Calendar of Events

Wed 03.02.2011

Brave New World: Preserving Post-War Britain


When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2

Where: At The Center   

A lecture by Alan Powers

The heroic steel, glass, and concrete housing estates, office blocks, schools, and civic complexes built across Britain in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s by Alison and Peter Smithson, Stirling and Gowan, Sir Denys Lasdyn, Sir Basil Spence, Ernö Goldfinger, Powell & Moya, Gillespie, Kidd, & Coia, and other neo-Corbusians and Miesians have come to be ranked as unique contributions to the Modern Movement. But increasing numbers of them are endangered and have aroused fierce debate, with some claiming they are obsolete, bleak reminders of the welfare state. This lecture by architectural historian Alan Powers will examine both the original reception of these buildings and the now often uphill battles with developers, government officials, and public opinion to save them, revealing the complex nature of architectural taste.

Alan Powers is the author of Britain: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion, 2007); Modern: The Modern Movement in Britain (Merrell, 2005); The Twentieth Century House in Britain: From the Archives of Country Life (Aurum, 2004); and numerous other titles on twentieth century architecture, art, and design. He recently edited Robin Hood Gardens: Re-Visions (Holberton, 2010), on the controversial New Brutalist housing estate designed by the Smithsons. Powers serves as chairman of the Twentieth Century Society, the leading non-profit conservation organization to protect Britain's architectural heritage after 1914, and he is co-editor of the society's journal, Twentieth Century Architecture. His articles have appeared in Apollo, Building Design, Country Life, Crafts, the Guardian, the Spectator, and other publications. Powers earned his Ph.D. in art history from the University of Cambridge, and is professor of architecture and cultural history at the University of Greenwich. He is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Organized by the AIANY Historic Buildings Committee

Free for Members; $10.00 for Non-Members



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