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Peter Murray

 

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. Jo East was part of our tour of the new spaces.

The latest Society tour of a building took us to Congress House, the HQ of the TUC. Our guide for the evening was Adam Knight of Hugh Broughton Architects who have recently completed the latest stage of a sympathetic refurbishment of this large imposing Post War institution.

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Peter Murray

 

On 4 September Euan Macdonald (Hawkins\Brown) and Kevin Jones (UCL) took members on a  special Behind the Scenes tour of one of the world’s most renowned architecture schools. Roger Cline was among the visitors.

The original building was erected in 1974 with funding from Wates the building contractors and hence called Wates House. It had a concrete frame with T-section vertical columns and brick facing, the stems of the eternal columns forming a series of vertical ribs around the building. It housed 380 students and 90 staff over five floors which also included a staff flat. With a three-fold increase of students since then it was decided to refurbish the building to provide bigger and better teaching facilities. Initially the budget was £5million,

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Peter Murray

 

Members are the lifeblood of the London Society, helping fund our events, publications and the work we do with the All-Party Parliamentary Group.

More than that, the engaged membership that we have gets involved in the talks and debates we hold, comes on the tours and walks, and contributes to the discussion on the sort of capital city that we want.

If you’re interested in making London a better place in which to live and to work, want to know more about the city’s history and development, enjoy seeing ‘behind the scenes’ at famous buildings and architects’ practices, then you really need to become a member.

And this is the best time at which to join. In the New Year, membership rates increase, so if you join now, you can save up to £10 off.

The spring 2018 events programme is taking shape (you can download the current list here) with booking open to members for several events.

Many of our events sold out in 2017, so if you want to make sure that you don’t miss a talk or tour that you’re really interested in, then becoming a member gives you priority booking as well as discounted tickets.

We have nearly 1,000 individual members now and hope to get this to 1,500 next year. Join today and you’ll be part of a growing society that is educating, informing and entertaining its members. Click here for more information.

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Peter Murray

 

The central London branch of the Historical Association has arranged a private guided tour of Spencer House, London’s finest surviving 18th century aristocratic palace, on 17 December.

Built between 1756-1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, Spencer House is in St James’s Place and is recognised as one of the most ambitious aristocratic town houses ever built in London and the city’s only great eighteenth-century private palace to survive intact. This magnificent house has regained the full splendour of its late eighteenth-century appearance after a ten-year restoration undertaken by RIT Capital Partners plc, under the Chairmanship of Lord Rothschild.

Tickets are £16. For further information about this and other Historical Association events, please email chrissie@ganjou.com or you can download a booking form here.

 

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Peter Murray

 

On 25 September, Victor Callister, Deputy Director of Architecture & Built Environment at the Design Council, conducted a Society tour of Chancery Lane and the surrounding area. Sophie Hetherington reports.

This tour of Chancery Lane, led by the inimitable Victor Callister, explored the history of the area from the 12th century to the 21st. Victor was a charismatic speaker, and the walk was illustrated with a booklet of historic maps and images, allowing the group to fully engage with this whistle-stop tour of London’s history.

We began with a brief history lesson on the emergence of Chancellor’s Law (as opposed to Common Law) , which gave name to Chancery Lane, due to the proximity of King Henry VIII, Parliament and the Rolls Building. Chancellor’s Law regarded contracts, and what was “fair” or “right”, and a history of generational legal resets are historically based in this area, as it is where the Law Society has recently been based. 

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Peter Murray

design-museum-6

Of course, anyone can go into the Design Museum as it’s one of the capital’s free musuems, but last week 20 or so London Society members had the place to ourselves in an after hours tour. Even betterm the tour was conducted by the Director, Deyan Sudjic.

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Peter Murray

Join Mark Davy, CEO Futurecity for this very special curator led tour of Transcending Boundaries, three rooms of immersive installations, two of which have never been seen before, and which includes work from Illuminated River competition winner Leo Villarreal.

The tour is free to London Society members. Tickets are limited and can be reserved here.

 

Transcending Boundaries is a stunning, beautiful and immersive set of artworks that explores the role of digital technology in transcending the physical and conceptual boundaries that exist between different artworks, with imagery from one work breaking free of the frame and entering the space of another. The installations also dissolve distinctions between artwork and exhibition space, and involve the viewer through interactivity.

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Peter Murray

 

logoWe all know that one of the best ways to see more of London is on foot, and that a guide-led walk can reveal many lesser-known aspects of the city.

That probably explains the popularity of the Walk London programme which has been organising free guided walks within the capital since 2007.

The walks, funded by Transport for London and delivered by Walk Unlimited, happen three times a year, in January, May and September. The next weekend takes place on the 28 and 29 January 2017.

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Peter Murray

 

‘Lost’ spaces in Peckham Rye Station, bricked up in the early sixties at the time of the Beeching cuts, have been opened up over the past 8 years by the Peckham-based Benedict O’Looney architects. On 26 November, Benedict showed Society members the progress being made to bring back the station to its former glory.

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Peter Murray

After 150 years of industrial use, the area to the north of King’s Cross and St Pancras stations is being transformed into a vibrant new city quarter. Tom Goodall from the development team at Argent guided London Society members around the public areas of the development, explaining the industrial heritage of the area and how the development will unfold over the coming years.

Go here for details of forthcoming London Society events, and here for details of how to join and get members’ rates for all of our tours, talks and debates

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