Behind the Scenes: Congress House
The Rookery, 2 Dyott Street, WC1A 1DE
Tube: Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines)

Thursday, 30 August, 6:00 - 7:30
25 may attend

Hugh Broughton Architects has been engaged in the careful restoration of the TUC’s London headquarters Congress House for the last 23 years. The Grade II* listed Modernist building in Fitzrovia, is just north of New Oxford Street and a few minutes’ walk from the British Museum.

Designed by David du Rieu Aberdeen, it opened in 1958 to commemorate union members who died in the world wars. The latest phase of the ongoing refurbishment is the creation of a second entrance, The Rookery, on Dyott Street, features a glass installation by artist Eva Berendes which continues the TUC’s ongoing commitment to art and architecture and visually reflects the TUC’s values and history. Earlier phases include the installation of a steel and ETFE roof canopy over the central courtyard, where the TUC’s seminal Epstein war memorial ‘Pieta’ is displayed. 

Hugh Broughton, Director, Hugh Broughton Architects, will lead a tour of the ground floor spaces including the Rookery entrance and Marble Hall overlooking the central courtyard.

Photo © James Brittain

Civic Pride: Public Architecture between the Wars
Marylebone Town Hall, 97-113 Marylebone Rd, NW1 5PT
Tube: Marylebone (Bakerloo line, National Rail), Edgeware Road (Circle, District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 18 August, 09:30 – 6:00
35 may attend


In conjunction with the C20 Society, Alan Powers and John East lead this very special full day vintage Routemaster bus tour, taking in town hall and other public buildings of the interwar period in a sweep around the north London suburbs.


Apart from Charles Holden and his most often illustrated underground station at Arnos Grove, the architects of these buildings are not the most famous, but in many cases were specialists in their building types and experts in winning competitions.


We shall see the exteriors (and interiors in some cases) of Camden, Marylebone, Islington, Hornsey, Friern Barnet, Waltham Forest and Stoke Newington - buildings that cover the stylistic spectrum between Corinthian pomp, II Duce Art Deco and Swedish Grace.  There are also examples of educational and welfare buildings of the period.

*Lunch (attendees own expense) will be at Hornsey Town Hall in fashionable Crouch End and a tea stop at the William Morris Gallery (included in ticket price).  

Saturday Morning Planning School
The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Block booking discount ends 31 August
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 1 – 29 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Join the Society for this informative series of Saturday morning talks with some of London's leading experts.  Here you can block book for all five talks with the series discount - five talks for the price of four.  Non-members will get a year's individual membership of the Society as part of the package.

The planning system is a complex world of jargon-filled regulations, inscrutable maps and emotionally charged meetings. It is inhabited by an unseemly mixture of politicians, developers and consultants, with ordinary local people often bearing the brunt of their deals in the high streets and neighbourhood roads where we live. It is often blamed for blighting our beloved places with ugly buildings, and yet is similarly accused of holding back the development we need to meet pent-up housing demand.

Planning is one of the most visible and potent out-workings of our democracy. It is the forum that safeguards by law our rights as citizens to influence the places we live and work in the city.

How then do we engage with the planning system? Why did some parts of London end up the way they did? What (or who) are the main forces at work in shaping urban form? How can we value the past while thinking about London's future? The Saturday Planning School will be a forum for discussing these issues in the midst of a rapidly changing London. As the city sees unprecedented changes in infrastructure provision, physical growth and demographic change, what does a well-functioning planning system look like?

Over five weeks, experts at the coal face of shaping London will be discussing the workings and challenges of London's planning system through the lens of scale - successively scrutinising the site, the neighbourhood, the borough and the city with an interlude on density and housing.

Saturday, 1 September | The Site
Dr. David Knight & Guy Rochez

Saturday, 8 September | The Neighbourhood
Dr Jan Kattein & David Barrie

Saturday, 15 September | Density and Housing
Claire Bennie & Lorraine Hughes

Saturday, 22 September | The Borough
Patricia Brown & Dr Jessica Ferm

Saturday, 29 September | The City
Mark Brearley & Euan Mills

The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 1 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Join Dr David Knight and Guy Rochezas as they launch the Society's 2018 Planning School series. What is the future for the terraced and semi-detached house? What is the accumulated effect of backyard extensions? When does planning turn into non-planning? To what extent will London's housing growth be delivered in the suburbs?

Behind the Scenes: The Bartlett School of Architecture
22 Gordon St, Kings Cross, WC1H 0AJ
Tube: Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines), Euston (London Overground and National Rail)

Tuesday, 4 September, 5:30- 7:00, 
25 may attend

The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world’s most renowned and exciting architecture schools, in one of its most inspiring cities!

Its original home, Wates House was designed to accommodate 350 students and 90 staff when it opened in 1974 and by 2012, just under 1000 people occupied the site - it was failing to provide the quality or quantitate of space necessary for the school to flourish.

Hawkins\Brown, through a considered approach of relocating other uses, retention or the original structure, intervention and strategic addition, were able to double the usable area available to the school at their original site.

Following a deep retrofit between 2014-2016, 22 Gordon Street, now provides a desk for each student in open studio spaces, an exhibition space at the ground level and a focal staircase, and fantastic views across London, which opens and connects the entire school and building to the public.

Officially opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, in December 2016, 22 Gordon Street has won numerous awards and has achieved BREEAM excellence.

Euan Macdonald (Hawkins\Brown) and Kevin Jones (UCL) lead this very special Behind the Scenes tour of one of the world's most renowned architecture schools.


Photo © Jack Hobhouse

The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 8 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Dr Jan Kattein 
and David Barrie pose the questions - How are high streets vital to our city? What are the forces that shape local neighborhoods? What is a community asset and what agency do communities have in the planning system?

The London BREXIT debate
Conway Hall, 23 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn (Central, Piccadilly lines)

Thursday, 13 September, 6:30 - 8:30

London stood out against most of the rest of England by voting strongly for the UK to remain a member of the European Union and the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, has repeatedly warned that the consequences of Brexit will be bad for the capital. But is he right? London's economy is famously resilient and adaptable and seems unlikely to lose to its global appeal and identity any time soon. Might leaving the EU actually enable London to become stronger and even more outward looking?

No issue is more central to the future of London and, therefore, to the nation as a whole, and the London Society is delighted to join forces with OnLondon tohost this top flight debate about what that future will hold.

Speakers already include Labour peer and former government minister Lord Adonis, who is now devoting all his time and energy to making the case that Brexit should be stopped completely. He has described London as the effective "capital of Europe" and warned that its fall from such glory could be swift and sudden.

Taking the opposite view will be senior London Conservative Daniel Moylan, an experienced former councillor and adviser to Boris Johnson during his time as London Mayor. Writing for On London, he has argued that fears for London's prosperity are much overstated and that "Brexit will make London more global" along with liberating it from an immigration system that is "functionally racist".

More speakers from both sides of the Brexit debate will be announced in due course. On London founder and editor, the award-winning former Guardian journalist Dave Hill, will chair a Brexit debate of the highest possible calibre.

The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 15 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Claire Bennie
and Lorraine Hughes explore - How dense should we plan? What are the principles of good high density housing? Why do big developments take so long in the planning system? What makes a good masterplan?

Behind the Scenes: Highgate Cemetery
Swain's Lane, Highgate, N6 6PJ
Tube: Archway (Northern line)
Buses: C11, 143, 210, 271

Wednesday, 19 September, 3:00 – 4:10
35 may attend

Highgate West Cemetery is one of the most highly regarded Victorian cemeteries in the world. Now overgrown after years of neglect when closed in the 60s, the sinuous paths meander through atmospheric gothic tombs and impressive family vaults and graves. Highgate is still an active cemetery, so mixes heritage (there are over 100 listed monuments), nature conservation and social history (some of the most famous ‘popular’ Victorians are buried there), with contemporary graves, although very few of those are shown on the tour. The East cemetery, which is not as dramatic, has many of the contemporary well-known graves, along with George Eliot and Karl Marx.

Join us for this fascinating tour of one of the capital's 'Magnificent 7' cemeteries.

Please Note: The West Cemetery has steps, steep and uneven paths and no seats. Some paths are soft or uneven and so not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.

London the Market: The life and times of Camden Lock market
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines)

Thursday, 20 September, 6:30 – 8:30


Starting in 1974 as a temporary scheme, through large organic growth during the 1980s, to new permanent buildings in the 1990s. Camden Market is set to reinvent itself in 2019.

From zero customers to over twelve million visitors each year, from zero employment to over two thousand jobs.  Eric Reynolds continues our look into 'London the Market' as he explores the history of London's world famous Camden Market. 

The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 22 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Patricia Brown 
and Dr Jessica Ferm discover - How has central London changed in the last 20 years? Why do some boroughs look so different to each other? Why does local plan-making take so long, and why is it important? What is the role of design in the planning system?

How We Work: Kohn Pedersen Fox
KPF, 7A Langley St, WC2H 9JA
Tube: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)

Tuesday, 25 September, 6:30 – 8:30

How We Work is a Member’s Only 'behind the scenes' series of informal evenings with a key principal from one of the capital's leading architectural studios.  The evening will look at the studio’s history, current and future projects.  

KPF’s London Office established in 1990, and since opening it has become the base for a truly international practice, working across Europe, the Middle East and beyond. The office now has up to 140 staff and is led by 7 Principals and 10 Directors. 

Their vast experience in London in particular includes complex urban projects across many of the boroughs. They have proven expertise maximising the potential of underused sites, contributing to significant placemaking and regeneration efforts. They have influenced the development of areas which are crucial to London’s advancement, supporting the city’s position on the world stage, whether transforming a previously derelict site, in the case of Canary Wharf, or enhancing tightly knit historic areas such as the Square Mile, Mayfair, Earls Court and Covent Garden. 

Join President and Design Principal, Jamie von Klemperer, Principal, John Bushell and the Society for this intimate Members Only evening as we discover the past, present and future of one of London’s most exciting architectural studios.

The Cass, 16 Goulston Street, E1 7TP
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Saturday, 29 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Mark Brearley 
and Euan Mills ask - What are London's strategic planning objectives? Why does the mayor get involved with individual planning applications?  Why should we get involved in strategic policy? Who will drive future planning practice?

Never Mind The Bollards: London’s Iconic Street Furniture
Hoare Lea, 12-13 Stable St, Kings Cross, N1C 4AB
Kings Cross (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines, National Rail)

Tuesday, 2 October,  6:30 – 8:30


The red phone box is a true icon of London. Now essentially redundant, the humble kiosk remains a magnet for tourists and Instagrammers looking for an authentic London backdrop. But what of London's other street furniture? Most of us walk past without a second glance, but this is to miss a world of enchantment.

Have you ever hunted the city's rare Edward VIII post boxes? Do you know where in London one can find a bollard shaped like a policeman, or a penis? Our city contains musical benches, anti-urination guards, hidden ventilation shafts, stink pipes, 1,500 working gas lamps, and railings made from WW2 stretchers. Even the humble junction box has become a canvas for street artists, while coal hole covers are collectors' items. In Abbey Road we even have the world's most famous (perhaps the world's only famous) pedestrian crossing.

Londonist Editor-at-Large Matt Brown promises that you'll never look at your street the same way again after you hear him talk a load of bollards for an hour.

Battersea and Nine Elms
21 St George Wharf, SW8 2JW
Tube: Vauxhall (Victoria line, National Rail)

Saturday, 6 October, 10:30 – 12:30
25 may attend
Members have Priority Booking until Monday, 20 August

Anyone travelling by train between Waterloo/Vauxhall and Clapham Junction will have noticed that Nine Elms is changing fast - it is currently one of the largest regeneration areas in Europe.  This walk led by London Blue Badge Tourist Guide, Rosie Pollard, follows the river Thames from Vauxhall to Chelsea Bridge taking in the changing landscape and focussing on 2 buildings - the new American embassy and Battersea Power station.  Some of the most recognised architects in the world are involved in the 15 year project to redevelop the Power station and the 42 acre site - Phase 1 is already complete opening up public access to the Thames.

The 3.5 km walk finishes at Circus West Village by Chelsea Bridge which offers a variety of cafes and restaurants.