The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Remote Casework Week in Review #4 – Links!

Concrete Quarterly 80, Spring 1969. Gas Council Engineering Research Station, Killingworth by Ryder and Yates. Cover image: Architects Journal.

We’ve settled into our remote working set-up so well that there’s little to report this week, so this post is about something loosely connected to casework. The links page on our website (which can be found under the resources button in the menu) has been updated to focus on resources that are closely connected to our core aims and are helpful for casework. We’ve each picked a highlight to write about below, and we hope that all the resources will prove interesting and useful. Other sections will be added soon, including videos. See the full list here.

Catherine’s pick: Concrete Quarterly
Every issue of Concrete Quarterly, from 1947 onwards, is downloadable in full from the Concrete Centre’s website. It’s an excellent source of short, case studies of buildings where concrete had a considerable structural role, and most often a decorative one too. Its editor until 1964 was the formidable Betty Campbell, who had worked during the war, and immediately afterwards, for the Free French, the UN and the War Crimes Commission (in Algiers, Greece and Paris), and who also wrote many of its articles. In C20 Magazine (issue 2019/1) we published an interview with her successor, George Perkin, who joined its then publishers, the Cement and Concrete Association in 1958 and stayed until his retirement in 1988. Alongside his not entirely uncritical observations about CQ’s role and the buildings he covered, we illustrated an array of cover images demonstrating the magazine’s bold typography and use of predominately black and white photography. As well as plans and details of concrete mixes, it sometimes provided diagrams of structural and formwork details. It was funded by the cement industry to promote their product, and covers both UK and foreign projects.

Clare’s pick: Taking Stock
Taking Stock is an invaluable resource for researching Roman Catholic Churches. It is the result of a project which had been in progress since 2005 individually undertaken by the each of the Roman Catholic dioceses in England and Wales. It contains a record of every church where the study has been completed, whether listed or unlisted, and includes a description and photographs. It has informed Historic England’s listing selections, an ongoing process which we hope will yield greater protection for many churches which are currently poorly understood and undervalued. The Welsh dioceses and East Anglia are missing as not yet complete, so it is worth checking back from time to time to see what has been added.

Grace’s pick: Civic Trust Award Database
The Civic Trust Award’s online database has been a recent discovery for me, and it’s proving very helpful for casework. I’ve used it to quickly check if a specific project won an award and to think more broadly about outstanding designs from a period or area. The database is buried deep within the awarding body’s website and users need to create a free account to get access to the advanced search facility. Once you’re in there is information available about every prize-winning scheme since 1959. Most entries list the names of architects, owners, and a primary use class, with some including extra details such as the contractors and engineers involved. I particularly like how some earlier appraisals include emotional responses from the judges, which is a stark contrast to the balanced, objective tone of today’s architectural awards. The entry for the Hammersmith Flyover (a winner in 1964) ends “if there had not been a class to give this entry an Award, I would have created a new one!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *