Monograph Tour 04: Richard Seifert

Join architectural historian and writer Ewan Harrison for a tour exploring the works of Seifert from Old Compton Street, Euston Station, Centre Point, Alfred Place and the NatWest Tower


11:00am, Saturday, 3 October 2020


02:00pm, Saturday, 3 October 2020

Tour Guide:

Ewan Harrison

11am-3pm, Saturday 03 October 2020

Projects: Old Compton Street, Berners Street, Centre Point, Alfred Place, NatWest Tower, Cutlers Gardens/Devonshire Square

Meeting Point: At the corner of Wardour and Old Compton St

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AF Monograph Tours are a new series of day-long explorations of a single practice's built archive. This season looks at projects by Amin Taha, Peter Barber Architects, Heatherwick Studio, Richard Seifert, 6a & McMorran & Whitby. Led by London's leading architects, architectural historians and writers, the cycle tours will use a live audio broadcast to offer a socially-distanced way to experience the work of each practice.

Monograph 04: Richard Seifert

Richard Seifert was both a critical failure and a resounding commercial success. From modest beginnings in the 1930s, Seifert built one of the largest and most profitable architectural practices in post-war Britain. However, R. Seifert & Partners’ concentration on ‘commercial’ projects, such as speculative office developments for property developer clients, set it against the welfarist focus of contemporary architectural culture. As a result, Seifert and his practice were often harshly criticised in the architectural press and have largely been ignored by architectural historians. This tour, led by architectural historian Ewan Harrison will examine a range of buildings in central London, encompassing examples of Seifert’s unexceptional early work as well as the boldly sculptural and materially rich projects for which his practice is best known. Along the way, these buildings will be examined alongside market and regulatory contexts, contemporary political corruption, and the construction of narratives in architectural history.

Ewan Harrison
Ewan Harrison is an architectural historian and curator who specialises in the architecture of the mid and late 20th century. His PhD, undertaken at the University of Liverpool, investigated the controversial commercial practice R. Seifert & Partners and its involvement in public-sector led property speculation. He currently works for the RIBA Drawings and Archive Collections on a project to catalogue the archive of Colin St John Wilson & Partners.