Stone walls or steel and glass: a choice of architectural public lectures on Thursday
This Thursday, there is a decision to be made by anyone with an interest in architecture. Which do you prefer: medieval or modern? We have two public lectures that evening but they are both at 6.00pm so you’ll need to choose.
In the Rattray Lecture Theatre, our Department of Engineering presents its 14th annual industry lecture, in association with the Engineering Society. Alan Berman of Berman Guedes Stretton Architects and Thomas Pearson from engineering consultancy Arup will speak on 'Leicester's Engineering Building: Architectural Dream - Engineering Nightmare!’
Built in the early 1960s, grade 2* listed and once featured on a postage stamp, our Engineering Building is an iconic piece of Brutalist architecture designed by James Stirling and James Gowan. It may look distinctive, but it is also very difficult and expensive to maintain (as are Stirling’s other buildings from that era). Berman and Pearson are leading the design team working on planned improvements to the building; they will discuss its history, its distinctive nature, its distinctive problems and its future.
If Medieval architecture is more your bag, you may prefer the first in a series of public lectures presented by our Medieval Research Centre. Dr John Goodall is Architectural Editor for Country Life and the author of several detailed castle guidebooks for English Heritage (including the one for Ashby de la Zouch and Kirby Muxloe Castles, just up the road). Last year he published The English Castle 1066-1640, a critically acclaimed history of the topic.
His lecture, simply entitled ‘The English Castle’ will explore why castles were built and why they continue to fascinate people in the 21st century. This lecture takes place in the Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 3. Don’t go to the Rattray – you won’t find any pictures of castles there on Thursday.
Both lectures are free and open to the public. And if you are one of those people equally fascinated by medieval architecture and 1960s Brutalism, we’re sorry for the clash. You’ll have to toss a coin or something.