The Bartlett


Bartlett Walks: Raising from the Ashes

15 November 2017, 2:00 pm–4:00 pm

RAISING FROM THE ASHES: Architecture and Science for the Rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666

RAISING FROM THE ASHES: Architecture and Science for the Rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666

Event Information

Open to

UCL students




The Bartlett


Meet at 2pm outside Monument Tube Station, King William St, London EC4R 9AA.

These walks are open to Bartlett postgraduate students.

Walking provides a novel perspective on issues, themes and artefacts within the built environment. Bartlett Walks is a series of PhD student led excursions around different corners of London. Covering diverse themes such as graffiti, regeneration and surveillance, the walks all assume different methodological or thematic approaches to the built environment. Come along, explore London, and get to know fellow Bartlett students from other departments.

This walk aims to show some of the architectural sites and monuments that marked the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. These buildings will tell the story of how the British capital, burnt to the ground after four days of ceaseless fire, was rebuilt from the ground up over just a few decades.

Among the protagonists of these uniquely large and successful operation were Christopher Wren (1632-1723), Robert Hooke (1635-1703) and Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736).They will take centre stage as some of the most ingenious makers of modern London, reborn through an authentic revolution in architecture as well as science.

This walk will show how, after a catastrophe such as the Great Fire of 1666, both architecture and early modern science provided instruments to rethink the city of London as a whole. Moreover, the tour will demonstrate how late 17th Century architecture, far from being an accepted disciplinary filed, was on the contrary deeply interrelated with artistic and scientific concerns. As proved by buildings such as the Monument and St. Paul’s Cathedral, such architectural knowledge was deeply interdisciplinary and as such susceptible to continuous reinvention, adaptability and change.

This walk - which falls almost exactly 350 years after the Great Fire of London - will therefore also point at a reflection over the changing role of architecture within society. We will look at the value of such architectural historical research for current practices, especially relevant for Postgraduate students at the Bartlett.

The walk will start with Monument to the Great Fire of London (Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, 1671-77). We will then move to St. Stephen Walbrook (Christopher Wren, 1672-79) and St. Mary Woolnoth (Nicholas Hawksmoor, 1716-27). We will then get to St. Paul’s Cathedral (Christopher Wren, 1668-1711). The walk will end at ‘Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese’ Pub (one of the first buildings rebuilt after the Great Fire) for a friendly pint.

This walk will be led by Gregorio Astengo, Bartlett School of Architecture.

To sign up for this event, please register via Eventbrite. Places are limited.