Home > Architecture & Urban Design, Things I Like... > 50 Years of London Architecture @ University of Westminster

50 Years of London Architecture @ University of Westminster

We went to see this exhibition last weekend. It’s in the Ambika Gallery in the basement of my old University (or The Polytechnic of Central London as it was back then), a huge almost triple height space that I remember housing the model shop and structural testing labs…

The exhibition itself is huge.. almost never ending. There must be well over 150 panels, each one with a couple of images of the building in question, and a small descriptive panel to one side. It seems it was originally shown last year (hence the 50 years bit) and this is simply an update to that first exhibition, but it’s well worth a visit if you get the time before it closes on August 25th.

I found it really interesting to start at 1960 and move slowly round through the decades and styles finishing up with today’s cutting edge proposals… and whilst looking at the wide range of stuff on show, it struck me that by far the weakest and least interesting period on display was the mid to late 1980’s, which was exactly the time I started out on my quest to be an architect… not sure if that’s significant in any way…

As to which of the many buildings on show would be my personal favourite, that’s a difficult one as there are just so many to choose from. So it might be easier to chose a favourite architect, and that would have to be Denys Lasdun, the genius who created The Royal College of Physicians (1964) a truly stunning and timeless piece of work, and a strong contender for the best building in Britain; the elegant flats overlooking St. James Park (1960); the controversial but beautifully made National Theatre (1976); the ground breaking Keeling House flats from the late 1950’s (included in this exhibition because of the excellent refurbishment by Munkenbeck and Marshall in 2001) as well as various buildings he did for the University of London.

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  1. August 2, 2017 at 15:33

    Hi there,

    I don’t know if you’re still blogging actively, but I just thought I’d let you know that I enjoyed your post – and also share this, which is a brief photo/essay I’ve just put together on the National Theatre…

    https://dynamicstasis.blog/2017/08/02/499/

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