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In our first episode on Carlo Scarpa, we're trying something new! We've made a video to accompany the episode that you can find on our YouTube Channel, in which you can watch Luke and George discuss the enigmatic architecture of Carlo Scarpa, accompanied by images of the buildings! Make sure you subscribe on YouTube to keep up to date. This is an e…
 
In the final episode in our series on Ian Nairn, we discussed the 1967 book 'Britain's Changing Towns' and the BBC television work that has granted Nairn a viral afterlife on YouTube. Here's the Nairn clip from the outro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K-53widcdY You can find all the Nairn tv shows we discussed in the episode by simply searching …
 
In the second episode of our series on Ian Nairn, we talked about Nairn's London, the 1966 architectural guide to the city which was the critic's magnum opus. We discussed his inimitable prose style, his deep knowledge of the buildings of London, the afterlife of the book and its un-propositional nature. This episode includes clips from a walking t…
 
The first episode in our new series on the work of architectural critic Ian Nairn. In this first episode we discussed his breakout work for the Architectural Review, Outrage, which railed against 'subtopia', the suburban sprawl of concrete and fencing that Nairn saw ruining the British environment in the decades after World War 2. We also discussed…
 
Our final episode on Otto Wagner considers his relationship to modernism, asking whether Wagner was a predecessor to modernism. We discussed his most modern building, the Österreichische Postsparkasse or Austrian Postal Savings Bank, like so much in Vienna at this time, a coming together of the old world and the new. Our next series on Ian Nairn wi…
 
In the penultimate episode in our series on Otto Wagner, we discussed Wagner's most famous projects, the art nouveau works produced at the height of the Vienna Secession. We talked about the Majolikahaus, other art nouveau apartment blocks, the Karlsplatz stadtbahn station and his transcendent Kirche am Steinhof designed for a psychiatric hospital …
 
This is a preview of our latest bonus episode on Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession, get access to the full episode on our Patreon. In this episode we discussed the work of the Vienna Secession beyond Otto Wagner, particularly the artist Gustav Klimt. The Secession were a group of radical artists who were central to establishing the Art Nouveau …
 
In this episode, we talked about the middle stage of Otto Wagner's career, primarily his work on the infrastructure of the city of Vienna. Visit our instagram and Twitter for pictures of the dams, railway stations and bridges that shaped Viennese modernity and provided the infrastructure for this rapidly growing city. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Robert…
 
In our second episode on Otto Wagner, we discussed a couple of Wagner's early buildings, specifically the Landerbank in Vienna and the Rumbach Street Synagogue in Budapest. Both are tantalising glimpses of the themes that would dominate his later, most famous works. We then discussed the architectural theory that was being produced in vast quantiti…
 
This is the first episode in our new series on Otto Wagner. In it we discussed 19th century Vienna, an ancient city wracked by extremes of urbanisation and population boom; political radicalism and revolution. A crumbling ancient order and an emerging modern metropolis came to create the Ringstraße, a vast redevelopment programme that took the empt…
 
This is a preview of a bonus episode we published on Patreon as part of our series of WG Sebald's 'Austerlitz', subscribe to our Patreon to subscribe and get access to our back catalogue of bonus episodes. In this bonus episode we talked about the films of Patrick Keiller, specifically 'London' (1994) and 'Robinson in Space' (1997), a pair of metic…
 
Our second episode on WG Sebald's 2001 novel 'Austerlitz', encountering strangely preserved rooms, nightmarish dream landscapes, gigantesque 19th century fantasies, and a mix of psychoanalysis, Perrault's Bibliothèque Nationale, Liverpool Street Station and Casanova. Watch Sebald giving a reading of Austerlitz and listen to an interview with him on…
 
In our first episode of 2021 we discussed 'Austerlitz', the final novel by W.G. Sebald. It's the story, at the most basic level, of an architectural historian, Jacques Austerlitz, who in middle age begins to rediscover his own submerged history. It's a novel driven by architectural spaces, which are mysterious containers of both individual and coll…
 
This is a preview from our latest Patreon Bonus Episode – subscribe to our Patreon for just $3 a month to listen to the whole episode! Thank you to everyone who supported the show this year, we couldn't have done it without you, and we can't wait to discuss more architectural history in 2021. Our final episode for 2020 is here and our last episode …
 
Our second episode on Jane Jacobs' canonical work, 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities'. In this second half we further discuss her vision for the ideal city, based on her experiences in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. We focus on her ideas around 'unslumming', her alternative model of gentle and community-led gentrification which offered …
 
The first episode in a two-part series on Jane Jacobs, a profoundly influential writer, thinker and campaigner on issues of urbanism, whose magnum opus 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' (1961) forms the backbone of our discussion. In it, Jacobs lays out an idealised vision of tight-knit, dense communities, inspired by her time living in…
 
The final episode in our series on the deep history of the monastery. Modernity has arrived and monasticism is living a strange afterlife. First, we discuss the early 19th century Utopian Socialism of Charles Fourier, whose Phalanstère take the framework of the monastery and repurpose it to build community whose purpose is not the Opus Dei, but to …
 
In our second episode on Monasteries we're talking about Carthusians, millenarian religiosity, the co-option of radicalism by the mainstream, baroque splendour, Slow TV, retirement bungalows and whether Jesus owned the shirt on his back. In this episode we attempt to delve into the way that monastery buildings facilitate true Monastic obedience, an…
 
In this new 3 part series we’re trying something a little bit different, we’re going to try and think about the monastery from deep time up to the present day. The monastery is an almost unique architectural typology; in its continuity, the specificity of the brief and its legacy and afterlife. In this first episode we discuss the origins of the mo…
 
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 influent…
 
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. T…
 
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…
 
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 a…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 lum…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 V…
 
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 careful…
 
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 histo…
 
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 …
 
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 wro…
 
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 …
 
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 pas…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 Progra…
 
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. Support the show on Patreon to re…
 
Katsuhiro Otomo’s vast magnum opus ‘Akira’ (1982-90) is one of the landmarks of late 20th century science fiction — a story of psychic battles, youth counterculture and technology run out of control — all set in Neo-Tokyo, a vast megastructure in the Tokyo bay. If you’ve only ever heard of one manga, it’s probably this one. We’ve been reading the d…
 
We conclude our discussion of the churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor in London, featuring discussion of church politics, 'the primitive church of the early Christians' and wet and windy site recordings from St George in the East, Shadwell (1714-29), Christ Church Spitalfields (1714-29), and St Mary Woolnoth (1716-27). Sponsored by the Article Trade Pro…
 
Nicholas Hawksmoor, born in 1661, built six churches in London between 1711 and his death in 1736. Vast, white, monumental and enigmatically detailed, the Hawksmoor churches are a looming and mysterious presence in the architectural consciousness and mythic history of London, somehow both of time and out of it. Bombed, burned, spurned by popular ta…
 
The second part of our discussion of the utopias and dystopias of the late 19th century 'machine age'. Including a discussion of Edward Bellamy's 'Looking Backwards: 2000-1887' (once incredibly famous and now almost unknown), William Morris's 'News From Nowhere: Or, and Epoch of Rest' and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'Moving the Mountain.' Edited by …
 
We start a two-part discussion of the utopias and dystopias of the late 19th century 'machine age,' when new technology seemed to be remaking the world, and society along with it. What sort of world would the machines bring? In this episode we discuss Samuel Butler's novel 'Erewhon' and the extraordinary speculation on machine life that it contains…
 
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 …
 
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 ‘Du…
 
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 t…
 
We're a bit late with the first episode of the new year, so I'm releasing our bonus conversation on Italian fascist architecture to tide you over until then. If you want more material like this, there's a link to the Patreon below. We talk about the architecture of the Italian fascist period. Some of it is pretty good, unfortunately. Some of it is …
 
We finally get onto the last book of Stones of Venice, and its reverberations through the long second half of the 19th century. Young Ruskinians, EL Godwin, William Burges, William Morris and so on. Music — Vivaldi concerto for two horns, strings and continuo in F major RV 539 pt IThe Fall — Living too late Support the show on Patreon to receive bo…
 
Giovanni Michelucci was born in 1891, and lived through nine-tenths of the 20th century, through all its terrifying and perplexing twists and dislocations. Throughout his career, his work manages to express an idiosyncratic and critical relationship to the spirit of the age. Over fifty at the end of the war, and sacked from his university job in th…
 
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