About Buildings + Cities
Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture
1 year ago

85 — Ian Nairn — 2/3 — Nairn's London

In the second episode of our series on Ian Nairn, we talked about Nairn's London, the 1966 architectural guide to the city which was the critic's magnum opus. We discussed his inimitable prose style, his deep knowledge of the buildings of London, the afterlife of the book and its un-propositional nature.

This episode includes clips from a walking tour of the West End that we took with Nairn's London in hand. The full audio tour of the West End will be published on our Patreon for subscribers!

This episode is sponsored by Blue Crow Media, purveyors of beautiful architectural maps, including maps of London tube stations and Art Deco or Brutalist architecture in London, in the tradition of Ian Nairn! Use the code aboutbuildings at checkout for 10% off! https://bluecrowmedia.com/

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

84 — Ian Nairn — 1/3 — Subtopia

The first episode in our new series on the work of architectural critic Ian Nairn. In this first episode we discussed his breakout work for the Architectural Review, Outrage, which railed against 'subtopia', the suburban sprawl of concrete and fencing that Nairn saw ruining the British environment in the decades after World War 2. We also discussed his writings on America, his similarities to Jane Jacobs and his work on Nikolaus Pevsner's Buildings of England.

Nairn has become something of a cult figure in recent years, with his uniquely irascible and sullen television style enjoying a successful afterlife on YouTube. In our next episode we'll be discussing his guide books: Nairn's London and Changing Towns, followed by a final episode on his TV work.

This episode is sponsored by https://bluecrowmedia.com/, who produce beautiful architectural maps that show you all the architectural highlights of a city, including newly released maps of Modernism in Venice and Prague. Use the offer code aboutbuildings for 10% off your next purchase.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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1 year ago

83 —Otto Wagner — 5/5 — Proto-Modernist

Our final episode on Otto Wagner considers his relationship to modernism, asking whether Wagner was a predecessor to modernism. We discussed his most modern building, the Österreichische Postsparkasse or Austrian Postal Savings Bank, like so much in Vienna at this time, a coming together of the old world and the new.

Our next series on Ian Nairn will start very soon!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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1 year ago

82 — Otto Wagner — 4/5 — Secession

In the penultimate episode in our series on Otto Wagner, we discussed Wagner's most famous projects, the art nouveau works produced at the height of the Vienna Secession. We talked about the Majolikahaus, other art nouveau apartment blocks, the Karlsplatz stadtbahn station and his transcendent Kirche am Steinhof designed for a psychiatric hospital with Wagner also masterplanned.

There's one more episode to come on Otto Wagner, where we will discuss his relationship to modernism! Our next series on the British architectural critic Ian Nairn will start in June.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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1 year ago

*Preview* — 81.5 — Klimt

This is a preview of our latest bonus episode on Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession, get access to the full episode on our Patreon.

In this episode we discussed the work of the Vienna Secession beyond Otto Wagner, particularly the artist Gustav Klimt. The Secession were a group of radical artists who were central to establishing the Art Nouveau in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Klimt's paintings, with their flattened perspectives, hallucinatory colours and heroin-chic female nudes made him famous, however increasingly prominent commissions led to his style coming into conflict with the dominant hierarchies of taste within the Empire.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

81 — Otto Wagner — 3/5 — On the Stadtbahn

In this episode, we talked about the middle stage of Otto Wagner's career, primarily his work on the infrastructure of the city of Vienna. Visit our instagram and Twitter for pictures of the dams, railway stations and bridges that shaped Viennese modernity and provided the infrastructure for this rapidly growing city.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

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1 year ago

80 — Otto Wagner — 2/5 — The Style Question

In our second episode on Otto Wagner, we discussed a couple of Wagner's early buildings, specifically the Landerbank in Vienna and the Rumbach Street Synagogue in Budapest. Both are tantalising glimpses of the themes that would dominate his later, most famous works.

We then discussed the architectural theory that was being produced in vast quantities in the German-speaking lands of the 19th century, specifically how they addressed the question of architectural style, posing the question 'In what style should we build?' These authors, such as Gottfried Semper, Heinrich Hübsch and Carl Gottlieb Wilhelm Bötticher offered complex justifications for different architectural styles, grounded in stories about history, structural logic, skeuomorphs and culture.

Otto Wagner plunged headlong into this debate with his 1896 book, Modern Architecture: A Guidebook for His Students to this Field of Art, which offered his own view on the answer to the style question, and prefigured many of the arguments and ideas touted by the modern movement in the 20th century.

Go to Blue Crow Media and use the offer code AboutBuildings at checkout to get 10% off your next architectural map.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

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1 year ago

79 — Otto Wagner — 1/5 — Ringstraße Rent Palaces

This is the first episode in our new series on Otto Wagner. In it we discussed 19th century Vienna, an ancient city wracked by extremes of urbanisation and population boom; political radicalism and revolution. A crumbling ancient order and an emerging modern metropolis came to create the Ringstraße, a vast redevelopment programme that took the empty space around the walls of the old city and filled it with vast marble institutions and speculatively built apartment complexes that came to symbolise the newly empowered liberal city.

Into this fiery melting pot came Otto Wagner, a singular architect, often hailed as a precursor to modernism, whose career we will be exploring over the course of this multi-part series (with slightly shorter episodes that we will release more regularly).

There's lots of images in this one so please come to instagram to see them!

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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1 year ago

*Preview* — 77.5 — Patrick Keiller Bonus Episode

This is a preview of a bonus episode we published on Patreon as part of our series of WG Sebald's 'Austerlitz', subscribe to our Patreon to subscribe and get access to our back catalogue of bonus episodes.

In this bonus episode we talked about the films of Patrick Keiller, specifically 'London' (1994) and 'Robinson in Space' (1997), a pair of meticulously observed polemical psycho-geographies, exploring the derangements and idiosyncrasies of Britain in the Long 90s. Like in the work of Sebald, a narrator stands in for Keiller, and relates to us the strange beliefs and worldview of his interlocutor, Robinson. Keiller's exploration is laboured with literary accretions, wry observations about the decline and fall of Great Britain, and more than a little righteous anger.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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1 year ago

78 — WG Sebald's 'Austerlitz' — 2/2 — Locked Rooms

Our second episode on WG Sebald's 2001 novel 'Austerlitz', encountering strangely preserved rooms, nightmarish dream landscapes, gigantesque 19th century fantasies, and a mix of psychoanalysis, Perrault's Bibliothèque Nationale, Liverpool Street Station and Casanova.

Watch Sebald giving a reading of Austerlitz and listen to an interview with him on KCRW.

This episode is sponsored by Blue Crow Media, who gorgeous architectural maps. Use the offer code aboutbuildings at checkout to get 10% off.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

Read more…