reactionaries — 1/3 — Interwar Anxieties

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Come and see us record a live episode at Dulwich Picture Gallery on the 26th June! We'd love to meet you!

Modernist Architecture has always had more than its fair share of critics. In this episode, the first of a two parter, we discuss the reactionary, counter-revolutionary opposition to modernism in Britain during the interwar period. First, comes an examination of the stodgy, flag-waving, imperialist Classicism of the Edwardian era, which Luke thinks includes some of the worst architecture in Britain. One of the perpetrators of that style, Reginald Blomfield, wrote a patriotic screed against the continental, ‘cosmopolitan’ Modern architecture, which he subtly titled ‘Modernismus.’ We also examine Lutyens’ review of ‘Towards a New Architecture,’ a critique of Corbusier’s theory, but also a refutation of modernism as an appropriate style for living in. Lastly we consider the slightly outlandish ‘England and the Octopus’ by the eccentric architect Clough William Ellis, famous for designing the town sized folly of Portmeirion in North Wales. Fruity characters, problematic tropes and anxiety about a declining Empire abound.

In the bonus episode we will discuss the Evelyn Waugh's 'Decline and Fall.'

This episode is sponsored by The Article Trade Program.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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Jun 17 2019

1hr 27mins

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55 — Katsuhiro Otomo's 'Akira' — 3/3 — Good for Health, Bad for Education

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In this concluding part of our discussion, we interview Anna Mill, artist of ‘Square Eyes’ about Akira from the point of view of an illustrator, and also discuss the feature length Akira anime (1988), and the wonderful soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi.

You can find more about Square Eyes here.

This episode is sponsored by the Article Trade Program

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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May 30 2019

1hr 8mins

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54 — Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 2/3 — Exploding Neo-Tokyo Twice

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In the second part of our discussion, we talk through the whole, incredibly epic six-volume manga 'Akira' from start to finish.

Music is from the soundtrack to the film 'Akira' by Geinoh Yamashirogumi.

This episode is sponsored by the Article Trade Program and The Great Courses Plus

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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May 15 2019

1hr 10mins

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iTunes Ratings

160 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Nest architecture podcast I’ve heard yet

By bsteinthal - Feb 21 2020
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Fantastic content, and very engaging presentation. I learned much of this stuff decades ago—bet it would’ve stuck better if I’d heard it from these two. Plus, where does all this fascinating supporting anecdotal info come from?! Love it.

Great Deep Architecture Talk

By kincaidedward8 - Apr 11 2019
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Probably the least colloquial podcast that I regularly listen to, but in a good way.