The Berlage Sessions: Andrew Saint
Lezing / Debat
When people think about the history of housing in London, they tend to think of the ‘terrace house’. This typology took recognizable shape after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and dominated the city’s streetscape up until the First World War at all scales, large and small. The London terrace house has a curiously mixed reputation. On the one hand, following the studies of Steen Eiler Rasmussen and John Summerson, it has been represented as a symbol of the independence of British urban family life, distinct from the continental pattern of living in apartments, and championed as a kind of rational vehicle whose severity and starkness anticipated the methodologies of twentieth-century modernist housing for the masses. On the other hand it has been condemned as mean, minimal and inconvenient—a commodity that was the outcome of a building system which put no value on architecture, individuality or permanence.
This lecture is part of The Berlage Sessions, a thematic Friday afternoon seminar series entitled “Architectures of Speculation,” which considers architecture’s historical and contemporary relationship to real estate speculation, from urban developments associated with nineteenth-century London, fin-de-siècle Paris, and postwar Rome; to land ownership, the spatial ordering of property, and buildings as financial instruments. Lecturers will include Gabriel Cuéllar, Patrice Derrington, Florian Hertweck, Forbes Massie, Andrew Saint, Davide Spina, and Alexia Yates.