Preview: The Architects Who Built London

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 112 months ago
Preview: The Architects Who Built London

0404_robinhood.jpg
Image by joseph_beuys_hat
For the latest installment of their Architects Who Built London series, the Royal Academy are discussing a topical, not to mention controversial, pair: Alison and Peter Smithson, the late husband-and- wife team who brought Brutalism to Britain in the 1960s, and are responsible for buildings in London both loved — the Economist building in Piccadilly — and loathed, most famously Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, currently struggling for its very future.

The Smithsons were the first to coin the phrase "streets in the sky", a term that from benign beginnings came to mean grim apocalyptic visions of crime-studded sink estates. Though their utopianism was at odds with the city's harsh realities, and despite a relatively small number of completed projects, the couple had a significant impact on London's landscape and, during the talk, architect Maxwell Hutchinson will discuss their legacy.

The Architects Who Built London: Alison and Peter Smithson, at the Royal Institution, W1S 4BS (map), Monday 6th April, 8pm. Tickets £10/£5, including a drink.

Last Updated 04 April 2009