Classical Fantastical

6:45pm, Thursday 15th February 18

Architectural culture sneers at contemporary classical architects with ferocious contempt. Our dominant taste consensus mocks classical practitioners as derivative, pampered sell-outs. This miserly derision is idiotic, robbing the profession of a rich and varied vocabulary that is widely popular with the public. Classicists are daubed as elitists but really it is the latter-day modernists who are the aesthetic snobs. Wake up and smell the acanthus, it is time for a classical come back. Go classical or go home.

The Panel

  • Elly Ward (co-chair) cut her architectural teeth with postmodern pranksters FAT and went on to form Ordinary Architecture from their ashes, reinventing the classical origins of architecture at the Royal Academy last year, much to the horror of Joseph Rykvert. Elly teaches architecture and interiors at the Royal College of Art and is currently launching SITE, a new studio and gallery space on Columbia Road.

  • Robbie Kerr (co-chair) is the youngest director of ADAM Architecture and possibly the youngest bona fide classical architect in the country. He is chair of the Young Georgian Group and is currently working on a scheme for Cuba amid the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana.

  • Emmeline Quigley (proposition) is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, Royal College of Art and University of Arts London where she studied fashion before moving into architecture.

  • George Saumarez Smith (proposition) is an architect and a director of ADAM Architecture. His recent exhibition at the RIBA Practice Space "Measure Draw Build" mixed his built work, large-format drawings and sketchbooks from the last 20 years.

  • Steve Webb (opposition) is an engineer, stone fanatic and co-founder of Webb Yates Engineers. He was a senior engineer at Santiago Calatrava's architecture studio until 2003 while Calatrava was still cool.

  • Neal Shasore (opposition) is an uncommonly well dressed architectural historian. He specialises in the early 20th century and is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool.

The Crypt on the Green Clerkenwell Close Clerkenwell London EC1R 0EA Doors: 6.30pm

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Turncoats is a provocative global debating society turning public discourse on its head, shaking and serving over ice. It is off the record, offline and riddled with devil’s advocates hiding in plain sight.  Prepare for big arguments from surprising places, where the only allegiances are to the spirit of the fight.

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