Caterina Domeneghini: Beyond Ruins – New Insights into the War Damage Collection in the Conway Library

Has not that ruin, say he, a good effect? A Dialogue on Stowe, 1746 War-time ruins have always exerted an inexplicable fascination on the observer – a puzzling and not infrequently morbid sentiment that has been targeted as a serious object of academic enquiry since at least the aftermath of World War II. Besides provoking…

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Who made the Conway Library?

Audio Version Read by Gill Stoker   Text Version Much loved and perused by staff, students, and the general public in the know, the Conway Library is a collection of 9764 red boxes containing brown manila folders. The photographs glued on the brown manila mounts are black and white original prints showing places of architectural…

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Ferhat Ulusu: Unexpected Music in the Conway Library

Audio Version Read by Christopher Williams Text Version   Did I really sign up for this? This is what I asked myself as soon as I walked into the building. A pretty lady, nicely presented with a red lipstick smiled at me and swiftly asked for my name. As a volunteer, I was preparing myself…

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Ben Britton: “The New Towns are no longer new” – Basildon in the Conway Archive

Audio Version Text Version   In 1956, before Brooke House was built, or any part of Basildon for that matter, there was a sign in its place that read: “This is the site of Basildon Town Centre”. Over the next few years, the first buildings of what was already Basildon were put up, fulfilling the…

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Sarah Way: Interpreting the Conway with BeyondAutism

Audio Version Read by Gill Stoker Text Version One of the main aims of digitising our amazing photographic archive and putting it online for the public to access for free is to allow our materials to connect with new audiences. We want to allow our images to become resources for a myriad of endeavours, from…

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Lorraine Stoker: Modernity in the Conway

Audio Version Read by Anna Thompson Text Version When I started volunteering on the digitisation programme, I never thought it would reignite my interest in the history of art. Yet here I am in the second year of a part-time M.A. in History of Art and Photography, and loving every moment of the challenge. I…

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Jake Bransgrove: Charles Wheeler, Modern Sculptor – The Garden Court Keystones at the Bank of England

For Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in 1957, the rebuilding of John Soane’s Bank of England, undertaken between 1923 and 1942, represented the worst individual loss suffered by London’s architecture in the twentieth century. [1] Constructed to a design by Herbert Baker (1862-1946), the resulting Neo-Georgian pile loomed over the heart of the City, attracting negative comments…

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Mary Whittingdale: Rabbits and religion – Rushton Triangular Lodge

“There are three that give witness”. These are the words inscribed on the entrance of Rushton Triangular Lodge. They are a quotation from the first epistle of John 5:7 and refer to the Holy Trinity. As a Roman Catholic in Protestant England, the Trinity was a deeply personal and symbolic icon for the building’s designer,…

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Kitty Gurnos-Davies: Ghosts on the South Bank – A Walking Tour of the Festival of Britain

Audio version Read by Celia Cockburn Text version Join me on a walking tour of the Festival of Britain. In the Summer of 1951, the wedge of land between Waterloo Bridge and Hungerford Bridge was populated by a series of temporary architectural structures built to house exhibitions that showcased innovation in British science, industry, and…

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Hailey Sockalingam: On Chandigarh

When Swiss architect Le Corbusier responded to popular agitation against his design of Chandigarh city, India, with the wry anecdote “I am like a lightning conductor… I attract storms”, it was clear that he had created two cities, but heeded one. The project of Chandigarh was commissioned by Jawarharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of…

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