UCL Urban Laboratory


Italy and the United Kingdom: Exchanges and Transcultural Influences in Postwar Architecture

29 November 2019

Dr Clare Melhuish was a member of the Scientific Committee and a session moderator for an international conference examining the transcultural influences shaping British and Italian postwar architectural and planning heritage.

Italy and the United Kingdom - Exchanges and Transcultural Influences in Postwar Architecture

Organised by Lorenzo Ciccarelli (University of Florence) and Martina Caruso (British School at Rome), the conference explored the thesis that it was in Italy and the UK that some of the of the most talented architects, bold engineers and refined critics emerged to challenge the hegemony of Internationalism and the destruction of history and tradition in architecture and urban planning between 1945 and 1975. During this period, Italy and the United Kingdom experienced intense economic development, political transformation, and a radical re-organisation of urban space and built form following the war-time devastation of many towns and cities.

The conference explored how, notwithstanding the two countries’ contrasting geographic and climatic conditions, levels of economic and industrial development and different social structures, British and Italian architects, urbanists and historians engaged in a meaningful exchange of ideas and influences that had a significant impact on the course of architectural history at this time, which has not previously been fully documented. Find the full conference programme on the British School at Rome website.

Ciccarelli and Melhuish are co-editing an edited volume of essays by Italian, British, French and American conference participants, for publication in 2020 under the same title.