History of Art



This course looks at how architects and designers have transformed London in the past century. Beginning with a visit to the Architecture Gallery at the Victoria & Albert Museum, we will discuss iconic buildings of 20th-century London through a series of site-based classes. We will explore the theme of ‘modernisms’ in visits to private dwellings by the international architects Wells Coates (Lawn Road Flats, 1933) and Ernö Goldfinger (2 Willow Road, 1939) and as well as key public modernist buildings in and around Bloomsbury, the RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place (1933) and The Royal College of Physicians (1960s). We will also look at modernist schemes of social regeneration, such as the radical Finsbury Health Centre (1938) and later the Spa Green and Bevin Court estates. The opportunities to rebuild London after the Second World War will form the core of second part of the course, in tours to the Royal Festival Hall and the South Bank compound, as well as landmark housing projects from the 1960s-1970s, the Barbican, Balfron Tower and Robin Hood Garden estates. The course will conclude with visits to Canary Wharf as an example of urban regeneration in the

1980s Docklands, and to King’s Cross, looking towards post-modern developments in urban planning and architecture in London. The aim of the course is to introduce students the history and theory of architecture and equip them with critical and analytical skills to examine and discuss the built environment of the past century.