The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Catch-up events

If you missed any of our virtual events, you can buy a ticket to watch the recording of it below. All ticket proceeds go towards our campaigning to protect outstanding C20 buildings and design.

 

Photography & Postwar Reconstruction in Coventry

Tom Allbeson will discuss how photographic images shaped debate about the rebuilding of Coventry following the destruction of the Second World War. Considering ruin imagery, photojournalism, aerial views and architectural photography, he will talk about ways in which visual culture was both central to promoting planning debates before the war and influential in shaping the meaning of rebuilding in the post-war years.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

A Denman Century: the Work of Three Denmans, 1876-1982

David Robson will survey the work of a three-generation family of architects, founded by Samuel Denman in Brighton in the mid-1870s, was continued by his son John-Leopold and his grandson John-Bluett until the early 1980s.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

London in Lockdown: 1940s and 1950s

Following on from John’s ‘Inter-War London in Lockdown’ lectures in January, the society’s ‘unofficial photographer’ has been on his bike again, and revisited buildings in London from the period 1945-1960.

Starting from the end of the World War 2, John will look at the architecture that followed the birth of the welfare state, the Festival of Britain style, buildings of the ‘New Elizabethan’ era, through to the optimism of post-war modernism, Miesian office blocks and the stirrings of what would become ‘New Brutalism’. He will show us well known buildings as well as those which you might not have come across before. Many of the photographs were taken over the past year, and with some interiors from earlier C20 Society visits. The buildings are increasingly under threat and John will look at those that have become casework for the Society.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

Festival of Britain 70th Anniversary: Battersea Pleasure Gardens

To mark the 70th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain, Geoffrey Hollis and Elain Harwood will talk about the 1951 Battersea Pleasure Gardens – ‘Art and Elegance in Abundance’ .

A roller coaster ride, with thrills, spills, emotion, drama, nail-biting tension – and that was before the gardens had even opened! Planned to be the light relief element of the 1951 Festival of Britain, Battersea Pleasure Gardens were totally different to the Southbank Exhibition both in ambience and content. Visitors were promised ‘Art and Elegance in Abundance’ including exotic settings planned by leading artists and architects, masses of entertainment, commercial sponsorship, nightly fireworks, and lots of things to buy. Despite a delay of nearly a month to the opening, there were over 8 million visitors that summer. This talk will describe the ideas and people behind the event, the challenges they faced, and what visitors experienced.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

World Art Deco Day

A celebration of Art Deco in Britain for World Art Deco Day. Elain Harwood will talk about cinemas, seaside buildings, factories and other buildings in this most fantastic of styles, based on her book Art Deco Britain, published by Batsford in 2019.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

Ralph Beyer’s Coventry Architectural Inscriptions

The work of the letter carver Ralph Beyer (1921-2008), will be discussed by John Neilson with particular emphasis on Beyer’s architectural lettering, and especially the largest commission of his career at Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

Brutal North

During the post-war years the North of England saw the building of some of the most aspirational, enlightened and successful modernist architecture. Simon Phipps, whose photographic exploration Brutal North: Post-War Modernist Architecture in the North of England (2020), is joined in this discussion by Catherine Croft, Dr Christina Malathouni and Matthew Steele.

This recording will be available until 31st August 2021

From Camden to Copenhagen and Oslo: how ‘hill-housing, Danish Modernism and tours in antiquity bridged the gap between London and Oslo

This talk presented ongoing research from Davies’ doctoral studies into the heritage and communities of post-war housing, looking at Neave Brown’s Alexandra Road and Peter Tábori’s Highgate New Town and Selvaag’s Vestli, East Oslo and the work of architects Anne Tinne and Mogens Friis, starting with Øvre Ullern Terrace, West Oslo. The links between these two traditions will be covered, from Danish and Californian Modernism to the influence of vernacular architecture and antiquity on these projects, spanning Tábori’s studies of hill-towns in Italy to the Friis’ work as archaeologists in the ‘50s. Through this a picture emerges of two warm and humanist approaches to architecture, notably housing whose buildings have stood the test of time. The talk is illustrated by photographic material from the Kielland Friis archives, showing buildings under construction and immediately after completion, and Davies’ doctoral case-study work.

C20 relies on donations to continue campaigning so please donate £3 via SMS or online and then email andrea@c20society.org.uk to receive a private and personalised Youtube link to the recording.