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Peter Murray



RIBA Friends have a couple of walks and tours coming up that will be of interest to members.


Architecture Tour: White Collar Factory: Monday 11 September, 12:30pm to 2pm

Come and explore the White Collar Factory, a 16-storey tower at the epicentre of London’s ‘Tech City.’ The building is in Old Street Yard and provides a mix of living and incubator working spaces to make a new place in the city which combines the efficiencies of a new build with the character of a 19th century warehouse.

The group will be taken around the building by the project architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and developer Derwent. Further details here.

Architecture Walking Tour: Pathways to Mayfair: Saturday 16 September, 11am to 1pm

From open fields to shepherds’ markets to one of the most affluent areas in London today, Mayfair is a byword for luxury. In the third of our 2017 series of walks with the London Ambler, we explore the architectural history in and around Mayfair, ending at 66 Portland Place. Further details here.

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Peter Murray


London has the greatest collection of urban parks in the world. They are the city’s ‘lungs’, a place of tranquility in an increasingly frenetic metropolis and a haven for all sorts of wildlife.

But from the arrival of new plant diseases to the sheer weight of visitors (77 million a year, and growing), these superb open spaces face many challenges, as Loyd Grossman CBE, first Chairman of the Royal Parks will explain in this year’s Banister Fletcher lecture on 17 October.

The eight Royal Parks stretching from Bushy in the West to Greenwich in the East are amongst London’s greatest and most distinctive assets and now under the management of an independent charity on behalf of the nation.

In a society which fetishises selfishness and disdains the communal, the defence of the public realm is more important than ever. Loyd will explain the value the Parks give to the capital, the challenges they face, how different users’ needs are balanced, and how these historic spaces can continue to be a resource for Londoners in the future.

The Banister Fletcher lecture is free to members of the London Society, and £14 for non-members. Tickets are available here.


Loyd Grossman CBE, is the first Chairman of The Royal Parks. He is also a patron of the Association for Heritage Interpretation and Heritage Open Days, President of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) and Chairman of the Heritage Alliance.

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Peter Murray


The London Society is delighted to welcome Grosvenor Britain & Ireland as a new Corporate Supporter.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages high-quality neighbourhoods across the UK and Ireland. The company’s diverse property development, management and investment portfolio includes Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia, in which it has a £1bn rolling investment programme. Other developments are elsewhere in London and in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Southampton. As at 31 December 2016, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had £5.1bn of assets under management.

“We started placemaking over 300 years ago, when the Grosvenor family embarked on the development of Mayfair, and subsequently Belgravia. Today our activities extend beyond London to other major cities in the UK, but our goal remains the same: making great places where people want to live, work and play.”

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Peter Murray


What a wonderfully diverse and unconventional city London is!

What a treat that we can hold our Summer Party in farm not half a mile from the Palace of Westminster. In a new barn at that, designed by a top young architectural practice – Feilden Fowles – with an innovative structure and striking interior. Don’t miss it!

The rich mix of development that forms the character of London’s places has been the focus of Historic England’s recent report entitled Translating Good Growth for London’s Historic Environment which advises the Mayor of London how this distinctness should be recognised in his new London Plan. Emily Gee, London Planning Director at Historic England will be talking in September on the topic of tall buildings and how they can be integrated successfully into a historic city. The View Management Framework is the current mechanism for doing this. Following the row about a tall building in Stratford being visible behind St Paul’s Dome when viewed from King Henry’s Mound at Richmond, Sadiq Khan has said he is going to take another look at the subject.

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Peter Murray


We are looking for stories and contributions for the next issue of the London Society’s Journal.

We also need someone with print production experience to volunteer as a subeditor. This would require carefully fact-checking, editing and styling the copy as it comes in (spread out over end of September and early October).

In particular we will be exploring the theme of:

‘A city for 10 million inhabitants’

We would like to interpret this theme quite broadly and look at the different aspects of London life that are affected by a booming population – not just planning or housing.

We would like to hear about any organisations, thinkers, professionals, community groups etc working on projects – small scale or large – that offer inspiration.

Types of pieces we run:

  • 500 word opinion pieces
  • short case studies of relevant interesting projects by architects, urbanists, artists, academics, community groups,
  • 1,000 word think pieces and reports
  • personal profiles/interviews
  • photography, illustration, graphic data visualisation

Deadlines: Once commissioned, we will need pieces to be written by the end of September in order to have enough time for design & layout.

Sadly we are unable to pay anyone for their contributions, but will happily plug any websites, blogs, recent publications, upcoming events, etc in exchange. And of course you will not only be helping to make the Journal even better, but contributing to informed ongoing debate amongst London Society members and beyond.

If you’d like to contribute, or want to let us know about any projects you think might be worth us covering, do get in touch at

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