Category Archives: Architecture

“Just the right amount of provocation for readers” – Demolishing Whitehall commended in the RIBA President’s Award for Research 2014

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Ashgate are pleased to announce that Adam Sharr and Stephen Thornton, authors of Demolishing Whitehall: Leslie Martin, Harold Wilson and the Architecture of White Heat were recently shortlisted for this prestigious award in recognition of their outstanding university-located research. The RIBA President’s Award for Research acknowledges and encourages fresh and strategic thinking in architectural research for the benefit of the profession as a whole.

‘The judges applauded this outstanding work for tackling an often overlooked area. In covering various points of view, including design and politics, the judges considered the research to be a good polemic with just the right amount of provocation for readers. The author’s passion made the work all the more interesting.’   RIBA Judging Panel

Demolishing WhitehallDemolishing Whitehall tells the story of a grand 1960s plan to demolish most of Whitehall, London’s historic government district, and replace it with a ziggurat-section megastructure built in concrete. The book has been well-received  by reviewers and praised for its originality in the recounting of this largely forgotten episode in post-war history.

‘What an amazing saga. Officially commissioned early in 1964 to produce what would now be described as a ‘masterplan’ for the government quarter, the Whitehall area of London. …The story deserves to be known and is well told by Adam Sharr and Stephen Thornton.’    Architectural Review

‘What might have been a dry, academic investigation into a government planning exercise is instead imbued with wit, charm and novel insight.’    Architecture Today

Adam Sharr is Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK and editor of the journal Architectural Research Quarterly and Stephen Thornton is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the School of European Languages, Translation and Politics at Cardiff University, UK.

Congratulations to Catherine Burke, winner of the Anne Bloomfield Book Prize

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

A life in education and architectureAshgate are delighted to announce that A Life in Education and Architecture: Mary Beaumont Medd has received the Anne Bloomfield Book Prize:  an award given by The History of Education Society recognising this work as the best book on the history of education published between 2010-13. Catherine Burke recently received her award at the Society’s annual conference in Dublin, details of which can be found on their Blog.

Enthusiastic praise for A Life in Education has come from many quarters

‘This is a generous, well-crafted review of the life of Bradford-born public sector architect Mary Medd (née Crowley, 1907-2005). As a means of gaining insight into how to design schools, Catherine Burke’s book beautifully illuminates her subject’s profound impact on the thinking and processes involved… Burke, a historian of education, shows mastery of her subject here and delivers it through a light, accessible style.’   Times Higher Education

‘…this splendid volume, engagingly written and lavishly supplied with over 100 illustrations, is the most interesting, informative and inspirational book on the history of education that I have read in 2013′   Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education

Catherine Burke is an historian and senior lecturer in education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She has researched Mary Medd’s life and travels since the architect’s death in 2005, while at the same time engaging with architects designing schools today to bring about a better understanding of the history of the subject. Other related publications include The School I’d Like (2003) and School (2008) both with Ian Grosvenor.

A Controversial Subject – The Architecture of Abortion Clinics

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Recently interviewed by the on-line journal Women in the World Lori Brown shares her experiences and responds to the debate with some thought-provoking insights

 ‘Though abortion and the legal disputes that often surround it are visible media topics, abortion clinics are often pushed to the fringes of communities where access is the most crucial. But what if they were integrated into the mainstream of our everyday space: clinics in malls, clinics on military bases, clinics on high school campuses, and open access to preventative care?   Lori Brown

Read the interview

Contested SpacesLori Brown is Associate Professor of Architecture, Syracuse University School of Architecture, USA and author of Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals, a book in which she considers the relationship between space, defined physically, legally and legislatively and also explores how these factors directly impact the spaces of abortion.

Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals is classified as ‘Research Essential’ by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services

Nigel Bertram wins prestigious AIA award for Furniture, Structure, Infrastructure

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Furniture Structure InfrastructureAshgate is pleased to announce that Nigel Bertram, author of Furniture, Structure, Infrastructure has received the Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media, awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects. The Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media is Australia’s most prestigious media award for journalists, editors, producers and others reporting on architecture and design.

Extract from the awarding body’s citation

‘Furniture, Structure, Infrastructure’ presents architectural research through practice in an engaging and deliberate manner at an accessible level that is rarely achieved…the work within this book engages with a ‘fine grain’ context and responds to the city as it is rather than a view  of what it might be . In doing so, ‘Furniture, Structure, Infrastructure’ clearly demonstrates design research as an integral underpinning to architectural practice and careful observation, analysis and the application of accumulated knowledge as key drivers for compelling design ideas.   Bates Smart

Nigel Bertram is a Director of NMBW Architecture Studio, Melbourne and Practice Professor of Architecture in the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture at Monash University, Australia.

Published in November 2013 Furniture, Structure, Infrastructure  is one of the books in Ashgate’s new series Design Research in Architecture which encourages the exploration of innovative and cutting edge ideas of particular relevance to architects and urban designers.

Recent reviews by the LSE Review of Books

The LSE Review of Books regularly features Ashgate titles. It’s a fantastic site for book reviews in general, and covers a wide range of social science topics, including sociology, politics and IR, architecture, planning, gender studies, to name just a few.

Recent reviews of Ashgate books include:

Dynamics of Political Violence: A Process-Oriented Perspective on Radicalisation and the Escalation of Political Conflict, edited by Lorenzo Bosi, Chares Demetriou and Stefan Malthaner

Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency by Scott Gates and Kaushik Roy

The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design, by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection: Cosmetic Surgery, Weight Loss and Beauty in Popular Culture by Deborah Harris-Moore

The Impact of Racism on African American Families: Literature as Social Science by Paul C. Rosenblatt

The Greening of ArchitectureUnconventional warfare in south asiaThe impact of racism on african american familiesDynamics of political violence

For more reviews visit the LSE Review of Books

The Greening of Architecture by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

  • What are the five most important steps in the greening of Architecture?
  • Which of the early green design strategies can be considered up-to-date?
  • Who will drive the sustainable movement in the built environment, architects, the clients or government?
  • What are the challenges of green architecture in years to come?

The Greening of ArchitectureThe Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design is an engaging book which breaks new ground – contextualizing the development of sustainability in architecture from its roots on the 1960s to the present day.

Co-author, Phillip Tabb on how he came to be involved in writing this book:

 ‘I was asked to write a chapter in a book entitled ‘A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture’.   My chapter was to be on green architecture. In brainstorming the topic, I came up with the concept of “greening” architecture where sustainability became a process of evolution rather than a thing you stick on a building. So, my chapter in that book became “Greening Architecture: the Impact of Sustainability.” After I completed my first draft of this chapter, many of my reviewers felt that it was very strong and should be made into a book by itself. I contacted Ashgate and they agreed, and I consequently prepared a book proposal, which was accepted. I worked between 8 and 10 hours a day on this book for two and a half years’

Phillip Tabb recently discussed the book in an interview with Paolo Bulletti, for Archinfo, where he gives his responses to the questions above. Read the rest of the interview on Archinfo.

About the Authors: Phillip James Tabb is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Texas A&M University, USA and A. Senem Deviren is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey.

Contents of the book: Origins of green architecture; 1960s: an environmental awakening; 1970s: solar architecture; 1980s: postmodern green; 1990s: eco-technology; 2000s: sustainable pluralism; The global landscape of green architecture.

More about The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

Urban Maps, by Richard Brook and Nick Dunn

Urban Maps: Instruments of Narrative and Interpretation in the City is now available in paperback. Written by Richard Brook and Nick Dunn from Manchester School of Architecture, the book considers the city and the ‘devices’ that define the urban environment.

Layout 1‘Urban Maps provides an interesting new way of “minding the gap” between the contemporary urban condition and architectural design. Calling on familiar and well-loved theoretical friends like Walter Benjamin, but also bringing in exciting new contenders such Thomas de Quincey, the narrators interrogate an interdisciplinary array of projects from graffiti to branded environments. The map is posited as a central element of design behaviour, and Brook and Dunn argue convincingly that to address today’s pressing urban issues architecture must move outside its normal frames of reference, and engage with a new vocabulary and conceptual framework comprising images, networks, films, marks and objects.’   Jane Rendell, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK, author of The Pursuit of Pleasure (2001), Art and Architecture (2006), Site-Writing (2010)

‘Fifty years ago, Kevin Lynch offered us a classical reading of “the image of the city” based on a waning ideal of clear built landmarks and distinct urban signs. Now, through inspired insights and an in-depth inquiry into a vast array of contemporary urban practices, the authors of Urban Maps reveal to us how the complex narratives currently converging in the appropriation and redefinition of an eroded urban space require a totally revamped cognitive mapping… From the readings of cinema to the interventions of street art, from the markings of graffiti to the identities of brandscapes, and from the wanderings of contemporary art to the fictional drives of theory, architecture is confronted with the need to review the cartography of its references when facing the ascendancy of the urban condition – and the prominence of new networked, information-augmented realities – as substituting for previous conceptions of the city.’   Pedro Gadanho, architect, curator and writer, Lisbon, Portugal

The texts within Urban Maps offer an interdisciplinary discourse and critique of the complex systems, artifacts, interventions and evidences that can inform our understanding of urban territories; on surfaces, in the margins or within voids. The diverse media of arts practices as well as commercial branding are used to explore narratives that reveal latent characteristics of urban situations that conventional architectural inquiry is unable to do.

Richard Brook and Nick Dunn write in the preface to the book:

We use the term ‘map’ loosely to describe any form of representation that reveals unseen space, latent conditions or narratives in and of the city. Maps, by their characteristics, show us interpretations of context and can be singularly focused to expose particular essences of space and place, whether experientially or thematically driven. As both the physical and social make-up of our cities is increasingly complex, the tools with which we view the urban environment too become diverse in media and application.

Maps can be made inside films and within networks; objects and marks yield their own discourse and narratives about space and brand has consumed, demarcated and achieved cognitive presence in our vision of the city. All of these entities are discussed in this book in respect of their meaning and interpretation in the context of urban critique, using case studies to explore particular practice or themes of each. Certain practitioners or practices cross the classifications formed here and the interrelationship of the chapters is inevitable, the collective texts describe a breadth of works, conditions and objects that have been explored in the studio teaching of architecture and urban design in our work at the Manchester School of Architecture.

The association between the arts and architecture is rarely called into question, the proximities are considered explicit and there persists an assumption that these relationships are easily read and ideologies transposed between disciplines. As the study of architecture moves steadily towards concerns of urban space and the life between buildings, there can be value ascribed to the repositioning of a critique of the practice of the arts associated with the urban environment.

Discourse around ‘the urban’ has superseded ‘the city’ as the generic ‘environment’ that crosses academic disciplines and the sheer proportion of the global population that live in urban conditions has made this territory essential to a contemporary critique of intervention. Intervention is a far-reaching term that has been used to describe any number of acts, marks, forms, dispositions, transformations and records that are constructed of more than their formal content to expose, examine and question the nature of space and environment. It is unsurprising that the act of intervention whether exploratory, on paper, or realized has become part of the mode of inquiry within contemporary architecture.

The evolution of practice concerned with the latent condition of the urban environment took place as critique of the city found a place in academia through the emergence of map-based models used in sociological analyses of city form, dispersal and zoning. The application of abstract ideas and geometries concerned with the manufacture of space grew from the postmodern tradition in architecture and gained notoriety in the critical cul-de-sac of the Deconstructivist movement. The leap made by Hadid and Koolhaas to depart this imposed stylistic affliction did not leave behind the techniques of map-based intervention as design code and generator, and these practices become paramount as we are forced to engage with a fast burgeoning datascape that is somehow connected to our physical landscape.

More information about Urban Maps: Instruments of Narrative and Interpretation in the City