The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Members of the C20 West group outside the Holburne Museum, Bath (photo Jack Konynenburg)
Rear of the Holburne Museum, Bath by Eric Parry Architects (photo Jack Konynenburg)


Bath visit – November 2015

A flood at the start of the walk is not what was needed for the first event of the C20’s West Group! However the way that Jack Konynenburg, and his wife Jan, dealt with the problem was typical of their meticulous preparation for this event.

We were due to meet at a cafe for coffee before the walk, but when we arrived we found that it was closed as it had been flooded overnight, a burst pipe we think. So Jack and Jan quickly arranged an alternative venue. And then we were soon on our way around Bath looking at C20 buildings.

Jack had entitled the walk “Sinners and Saints. Can Modern Architecture co-exist with Georgian Bath?”

We looked at Kingsmead House, the Telephone Exchange, the Southmead Shopping Centre, the Empire Hotel, The Podium and the Hilton Hotel – all possible candidates for the Sinners list. Jack also showed us the Ustinov Theatre, the Komedia building, the new extension to Bath College, and the Weir – all on the Saints list.

The walk finished at the Holburne Museum and Art Gallery, to look at the C20 extension at the rear of this lovely classical building at the end of Great Pulteney Street.

Having agreed that the extension should go on the Saints list, and having given Jack and Jan a real vote of thanks for an excellent tour, we retired for lunch in the cafe at the Holburne. It was busy there but Jack and Jan had even arranged a reserved table for us. Now that is real planning!

We look forward to a similar event led by Jack in Bristol, probably at the end of February 2016.

Bob Hardcastle