PLANNING FOR 10 MILLION: How to plan London
Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark St, SE1 0HX
Tube: London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee lines), Southwark (Jubilee line)

Tuesday, 6 March, 6:30 - 8:30

Take part in the conversation as Colin Wilson, Strategic Planning Manager for the Greater London Authority explores how London should be preparing for its population growth that is set to reach 11 Million by 2040.

Most plans are policy statements rather than giving an idea of what the city will be like. To engage the widest audience including politicians at all levels, residential, business communities and the development industry in a meaningful debate you need some idea of what and how much will go where and when. Patterns of spatial development need to be identified and the relationships between areas should be explained. A simple list of areas along growth corridors provides the ingredients, but without the recipe you are never going to get the buy in to cook anything up!

Building and Dwelling: Ethics for a City
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA
Tube: London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines, National Rail)


Monday 5th March, 7:00 - 8:30

In association with Southwark Cathedral

To mark the release of Professor Richard Sennett's new publication Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Southwark Cathedral and publisher Penguin Random House are delighted to host a panel discussion looking at how cities are built and how people live in them. The London Society has a limited number of tickets available to members.

Chaired by the Revd Canon Giles Goddard, Vicar at St John's Waterloo the panel features some of London's leading thinkers on the urban environment, Professor Richard Sennett, Mike Hayes and Noha Nasser. Please join us for what should be a fascinating discussion on the future of thriving 'open' cities.

London Symphony Film Screening
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA
Tube: London Bridge (Jubilee, Northern lines, and National Rail)

This event is now SOLD OUT 

Friday, 23 February, 7:00-9:30

Join us at a candlelit Southwark Cathedral for a screening of the inspiring and beautiful black and white film London Symphony. With no dialogue, just a stunning accompanying original musical score, this film is a tribute the glory of this great city and its diversity and culture - a poetic journey through London, a cosmopolitan city facing a challenge to its identity in the current political climate.

The screening will take place in the beautiful candlelit Cathedral nave. Doors will open at 7pm and the screening will be followed by a short interval before a Q&A with the Sub Dean & Canon Pastor, Michael Rawson and the Director, Alex Barrett.

Directed by Alex Barrett, and featuring an original musical composition by James McWilliam, it is an artistic portrait of the city as it stands today, and a celebration of its culture and diversity.  The film was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017.

“How We Work”: Behind the Scenes at Studio Egret West
Studio Egret West, 3 Brewhouse Yard, EC1V 4JQ, 35 may attend.
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines)

Monday, 26 February, 6:30-8:30

How We Work is a Members 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.  

Studio Egret West was established in November 2004 by Christophe Egret and David West with a shared vision: To offer strategy with architectural specificity; and specificity within an overall strategy. Recent projects include plans for Balfron Tower, the East Croydon Bridge, the 'remaking' of the Park Hill Estate in Sheffield and the transformation of Oxford Circus underground station.

Studio Egret West brings surprise and delight to place making.  Architecture is too often seen in isolation from its urban context. Planning is too often seen as soulless, unspecific proposals that gather dust on shelves. We believe that the way forward is the osmosis between planning and architecture. Studio Egret West is just this. 

Architectural Marmite: 8 iconic London buildings you’ll love or hate
Sir Christopher Hatton pub, 4 Leather Lane, EC1N 7RA
Tube: Chancery Lane (Central line)

Tuesday, 13 March, 6:30 - 8:30

Which London buildings are under appreciated? Which famous London icons are over-praised? This London Society debate - in association with London Historians - will help to set everything right!


Join us in the basement bar of the Sir Christopher Hatton pub for a drink and a lively discussion, as eight speakers put their case for their favourite buildings, or suggest why famous landmarks are overdue an appointment with the wrecker’s ball.

The buildings and places under discussion will remain secret until the evening, so come prepared to be amused, shocked, enlightened and entertained...it's sure to be one lively evening! 

The debate will be moderated by Matt Brown, editor-at-large at Londonist and author of “Everything you know about London is wrong”.

Clerkenwell & Smithfield
Farringdon Tube Station, 39 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BY, 25 may attend.
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines)

This event is now SOLD OUT - a waitlist is in operation

Saturday, 17 March, 10:30 - 12:30

The adjacent historic districts of Clerkenwell & Smithfield – beyond the City Wall – conjure images of monastic solemnity, riotous gathering, execution and cattle-droving.

Throughout the centuries these enigmatic places – synonymous with independent thinking – have survived and adapted to external changes thrust upon them. Today they are arguably facing their greatest challenge – and inevitable change – with the opening of the Elizabeth Line later this year. 

Blue Badge Guide David Thompson leads this fascinating walk which will trace the history and the development of the area's urban fabric – and to consider what the future may have in store.

1930s LONDON: The quick perspective of the future – London buildings of the 1930s
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines)

Thursday, 22 March, 6:30-8:30

Alan Powers (former Chair of the Twentieth Century Society) offers an insightful and engaging evening as he delves into London's buildings of the 1930s and introduces one of our 2018 themes - 1930s London.

White walls, concrete cantilevers, flat hat roofs, or something more complicated? These received images of 1930s architecture quickly give way to variety of impulse and possibility in the expansion and rebuilding of London. For a long time, the ‘white hat’ good guys have been the Moderns, and the rest were culpable failures. 

It is has taken us a long time to see the period in more depth, but surprisingly, much of today’s architecture helps us to better appreciate that social service 70 or 80 years ago came in many shapes, and that buildings such as police stations, clinics and schools, built with brick and stone, remain stalwarts of our streets with lessons to teach.

Behind the Scenes: Senate House
Senate House, University of London, Malet St, WC1E 7HU, 25 may attend.
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line), Russell Square (Piccadilly line)

Monday, 26 March, 2:00 - 4:00


Designed by British architect Charles Holden, who is also credited with the design of many of London’s Underground stations, Senate House was created be the headquarters of the University of London.


The landmark Art Deco building is one of the few buildings in London to boast original 1930s features. King George V laid the foundation stone in June 1933 and the building welcomed its first occupants in 1936. Senate House, consisting of 19 floors and standing 210 feet (64m) high, was the tallest secular building in Britain on completion. It was constructed of the finest materials then available. It was listed as Grade II* in 1969. During the Second World War, Senate House was home to the Ministry of Information and inspired George Orwell’s description of the Ministry of Truth in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four

Senate House is also the home to the world-famous Senate House Library which holds one of the world’s largest humanities collections.

*Non-members tickets go on sale 5 March

Planning for 10 Million: Rationalising land use allocation in the Green Belt
Studio Egret West, 3 Brewhouse Yard, EC1V 4JQ
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines)

Tuesday, 10 April, 6:30 - 8:30

Sadiq Khan is committed to protecting both industrial workspace and the Greenbelt.
In his talk Colin Wilson suggests there is potential for using areas of poor quality Greenbelt, particularly that adjacent to existing industrial clusters and motorway infrastructure for industrial land, while at the same time  freeing up industrial sites near railway stations to deliver much needed housing. The gains in land value could be invested in improving the Greenbelt, providing more affordable housing and making a compelling business case to The Treasury to fund schemes like Crossrail 2.

Is there a more rational approach to land use allocation and transport investment? And even if there is will politicians ever back it?

London’s Slave Trade: The People, the Port & the Profit
St. Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, EC4M 8AD, 20 may attend.
Tube: St Paul's (Central line)

Saturday, 14 April, 10:45 - 13:00

As part of the Society’s ‘Markets’ series, Blue Badge Guide Dominic Burris-North uncovers some of the forgotten history about the capital’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

This thought provoking tour takes you through the streets and alleys of the City of London to show you where humans were bartered for over a cup of coffee, and how the ‘white gold’ used to sweeten that coffee became the principle driver of the trade.


Discover how longstanding racial stereotypes about Africans were propagated by City companies and how a racist ideology was used as a means of dehumanising the victims of slavery to provide a moral justification for the continuation of the trade, and about how one prominent court case stimulated the Abolition movement.


The darker origins of some of the City’s best known financial Institutions are revealed, learn how they like many other industries benefitted and grew from the odious trade.

This tour shines a light on a hidden past and will make you reconsider the legacy of slavery and whether or not enough has been or is being done to acknowledge it.

*Non-members tickets available from 5 March

Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark street, SE1 0HX, 35 may attend.
Tube: London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines), Southwark (Jubilee line)

Monday, 23 April, 6:30 - 8:30

How We Work is a Members 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.  

Founded in 1984 by Bob Allies and Graham Morrison, Allies and Morrison’s work ranges from architecture, interior design and conservation to masterplanning, consultation and urban research.
Since the studio's founding, they have developed a reputation for well-crafted buildings and thoughtful place making.

Completed projects in London include the refurbishment and restoration of the Royal Festival Hall, the public landscaping at Tate Britain, Chelsea College of Art, Greenwich Planetarium, and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe. They have also been involved in the masterplanning for many of London’s major urban projects including the Olympic Games and Legacy, King’s Cross Central, Greenwich Peninsula, Canada Water, Royal Arsenal Woolwich, and Brent Cross Cricklewood, as well as Imperial College’s new White City Campus.

Join Bob Allies and the Society for this intimate Members Only evening as we discover the past, present and future of one of London’s most successful architectural studios.