The London Society is very pleased to be able to support Open City's 2022 Thornton Lecture, this year given by Kate Macintosh, who will speak about her life’s work and the wider context of British housing today.
Kate Macintosh's buildings are enduring highlights of the heyday of British public architecture: world-class council homes which are still much-loved by their residents today. For many, her architecture, and that of her peers embodies a more caring moment of British history, one in which decent housing and civic facilities were understood as every citizen’s right.
Edinburgh-born Macintosh is best known for her 1960s social housing projects, although she also worked under Denys Lasdun on designs for the National Theatre. In 1965 she began work for the Southwark architecture department, designing the distinctive Dawson’s Heights estate in Dulwich and the Grade II listed Macintosh Court on Leigham Court Road (which was renamed in her honour).
Now no longer practicing as a designer, Macintosh is a tireless and tenacious housing campaigner. Her passion and clarity in dissecting the UK housing crisis is second to none, and her analysis of the political and economic forces that shape the built environment today challenges the roots of the British housing sector. Always driven by deep respect and compassion for the communities which she has served all her life, Macintosh throws herself into campaigns with an energy few in the architecture world muster. In her lectures and writing she has expanded the nation’s understanding of how we came to face the gravest housing crisis since WWII, inspiring a new generation of young architects to place the design of housing for ordinary citizens at the heart of their work and studies.
Photo of Kate Mcintosh (c) Michael Franke