DOCUMENTingand CONSERVing

the MODERN MOVEMENT 

020 7253 6624


our NEXT EVENTS
Most of our  events are now being presented live in the gallery at cowcross street, but Numbers are limited to 30  - entrance is free
Events are also being live-streamed by zoom - attendance is free 
- if you would like to attend either the live event or access the live stream , please register  by contacting us via this link or write to us at: -docomomo.uk.info@gmail.com  
    

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Monday 27th September 2021        18.00 - 20.00

SERGE CHERMAYEFF
- from Chechnya to Cape Cod via London ?

A talk by ALAN POWERS
live from the Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street and live streamed by zoom
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Serge Chermayeff (1900-1996) was one of the last survivors of the prominent interwar modernists in Britain.

 

Remembered chiefly for his partnership with Eric Mendelsohn in London from 1933 to 1936, Chermayeff's rapid rise as an architect without formal training, and his sudden transition to the USA and a new career in teaching in 1940, leave some questions unanswered, but Alan Powers, who wrote a monograph on him published in 2001, will piece together his life story and show the consistency in his ideas as he expanded his horizon from the single room to the city and region.

Tuesday 19th October 2021        18.00 -19.30

WELLS COATES

A talk by ELIZABETH DARLING
live streamed by zoom
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Wells Coates played a central role in the conceptualisation of a British modernist architecture, and designed some of its most imaginative and innovative buildings and interiors (he also enjoyed a parallel career as an industrial designer of note). This talk will trace Coates's work and life and follow him from Japan to Canada, to the Western Front in the Great War, to London and then his final years in Canada, where he died in 1958. Discussion will focus on how this peripatetic transnational life informed his modernism, and its impact on the wider architectural culture in 20th-century Britain.

Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History in the School of History, Philosophy & Culture, Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her work focuses on gender, space and reform in the 1890s-1940s, and the genesis and nature of English modernism between the wars; and sometimes the intersections between the two.  Her work has been published extensively:  she is currently working on a book about the design of BBC Broadcasting House (1932), for which Wells Coates designed several studios. 

Tuesday 23rd November 2021        19.00-21.00

BERTHOLD LUBETKIN

A talk by JOHN ALLAN
live from the Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street and live streamed by zoom
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Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990) is widely regarded as the outstanding modern architect of his generation to practise in England. With his Tecton partnership he produced some of the most innovative and memorable modern buildings of the 1930s, following through with a substantial post-war output. Most of his surviving works are listed. Yet to many he remains a rather mysterious and misunderstood figure, who doesn’t easily fit the conventional categories of Modernist historiography. In this talk his biographer, John Allan who knew Lubetkin for 20 years, explains some of the key themes of his work and expounds on the character of the man himself.

 

John Allan’s award-winning biography of Lubetkin was first published in 1992 and is now in its 2nd edition reprint. As a practising architect over 45 years and a director of Avanti Architects, Allan has worked on the conservation of many of Lubetkin’s buildings, as well as others of the modern period. He was instrumental in creating the Isokon Gallery in Hampstead, recently winner of the Docomomo International DRAW Award in the Conservation through Activism category, where he is Chairman of the Isokon Gallery Trust.

Wednesday 15th December 2021        19.00 - 21.00

ERNO GOLFINGER

A talk by JAMES DUNNETT
live from the Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street and live streamed by zoom
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Erno Goldfinger was an immigrant but not a refugee, from a wealthy background in Hungary but a friend of Harry Pollitt, the Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, a central figure the MARS Group but described himself, with his Ecole des Beaux Arts training, as a Classicist – or sometimes as an Arts and Crafts architect. He lived life on his own terms. He loved concrete but wrote and thought most about space. Quantatively most of his work was designed or built in about twelve years from 1956. He left a stunning legacy

 

James Dunnett trained in architecture at Cambridge and sculpture at St Martin’s. He worked for Erno Goldfinger 1973-75 as his first job, before moving to the London Borough of Camden when work ran out. He started to work on his own account in 1983, the same year as he mounted a retrospective exhibition of Goldfinger’s work at the Architectural Association. With occasional teaching, writing and lecturing he has continued to run his own practice as architect ever since, with an exhibition of his sculpture twice postponed from 2020 to 2022 due to Covid. He was Joint Chair of DOCOMOMO-UK with Dennis Sharp 2002-2010.

Alpha Tower (1970 George Marsh of R.Seifert and partners)

weekend study tour Birmingham and
the west midlands:
Saturday 2 October 2021

Birmingham City Centre

All day Walking tour to highlight the extraordinary and sadly disappearing urban planning and landmark buildings from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

 

Morning: Smallbrook Queensway including the Ringway Centre, the Sentinels, Bethel Chapel, Norfolk House and the Rotunda

 

Afternoon: Centenary Square and the redevelopment of the Birmingham canals, taking in Alpha Tower, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the site of the Central Library, John Madin office block and William Mitchell murals and the first of the canal areas area to be redeveloped, including the Flapper Pub

 

Guided for DOCOMOMO by Brutiful Birmingham.

 sunday 3 October 2021

West Midlands

Dudley Zoo - designed by Lubetkin / Tecton (1936-37) - undergoing critical restoration - guided by Jon Wright

 

Wolverhampton Polytechnic College of Art  - designed by Diamond, Redfern and Partners (1970)

 

Darlaston Swimming baths - designed Stephen Hodder (2001)

 

Walsall Bus Station - Competition winning design by Allford, Hall, Monaghan and Morris (1998-2000)

 

Walsall Art Gallery - Competition winning design by Caruso St John (1995-2000)

 

Walsall Civic Centre (after Louis Kahn) - Stanley Bradford / Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council Architects Department (1974-76)

Contact docomomo.uk.info@gmail.com

AUTUMN TALKS

Whilst modernism can be said to have started in Europe in the early 20th century, for architecture in UK it was slow in flourishing until after the second world war.

 

During the two decades of the 20's and 30's the main energy came from abroad and was linked to 'avant garde'art 'rather than the established architectprofession.

 

This Series will look at the four of the architects below who introduced modern architecture to the UK.

 

The purpose of these talks is to explore their work from the point of view of hindsight and subsequent events, because there is so much to learn from them in going forward form where we are today.

Philip Boyle, our coordinator, is currently involved in two camapaigns: the first is striving to save West London College in Hammersmith from threatened demolition.  The second relates to Bromley Hall School in Bow.  This building is grade 2 listed but currently empty and without plans for its reuse and also suffering from serious neglect.

Watch the talk which he recently gave as part of the  Architecture Foundation's "100 Day Studio" series, on these two remarkable buildings. Please give your support to our campaigns to save them.

Click here

Following a long camapign to save and protect 269 Leigham Court Road in Lambeth, the Local Authority, who own and manage this outstanding example of sheltered housing, have agreed with DOCOMOMO to the introduction of new systems for carrying out maintenance and repair in ways which will respect the newly Listed status of this building.

Why not join our Working Party? We always need volunteers to help with events and research. Our meetings in Clerkenwell are very sociable, and take place monthly. Drop us a line, below.

join our mailing list, BE A BUILDING-AT-RISK SPY, OR JUST DROP US A LINE

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You can also write to us at our London meeting place: Docomomo.UK, 77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ, England

 

Photographer: Richard Learoyd