70 episodios

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future.

With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

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

    • Artes visuales

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future.

With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

    63 — Andrei Tarkovsky — 1/3 — Setting the Stage

    63 — Andrei Tarkovsky — 1/3 — Setting the Stage

    In this first part of our new series on legendary Russian director Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky we discuss his early films: Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972) and Mirror (1975). We will also be releasing a Patreon bonus very shortly with discussions of the work Tarkovsky did whilst studying at film school, including The Violin and the Steamroller (1961).


    Tarkovsky's work is greatly favoured among architects, despite not being explicitly architectural. His strange dream-like visions conjure up a unique spatial experience, with strange and often confusing materiality that hovers somewhere between a childhood memory and a disturbing nightmare. In this episode we discuss his interest in the paintings of Bruegel, the importance of faith to his work, his overpowering Oedipal complex, his run-ins with the Soviet authorities, and the artificial naturalism of his sets.


    Make sure you subscribe to catch our next Tarkovsky episode, where we will be discussing Stalker (1979).


    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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    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org


    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1h 35 min
    62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

    62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento

    62 — Leon Battista Alberti — 2/2 — Building the Quattrocento


    Having discussed his magnum opus, 'De Re Aedificatoria' in the last episode, here we discuss the curious collection of buildings that Alberti designed across Italy over the course of his lifetime. From the hulking and austere white stone of the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini to the carefully proportioned fine marble inlay of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence, these buildings have a unique feeling, that reflects the idiosyncratic interests of Alberti in conjuring the authentic mood of Classical Architecture, within the confines of his rigid understanding of proportion and geometry. These moments of strangeness are heightened by the incomplete nature of much of the work, and his own distance from the construction process, most of which he directed by letter. Make sure you check out the pinned story on our instagram for this episode, where you will find lots of high quality images of the buildings we're discussing.


    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.

    • 1h 48 min
    61 — Leon Battista Alberti — 1/2 — De Re Aedificatoria

    61 — Leon Battista Alberti — 1/2 — De Re Aedificatoria

    In this first episode of a two parter, we tackle the original big beautiful bouncing boy of the High Italian Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti, and his 1485 blockbuster publication, On the Art of Building in Ten Books. After Vitruvius' original Ten Books, De Re Aedificatoria represents only the second explicitly architectural treatise in the history of Western Architecture. Alberti's work covers everything you'd need to start building and much more, including: sacrificial animal murder; mysterious gases that leak from the ground; how best to control a mob; endless quotations from Classical sources and some ruminations on the nature of beauty. We also discuss the historical context of Renaissance Italy, Florentine class-warfare shenanigans and the many strange and unexpected twists and turns of this enigmatic cornerstone of the canon. In the second episode we will be discussing Alberti's buildings!


    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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    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org


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    • 1h 39 min
    60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

    60 — Reyner Banham — 2/2 — Design By Choice

    In our second and final episode on Reyner Banham, we discuss his pivot to Los Angeles, his love affair with Archigram, his theories of Megastructure, and his later projects on American industrial vernacular ('Concrete Atlantis') and his unpublished book about the High-Tech movement.


    After his support of the Smithsons and the 'New Brutalism' Banham was next renowned for supporting and publicising the work of English paper-architecture utopia-envisioners Archigram. We discuss Archigram, their lack of built fabric and the potentials of ecstatic 1960s techno-optimism. Banham's most iconic work is probably his 1972 documentary 'Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles' and we discuss the documentary, Banham's idiosyncratic presenting style, as well as his blind spots around race, class, and the un-freedom of bottomless consumption. You will hear a series of clips from the documentary scattered through the episode. We also reflect on Banham's legacy, the revival of his reputation, and the difficulties of techno-optimism in the face of the climate crisis.


    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.


    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. The next bonus episode will be discussing the ropily-acted Sci-Fi cult classic 'Silent Running' in all its Banham-ite glory.


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


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    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org


    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1h 21 min
    59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

    59 — Reyner Banham — 1/2 — Science for Kicks

    As requested by the listeners, part one of a two parter on Reyner Banham!


    Banham was an architectural critic, historian, scenester and prophet of the future, with a flair for iconoclastic and pugilistic writing. In this first episode we discuss his background in Norwich and his studies at the Courtauld Institute under Nikolaus Pevsner, where he wrote his PhD on the history of the modern movement. We then consider his involvement with 'The Independent Group' at the Institute of Contemporary Art, his support for the 'New Brutalism' of Alison and Peter Smithson, and his role in British architectural culture.


    Central to the development of Banham's project was his obsession with technology and his growing fascination with the potentials of American consumerism and the ways it might change architecture. We conclude with his ecstatic vision of the mechanical pudenda of technological architecture, in his first visits to America and his plastic bag homes.


    Here are the key Banham texts we discussed in this episode:


    PhD thesis (later to be published as Theory and Design in the First Machine Age)


    'School at Hunstanton, Norfolk' Architectural Review, September 1954


    'The Machine Aesthetic' Architectural Review, April 1955


    'Vehicles of Desire' Art, September 1955


    'The New Brutalism' Architectural Review, December 1955


    Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, 1960


    'The History of the Immediate Future' RIBA Journal, May 1961


    'What Architecture of Technology?' Architectural Review, February 1962


    'A Clip-On Architecture' Design Quarterly 63, 1965


    'A Home is Not a House' Art in America, Vol. 2 1965


    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.

    • 1h 22 min
    58 — The Reactionaries — 3/3 — The Empire Strikes Back

    58 — The Reactionaries — 3/3 — The Empire Strikes Back

    In our final episode on Reactionaries, we explore the politics and theory that underpinned the reactionary rejection of Modernism in the 70s and 80s. We discuss Prince Charles' architectural interventions and the theories of our future king's favourite architect, Leon Krier (and Krier's problematic fave, Albert Speer). We also dive into the hotbed of Trad theorising, Peterhouse College Cambridge, and its two favourite sons, architectural historian David Watkin and philosopher Roger Scruton. We explore the framing of traditionalist theory against modernist hegemony, and ask if the architectural consensus of the 21st century is a bit more Trad than some advocates would admit.


    We also dip our toes into the culture war, and ask questions about the political connotations of architectural style in the age of social media. Is an obsession with style actually holding us back from confronting the real social, economic and political problems that ail the city? Ultimately, we lament the destruction of good architecture of any style, with a poignant reflection on the proposed fate of the Aton Estate in Roehampton


    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.

    • 1h 21 min

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