Research

As an academic, as a freelance and just to satisfy my own curiosity, I have produced and collated papers and projects on London, 19th and 20th century architecture. I have a range of active research interests and always up for tackling new topics. To talk to me about projects old and new email mikealthorpe@gmail.com

 

thumb_1550213_Ronan_Point1_ready_1024TRAUMA-VILLE – Architecture and the British City 1970 – 2000
This ongoing project explores architecture, urban policy and culture during a period of profound economic and social change. Taking the collapse of the so-called ‘post war consensus’ as its starting point, the study looks at what happened next. Through three decades it charts the unintended consequences of modernist idealism and how a dramatic shift in ideas, taste and attitudes came to manifest themselves across our urban landscape.

 

 

thumb_singerbuilding4_1024AMERICAN FLOURISH – Architecture, Urbanism and Swagger 1885 – 1945
Through buildings, urban landmarks and icons of design, this blog explores America’s great coming of age – the point at which it threw away the manners and habits of the European 19th Century and started owning the 20th Century. It seeks to capture and illustrate the energy, dynamism and – frequently bizarre – new scale and outlandish taste of a place embracing modernity and in the process of remaking itself. To learn more about this project see americanflourish.blogspot

 

 

thumb_ErnoPlan1962_1024THE CAR AND THE ELEPHANT – The Story of Reconstruction at The Elephant and Castle
From early efforts at creating boulevards in the image of the city beautiful to its postwar transformation and the origins of the redevelopment today, this detailed study reveals the story behind the good intensions, conflicted dreams and dashed hopes at one of London’s most celebrated, yet notorious sites. A place where the historic tensions between the car and the city live on. To learn more about this project see www.thecarandtheelephant.com

 

 

thumb_TROP_1024TROPICAL MODERNISM TO DESERT BRUTALISM – British Architecture Abroad 1945 – 1985
Developed as part of the Brits Who Built the Modern World, this project charts the journeys, activities and creations of British practices overseas. Revealing obscurities and controversies, it looks at how architecture was put to work in West Africa and the Caribbean to reinvent the British Commonwealth and later in the Middle East to define newly independent and self confident nation states.

 

 

thumb_RedevAerialMap1963_1024LA VILLE RADIEUSE TO LONDON WALL – Visions of Cities in the Sky 1945 – 1995
Presented first at the University of Westminster in 2005 and again as part of the Ideas to Change Season with the British Council, this project explored how the urban visions of Le Corbusier were adopted and translated around the world and came to life in the twisted streets of postwar London as the ‘Pedway System’. It charts the origins, tensions, delivery and reasons for the downfall of one of the most unique episodes in the City’s planning history.

 

 

thumb_PWB site-thumb_1024POSTWAR BUILDINGS 1945 – 1985
Launched in 2007, this online database was intended as a discussion forum and discovery point for those interested in buildings built between 1945-1985 primarily in London. The simple format, developed with Dan Bissonnett Design, was created as an easy to use learning tool and brought together technical details of construction, with written histories and richly illustrated photo galleries. To learn more about this project see www.postwarbuildings.com

 

 

Leave a Reply