Wednesday, 6 February 2013, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Forwards and Backwards: Architecture in inter-war England

Simon Thurley CBE

The First World War brought far reaching changes to England. These included a huge expansion of the suburbs, the massive growth of motoring and a debate about how England should look in the future. This was not a simple battle between conservationists and developers; it was a search for the soul of England. 

This is a part of the lecture series, English Architecture: Into the Modern World.
Simon Thurley’s four lectures complete his survey of English building from the Saxons to the present day. The theme is modernity and tradition. This is the story of how British architects struggled to find an architectural language that met the needs and aspirations of a society in a state of rapid change while negotiating deep and popular traditions and beliefs. Two World Wars shook the nation producing the seemingly contradictory emotions of nostalgia and progress. Out of this has come the world in which we live.
The other lectures in this series are as follows:
    Building the Victoria City: Splendour and Squalor
    English Architecture and the First World War
    Coming to Terms with Modern Times: English architecture in the post-war era

Speaker_SimonTHurley_370x370g.jpg

Professor Thurley is a leading architectural historian, a regular broadcaster and was, for thirteen years, Chief Executive of English Heritage, the Government's principal advisor on the historic environment in England. Prior to joining English Heritage in 2002, he served as the Director of the Museum of London, the world's largest city museum. Between 1990 to 1997 he was the Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation is responsible for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Kew Palace.

Throughout his career Simon has been passionate about communicating English history. He is the author of more than ten books including The Building of England, his history of English architecture, and The Royal Palaces of Tudor England, the subject of his PhD taken at the Courtauld Institute. At Historic Royal Palaces, and later at English Heritage, he was responsible for major restoration projects - the most recent of which was the restoration of the Stonehenge landscape and the construction of a new museum there. At the Museum of London he led an exciting exhibition programme, inspiring people with a passion for the city. His television projects include, most recently, Heritage! the story of the heritage movement in Britain made for BBC4.

He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is also a Trustee of the British Library, of the Canal and River Trust and of the Society of Court Studies, an academic study group he helped to found 25 years ago. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society. He is currently the Gresham Visiting Professor of the Built Environment.

Professor Simon Thurley continues his series on the Built Environment in the 2015/16 academic year entitled 'Power, Medicine, Genius and Destruction: Great London Buildings and their Creators, 1200 to 2000'.

Professor Thurley's previous lecture series are as follows:

2014/15 The Royal Palaces of England
2010/13 A History of English Architecture: 410 - 2013
2010 London and its Architecture
2009 Heritage and its impact on the way we live

All of Professor Thurley's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

Current Gresham Professor of Environment

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6 February 2013

Forwards and Backwards: Architecture in inter-war England
Simon Thurley CBE

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