title

About Buildings + Cities

Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture,

43
Followers
51
Plays
About Buildings + Cities
About Buildings + Cities

About Buildings + Cities

Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture,

43
Followers
51
Plays
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About Us

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.

Latest Episodes

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

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his theories of Megastructure, and his later projects on American industrial vernacular ('Concrete Atlantis') and his unpublished book about the High-Tech movement.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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

81 MIN1 w ago
Comments
60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

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

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. 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

82 MIN3 w ago
Comments
59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

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

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 destru...

81 MINAUG 19
Comments
58 — The Reactionaries — 3/3 — The Empire Strikes Back

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

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 f...

83 MINAUG 1
Comments
57 — The Reactionaries — 2/3 — Caesar's Palace without the Fun

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

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

71 MINJUL 27
Comments
Conversation 3 — Dulwich Picture Gallery — Soane in The Colour Palace

56 — The Reactionaries — 1/2 — Interwar Anxieties

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, famo...

87 MINJUN 18
Comments
56 — The Reactionaries — 1/2 — Interwar Anxieties

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

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. 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

68 MINMAY 30
Comments
55 — Katsuhiro Otomo's 'Akira' — 3/3 — Good for Health, Bad for Education

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

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 receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

70 MINMAY 15
Comments
54 — Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 2/3 — Exploding Neo-Tokyo Twice

53 —Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 1/3 —Radio School

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 definitive black and white version — worth getting hold of if you can. Actually we didn’t even get to start talking about the book proper because we went on about context too long. We talked a bit about the earlier works ‘Fireball’ and ‘Domu’, the documentary ’God Speed You Black Emperor’, manga as a genre, and a load of other stuff. The bonus will look at the early work in more detail. 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 receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to h...

57 MINMAY 1
Comments
53 —Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 1/3 —Radio School

52 —Nicholas Hawksmoor's Churches — 2/2

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 Program and The Great Courses Plus 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

99 MINAPR 15
Comments
52 —Nicholas Hawksmoor's Churches — 2/2

Latest Episodes

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

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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

81 MIN1 w ago
Comments
60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

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

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. 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

82 MIN3 w ago
Comments
59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

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

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 destru...

81 MINAUG 19
Comments
58 — The Reactionaries — 3/3 — The Empire Strikes Back

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

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 f...

83 MINAUG 1
Comments
57 — The Reactionaries — 2/3 — Caesar's Palace without the Fun

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

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

71 MINJUL 27
Comments
Conversation 3 — Dulwich Picture Gallery — Soane in The Colour Palace

56 — The Reactionaries — 1/2 — Interwar Anxieties

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, famo...

87 MINJUN 18
Comments
56 — The Reactionaries — 1/2 — Interwar Anxieties

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

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. 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

68 MINMAY 30
Comments
55 — Katsuhiro Otomo's 'Akira' — 3/3 — Good for Health, Bad for Education

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

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 receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

70 MINMAY 15
Comments
54 — Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 2/3 — Exploding Neo-Tokyo Twice

53 —Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 1/3 —Radio School

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 definitive black and white version — worth getting hold of if you can. Actually we didn’t even get to start talking about the book proper because we went on about context too long. We talked a bit about the earlier works ‘Fireball’ and ‘Domu’, the documentary ’God Speed You Black Emperor’, manga as a genre, and a load of other stuff. The bonus will look at the early work in more detail. 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 receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to h...

57 MINMAY 1
Comments
53 —Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira — 1/3 —Radio School

52 —Nicholas Hawksmoor's Churches — 2/2

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 Program and The Great Courses Plus 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! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

99 MINAPR 15
Comments
52 —Nicholas Hawksmoor's Churches — 2/2