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The CR Ashbee Lecture 2020

January 6, 2020
by the gentle author

For the East End Preservation Society’s CR Ashbee Lecture 2020, Oliver Wainwright, Architecture Critic of The Guardian, introduces Architect Peter Barber. The lecture is at 7pm on Thursday 23rd January at The Wash Houses, The Cass, London Metropolitan University, 25 Old Castle St, E1 7NT.


Perhaps the most burning question in the capital now is how to provide enough good quality genuinely affordable housing? Peter Barber is an architect who is celebrated for designing humane high density council housing.

“One of the most original architects working today. Over the past decade he has built a reputation for his ingenious reinventions of traditional house types and his ability to craft characterful chunks of city out of unpromising sites.” – Oliver Wainwright

Peter Barber has entitled his lecture HUNDRED MILE CITY & OTHER STORIES. He will be discussing the ideas which underpin his work and showing images of built and theoretical projects for Donnybrook Quarter and Hundred Mile City. Peter is responsible for some of the best new social housing in Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Each year, the East End Preservation Society presents the CR Ashbee Memorial Lecture. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Oliver Wainwright on the Seven Dark Arts of Developers, the second lecture was given by Rowan Moore on The Future of London, in the third lecture, Maria Brenton, Rachel Bagenal and Kareem Dayes spoke about Hope in the Housing Crisis, and in the fourth lecture The Gentle Author explored the activities of CR Ashbee in the East End.

This event is presented with the gracious support of The Cass, London Metropolitan University.


You may also like to read about

The Founding of the East End Preservation Society

CR Ashbee in the East End

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill Wilson permalink
    January 6, 2020

    I went to a lecture by Peter Barber last year which was very inspirational so I thoroughly recommend this! I was pleased to see that there were so many young students packed in to hear him speak, and so I hope his ideas will filter through to the next generation.

    Not only did he have lots of thoughts about how decent, well designed and affordable social housing can be built but I was also pleased to hear him say that he is very keen for his students to do a lot of sketches and drawing by hand. (I am convinced that one of the main reasons why so much of today’s architecture is so bland and boring is because most of it is done on computer, and the thinking time and creative process which is involved in having to draw everything by hand is lost when it is so much easier to just press a “copy and paste” or “repeat” key…)

  2. JA Woolf permalink
    January 6, 2020

    Looking at this picture I thought what a lovely conversion it seems, but what a sad bleak area of grass in the middle. I know an architect cannot always specify the treatment of a building’s surroundings, but perhaps this would be an opportunity to mention that Octavia Hill founded a charity, the Kyrle Society, in 1877, which is directly relevant to this. She and her sister felt it was important to improve the everyday lives of people in the East End by bringing in the natural world. Their charity was a pioneer of civic amenity societies and not only provided parks but encouraged city dwellers to create windowboxes or tend scraps of land to give access to flowers, shrubs, birds and butterflies. I feel it could be well worth reviving this idea today – there are plenty of developments which seem to treat their outside space as a nuisance and give no thought to it.

  3. Isabella Underhill permalink
    January 6, 2020

    Sold out? Appears to be ‘waitlist’ only now.

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