Historic Greenwich
Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT, 25 may attend.
Tube: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Docklands Light Railway - DLR)

Saturday, 29 April, 10:30 - 1:00

Tudor Palace, Baroque architecture, first Classical building in London and 21st century celebrations?

If it's all in one place it must be Greenwich. We will see all this and more on this stroll that will include a busy market, a Hawksmoor church and a Royal Park. Find out why Dickens visited, who changed Christopher Wren's plans for the seamen's hospital and the connection to Les Miserables! And if we time it just right we'll be able to set our watches exactly right by Greenwich Mean Time! 

The walk will last about 2.5 hours and there are plenty of places for lunch and visits in the afternoon if you want to make a day of it.

A Better Green Belt? Making the Green Belt fit for the 21st Century
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City lines)

Thursday, 4 May, 6:30 - 8:30

Passions run high on all sides in discussions about the future of the Green Belt, but what, if anything, should be done? 

The Green Belt that has wrapped around London since the 1930s was created due, in large part, to the advocacy of the London Society. 

But does this 20th Century solution for restricting the capital’s growth meet the challenges of the 21st? Could the Green Belt be improved to help the environment and better facilitate new housing?

Previous debates have tended to generate more heat than light, with speakers characterised as “for” or “against” the Green Belt. This London Society event will present a range of views and see if there are any approaches that can satisfy all parties.

Join us for what is sure to be a lively, stimulating and interesting discussion.

Chaired by
 Paul Finch, editorial director of the Architects' Journal

Speakers include:

  • Richard Knox Johnston, London Green Belt Council
  • Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive U+I plc
  • John Myers, London YIMBY
  • Alice Roberts, CPRE
Saturday Morning Architecture School
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
BLOCK BOOKING - 5 talks for the price of 4!
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturdays: 13 May, 20 May, 27 May, 3 June, & 10 June, 11:30 - 12:30

Join the Society for this informative series of five Saturday morning talks with some of London's leading experts and learn about the architectural styles that make up the city.

London is not characterised by any particular architectural style, as it has accumulated its buildings over a long period. This Saturday School series will help you to explore some of these styles, to identify the periods to which they belong, learn how to read the codes and to understand the design pedigree of the buildings that surround us.

Covering architecture from medieval age right through to contemporary times, the sessions at the Saturday School are suitable for anyone with a love of London. The format is informal and no specialist knowledge is required.

Speakers are chosen for their expertise in each era and the talks will be fully illustrated. There will be ample time for discussion and questions afterwards.

Classes will be held between 11:30 and 12:30/1pm at The Building Centre where we will have access to the magnificent 1:300,000 scale model of London to help illustrate each of these talks.  
The Gentleman Baristas' will also be on hand in the cafe to supply you with some of the best coffee in town!

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.

Saturday Morning Architecture School: Medieval
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturday, 13 May, 11:30 - 12:30

London before the Great Fire: An Exploration of its Medieval Architecture
While nine-tenths of medieval London was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and a great deal more was demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries, a surprising number of buildings escaped the flames or demolition ball, certainly more than one might initially think.

Historian, town planner and conservationist Alec Forshaw explores the highway and by-ways of London to reveal some of the remarkable buildings that survive from the medieval period, from the grand to the humble, and what London was like 400 years ago.

In partnership with The Built Environment Trust

Saturday Morning Architecture School: Georgian
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturday, 20 May, 11:30 - 12:30

Georgian London - our dynamic city
Prof. Geoffrey Tyack
describes how under the first four Georges (1714-1830) London became one of the largest and most dynamic cities in the world, its buildings still bearing witness to its wealth and prestige.

This talk will examine the architectural legacy of Georgian London: the squares and aristocratic town houses of the West End, the churches and public buildings, and the multifarious places in which the vast and growing population found their employment. We will look at the work of well-known architects such as Robert Adam, John Nash and Sir John Soane, and also at the craftsmanship which plays such an important part in their buildings. It is impossible to understand modern London without reference to its Georgian origins, and this talk aims to explain why the architecture of Georgian London is so special, and to encourage understanding and appreciation of its qualities.

In partnership with The Built Environment Trust.

London Icons Series: London Cabs – Paint it Black
Make Architects, 32 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JY
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Thursday, 25 May, 6:30 - 8:30

The London Icons Series focuses on the black cab - but Stephen Bayley's talk promises to be more iconoclastic than celebratory. As he explains:

Charles Eames said the London black cab was the greatest ever design.  One of his more acid contemporaries said that, to an American, for a design to be great, it had to be both European and useless.  Both these observations are true.  The black cab is an institution.  And like most institutions, it is both drenched in attractive tradition and hobbled by a bone-headed refusal to innovate.  Never mind Uber, twenty years ago the black cab business failed to anticipate (or perhaps chose to ignore) the systematic improvements to bookings and payments that the internet promised. 

And then there are the folkloric cabbies themselves. They ceased to have cheeky-chappie chivalric status long ago and instead translated themselves into a Luddite rump of foul-mouthed, unhelpful psychotics.  Marginalised by GPS, undercut by Uber, one day soon it will occur to all of us what an absurd system it is that possessors of “The Knowledge” drive empty taxis around the streets, forlornly looking for custom.  Meanwhile, every survey of London brands includes Big Ben, red ‘buses and black cabs.  Pitiably, this symbol of London is owned by Chinese.

Join us for what promises to be a witty, incisive and probably controversial talk, as Bayley skewers a few myths, and asks whether the black cab is going the way of the Hansom and the trolley bus - and should we care if it does.

Stephen Bayley was once described as the “second most intelligent man in Britain”, this is both debatable and possibly untrue, but he was certainly the person for whom the term “design guru” was coined, a title he accepted with what he likes to think of as self-deprecating irony.

Saturday Morning Architecture School: Victorian
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturday, 27 May, 11:30 - 12:30

Introduction to Victorian Architecture
Susie Barson
, Senior Architectural Investigator with Historic England, will introduce the architecture of the Victorian and Edwardian period through a look at the new building types, materials, technological and social changes of the period, as well as the key architects and their ideas. 

Much maligned in the later 20
th century, many of these buildings, such as St Pancras Hotel and Station in London, have been reappraised and are appreciated for their special qualities by many who pass by, visit, live or work in them. Come and learn about London’s rich legacy of 19th and early 20th century buildings.

In partnership with The Built Environment Trust

Saturday Morning Architecture School: Post Modern
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturday, 3 June, 11:30 - 12:30

Architecture in London between the Wars: The meaning of Modern
In the 1930s, was Modern architecture a heroic ‘Battle of the Styles’ as some have suggested, or a reversion to national type?

Alan Powers, former chairman of the 20th Century Society, will look at both sides of the question, illustrating some of the famous landmarks of the period in London, such as Battersea Power Station, Peter Jones and the London Underground, and some notable lost and unbuilt projects.

In partnership with The Building Environment Trust

Aerial view of Mayfair at night, London
London’s Great Estates: Grosvenor
Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark St, SE1 0HX
Tube: London Bridge (Northern line), Southwark Street (Jubilee line)

Tuesday, 6 June, 6:30 - 8:30

Evolving Mayfair & Belgravia Together
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has published a 20 year vision to transform its London estate and tackle the pressures facing the capital. With London's rapid growth, Grosvenor wants its estate in Mayfair and Belgravia to work harder for its communities and all Londoners by adapting - with better streets, greener spaces and more active and enterprising places that appeal to the many, not just to the few. It is calling for new partnerships between public and private sectors, and with those who live and work on the estate, to bring about this change.

Will Bax, Executive Director, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, will outline Grosvenor’s history and approach and his perspective on the future of the estate.

This is part of the London Society's Great Estates series of talks and events.

Saturday Morning Architecture School: Contemporary
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Saturday, 10 June, 11:30 - 12:30

Where, why and how? London's architecture today (and tomorrow)
Chris Rogers,
architectural historian and author of books including the newly-published 'How to Read London: a crash course in London architecture', sets out some of the key factors shaping contemporary developments in the capital. Recent and emerging schemes  will be examined, a few predictions given as to the future and the suggestion made that location, density and governance might be at least as important as style as London continues to evolve. 

In partnership with The Built Environment Trust

London’s Great Estates: Mayfair – More active, more open and more welcoming
The Grosvenor Office, 70 Grosvenor Street, W1K 3JP, 25 may attend.
Tube: Bond Street (Central & Jubilee lines), Green Park (Piccadilly & Victoria lines), Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central & Victoria lines),

Wednesday, 14 June, 6:00 - 7:30

Join Grosvenor's Alex Phillips (Project Director of Placemaking) and Rachel Miller (Head of Strategy) on this walk as we explore the history and future of Mayfair, from luxury hotels, lost rivers and Victorian substations, to innovative public realm projects, new communities and the effect of Crossrail.

One of the most desirable neighbourhoods in London for 300 years, Grosvenor developed and still manage much of Mayfair. A new and ambitious 20-year  vision for the district responds to London’s growth by opening up Mayfair to the wider West End  and becoming more appealing and welcoming to all.

Come and find out about the challenges and opportunities that come with adapting world-class heritage to modern London.

This is part of the London Society's Great Estates series of talks and events.

routemaster bus
London Icons Series: Routemaster – A Marriage Made in London
Make Architects, 32 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JY
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

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

Join Jonathan Glancey for a celebration of London's beloved Routemaster!

Designed and made in London by Londoners for London, the Routemaster bus was a marriage of skills that served the city for half a century. It has yet to be bettered.
Its design was led by A. A. M. “Bill” Durrant, London Transport’s Chief Mechanical Engineer (Road Services), architect of the highly successful and long-lived Centurion battle tank and production engineer of Halifax bombers made by London Transport at its Aldenham Works during the Second World War.

Wartime experience was to revolutionise the design and construction of the London bus.
“The first thing to do”, said Durrant,“was to make a complete reappraisal of the operating requirements, and we asked the Operating Managers to try and erase from their minds all the past features they had specified, to think out their requirements from rock bottom and ignore for the time being any restrictions that hitherto might have had an influence upon them, such as Ministry regulations, the aim being to get down to the ideal bus from their point of view'.

Douglas Scott, a freelance industrial designer who had previously worked on the RF-single decker styled the engineering-driven Routemaster. From the beginning, this lightweight bus was a refined, economical and enduring machine.  It was and remains a symbol of the city it served.

Behind the Scenes: Interchange Atrium
Interchange Atrium, 407 Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH
Tube: Camden Town, Chalk Farm (Northern line)

Thursday, 29 June, 6:00 - 7:30

As the way we work changes, with the traditional office space giving way to shared, co-working spaces - the Society goes behind the scenes’ of one of the latest co-working spaces with Barr Gazetas’ Jon Eaglesham and Pradumn Pamidighantam at Camden’s Interchange Atrium.
Atrium is a creative workspace for 600 people, with three floors of alternative work style space being offered; private, hot-desking and breakout spaces.

London’s Great Estates: Cadogan
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City lines)

Tuesday, 4 July, 6:30 - 8:30

Cadogan and Chelsea – the making of a modern Estate
Cadogan has a 300 year history in Chelsea which informs the way it manages the estate today. Their long-term stewardship aims to safeguard the area’s vitality and ensure that it remains one of the capital’s most thriving and fashionable districts.

Hugh Seaborn CVO joined Cadogan as Chief Executive in 2008. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of The Portman Estate, driving the place-making and regeneration agenda in Marylebone. He is a past Council member of the Duchy of Lancaster. He will discuss the company’s history, how this has shaped the area’s distinctive built environment and how it continues to underpin its values for the London of the future.

This is part of the London Society's Great Estates series of talks and events.

London Icons: 50 Years of Conservation Areas
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City lines)

Thursday, 20 July, 6:30 - 8:30

Continuing our programme of London Icons, we look at Conservation areas in the capital.  There are over 1000 in the Greater London area; 50 percent of Camden is conversation area, while Kensington and Chelsea make up 70 percent.

Rosemarie MacQueen (Historic England Commissioner and former head of planning at Westminster), Frank Kelsall (architectural historian and former London Society Chairman), William Filmer-Sankey (architectural historian and archaeologist at Alan Baxter Ltd, previously Director of the Victorian Society) and Paul Velluet (architect, formerly of English Heritage) explore how Conservation Areas have been both a restraint on inconsiderate proposals and an encouragement to thoughtful design.