RIBA presents two panel discussions on housing

Royal Gold Medal 2018 – Neave Brown: Building a Legacy

Social Housing Debate

Thursday 1 February, 7-9.30pm, RIBA

Pioneering British architect Neave Brown very sadly passed away earlier this month. He was awarded the Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour in architecture, in recognition of his unparalleled contribution to public housing. His ground-breaking designs for high-density, low-rise social housing in London in the 1960s and 70s, including the visionary Alexandra Road estate near Swiss Cottage, with its striking stepped concrete terraces and spacious flats, shops, workshops, public park and community centre. It remains, in Neave’s words, a ‘piece of city.’

In the midst of a growing housing crisis, our panel will look back at Neave Brown’s housing ideals and innovative architectural philosophy to address the current urgent social relevance of his work and offer solutions for today. What is the legacy of Neave Brown? How can housing succeed in the public sector? And what role can architects play in creating the sustainable, community focussed housing solutions that Neave championed?

The event will begin with a new short film, specially commissioned by the RIBA, celebrating the life, work and legacy of Neave Brown. We will also welcome Neave’s son and daughter Aaron and Zoe Brown, who will pay tribute to their father in a personal reflection.

Our panel features:

Cany Ash, founder and partner of Ash Sakula Architects, where she runs Adaptable Neighbourhoods, a strand of Ash Sakula that researches the ingredients of sustainable and neighbourhoods. Cany has previously worked for the GLC Architect’s department and has taught at a number of architectural schools.

Jo McCafferty from Levitt Bernstein. A champion for inventive design in housing, Jo has extensive experience of designing and delivering innovative housing projects of all scales across the UK.

Dr Janice Morphet, visiting professor at The Bartlett School of Planning. Janice has conducted a series of major research projects on Effective Practice in Spatial Planning, infrastructure delivery planning, the British Irish Council, major infrastructure projects, local authority housing and smart cities.

Finn Williams from Public Practice, a social enterprise placing a new generation of planners within local government to shape places for the public good.

Chaired by Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian architecture critic

The ticket price includes a glass of wine, a beer or a soft drink after the event.

The Royal Gold Medal is sponsored by Arper.

Building Britain’s Ideal

Tuesday 6 February, 7-8.30pm – RIBA

In this discussion, architects, developers, planners and heritage consultants will consider the enduring value of building in historic styles: is the pseudo-Georgian style an homage, a pastiche, or a real crowd-pleaser?

The Georgian house is the most enduringly popular and recognisable style of residential architecture in Britain: whether authentically historical or a contemporary new-build the Georgian style has retained its importance to the British people for over 300 years, holding within it deep-seated cultural and social implications.

This event rounds up the RIBA exhibition Pablo Bronstein: Conservatism, or The Long Reign of Pseudo-Georgian Architecture, taking the artist’s thesis to the disciplinary sphere. Representatives from across the UK construction industry – from Britain’s largest housebuilders, to policy advisors, independent architects and commentators – are invited to reflect on the importance of traditional aesthetics in Britain’s architectural fabric and identity.

Using Bronstein’s provocative observations as a starting point, ‘Building Britain’s Ideal’ will be a candid discussion around architectural authenticity, artifice, value and meaning within the context of the contemporary built environment.

Confirmed speakers include:

Bob Meanwell, chief design executive at Barratt Homes

Liz Peace, former chief executive of the British Property Federation & Chair of the Shadow Government Property agency

Ben Pentreath, architectural designer

Alan Powers, historian, writer & educator, editor of Twentieth Century Architecture for The Twentieth Century