The Bartlett School of Architecture


Londoners Making London – New Book by Bartlett Lecturer Dr Jan Kattein

17 April 2024

The book shares nine projects that have transformed their local neighbourhoods, and features contributions by several Bartlett staff and alumni.

Book cover, Londoners Making London by Jan Kattein

Dr Jan Kattein’s London-based practice, Jan Kattein Architects (JKA) has become known for urban regeneration projects, working with local communities to ensure they can help to steer and benefit from each development. The practice, which employs several Bartlett alumni, was commended earlier this year for a lifetime body of work at the 2024 MacEwen Awards, and is only the second ever practice to receive a lifetime-based commendation. 

His new book, Londoners Making London (Lund Humphries, 2024), published on 22 April, spotlights community groups and individuals who have delivered transformational projects in their neighbourhoods, including several projects that his practice has worked on. 

These community-initiated and stewarded regeneration projects counter the narrative of large developers imposing top-down change on cities, and eschew prevailing gentrification models for ways of building and regenerating urban areas that centre existing communities at the heart of each project.

A number of Bartlett graduates and members of staff worked on or are featured in Londoners Making London, including Jan who is an alumnus and current tutor. The book was designed by Gareth Marriott, the practice’s Director of Design, who graduated from The Bartlett in 2015. The practice’s Blue House Yard project, which was led by alumnus, Bartlett tutor and JKA Director of Projects Gabriel Warshafsky, is featured, including an interview with fellow alumna Alice Hardy who also worked on the project, discussing the design and build as well as her time at The Bartlett. Bartlett graduate Chandni Patel led JKA’s Food Bus project which is also discussed in the book, and the book opens with an exploration of King’s Cross Skip Garden, a project designed and built by Architecture BSc UG3 students, whose unit was taught by Jan and co-tutor Dr Julia King.

Commenting on the book, Jan said: 

Every good project that I have ever worked on has been the result of good teamwork. ‘Londoners Making London’ is such a project and it has been inspiring to have had the opportunity to work with such visionary people on the book. Not surprisingly, several of them are Bartlett colleagues or alumni.”

Two events in London will follow the book’s release. A symposium on 16 May will bring together five of the book’s contributors to share perspectives on ways of scaling up grassroots regeneration. The symposium is hosted at Paper Garden in Canada Water (Teredo Street, SE16 7LW), an award-winning educational building and ecology garden designed by JKA. 

On 21 May at Argent (4 Stable Street, N1C 4AB) Jan will take part in a panel discussion hosted by the London Society, with Jane Riddiford, co-founder and honorary trustee at Global Generation; Jeffrey Lennon, director of the African Street Style Festival; Anurag Verma and Jon Broome, chair and advisor to the Rural Urban Synthesis Society; and Emily Bohill, co-chair of the Thornhill Primary School Foundation and founder of Run Kids Run. They will discuss how communities are driving transformation in their neighbourhoods.

Jan Kattein graduated from The Bartlett in 2002 and founded Jan Kattein Architects in 2004. He and Gabriel Warshafsky, Director of Projects, both currently teach at The Bartlett. Gabriel graduated from The Bartlett in 2012 and teaches Design & Creative Practice within Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies BSc. Jan teaches Architecture and Engagement at The Bartlett, is a personal tutor and PhD supervisor, and completed his own PhD at The Bartlett in 2009. 

More information

1. Lund Humphreys
2. Carousel images: Skip Garden, Blue House Yard and Food Bus, all by Jan Kattein Architects