Monday, 21 July 2008

Company Trip to Dresden

The Master Elect has arranged an excellent weekend trip to Dresden for the weekend of Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 September.

Costs and details of the general arrangements have been sent out but it was thought that the attached pictures taken by Ian Head on his reconnaissance trip last month might help whet the appetite.

Centrally located 3 Star hotel accommodation has been arranged and there is a choice of either rail or BA flights available for the journey.

Athough Dresden is thought of as a Baroque city (and the recently restored Frauenkirche Church of Our Lady is a highlight of a visit) the Renaissance has also left its mark. There are a number of Historicist buildings (the Staatskanzlei and the Hygiene School) and the Modernists and Post-Modernists have made an impact. Important contemporary structures include the new Synagogue (Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch 2001), Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory (2001), the Saxon State Parliament and New Terrace, the UFA Kristallpalast Cinema (Coop Himmelbau) and the Saxon State Library. The new railway station boasts a Norman Foster roof and Daniel Libeskind changed the structure of the Military History Museum by placing a wedge through the historicist Arsenal building. For those interested in the genre, there are the Stalinist housing developments.

There is much to see and do. Dresden has some 13,000 ‘cultural monuments’ and 8 districts covered by ‘general preservation orders’. There may well be shops (for those who need to know these things), restaurants and opera houses.

Picture here are (top) The Frauenkirche; (left) Volkswagen's Invisible Factory' and (above) the Meissen frieze . Below - The Elbe River

Early booking is advised to ensure that hotel and flights are available at what is a popular time of the year

Installation Court Lunch

The Installation Court is to be held on Tuesday 16 September in Salters' Hall, Fore Street, EC2. The Hall, designed by Sir Basil Spence with interiors by David Hicks is a new venue for the Company. The lunch - the first function of the new Master's year - will also have a slightly different format in that the response to the toast to the guests will be made in the form of an illustrated talk by the noted Maltese Architect and Artist, Richard England. It is customary at this function to aim for an early finish but it was felt that the offer of the slide show was too good to miss.

Richard gained his early experience in the Milan office of Gio Ponti but has since run his highly successful practice from Malta He regards his work, substantially in concrete, as being 'evolutionary rather than revolutionary seeking connections in time and space and recognizing the importance of 'the spirit of place''.

Notices have been sent out to members and early booking is called for as the event is likely to be popular.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

And more from the Election Court Dinner

Having presented Livery and Freedom certificates at the meeting of the Court, the Master seemed to spend a considerable amount of the evening in the splendour of Carpenters' Hall (shown below) presenting things.

Firstly, he was pleased to present a donation to the Architects Benevolent Society which was received by the ABS Secretary Keith Robinson (below left)

Next up was a donation to the Tower RNLI Lifeboat Station - the proceeds from the lunchtime event held on the SB Ardwina in mid June which had been addressed by the Station Manager Janet Kelly who accepted the donation (see below)

Robert Gershoff's photographs were taken on behalf of the Architects Benevolent Society.

The Reverend Prebendary David Burgess - the Rector of St Lawrence Jewry - has been the Company's Honorary Chaplain for over 20 years. He has announced his retirement for his City post and looks forward to a quiet retirement. On behalf of all members of the Company the Master wished him well for the future and presented him with a copy of a most worthy architectural tome - 'Twentieth Century Architecture - a Visual History' edited by Company member Professor Dennis Sharp. Hopefully this will go some way to helping David feel more comfortable about contemporary buildings following his well-merited side swipe at the buildings which he has seen erected in Gresham Street since he took up his post at St Lawrence Jewry. He felt that the only survivors from 20 odd years ago were a couple of Livery Halls. David is photographed with the Master below.

The final presentation of the evening was of the Company's annual award for the outstanding contribution to the Architects Benevolent Society. This is judged by the officers of the ABS assisted by the Master from nominations received from architects and others. It takes the form of a ceramic platter decorated by a prominent architect - this year by Eric Parry RA. Two plates are decorated - one going to the winner, the other being held as part of a set by the ABS on behalf of the Company pending the time when they have somewhere to display what will be a valuable collection. The award is pictured below along with its recipient - Colin Morse receiving the award from the Master.

The citation for the award reads as follows:

'For fifty years the Architects Benevolent Society ran a model complex of sheltered housing for elderly architects at Frenchlands Hatch in Surrey. When he retired from the Management Committee Colin Morse had been a member of it for 30 years, twenty five of them as Chairman. Colin lived locally and as well as running the estate for the ABS he became deeply involved with every aspect of Frenchlands and with the people who lived there.

As well as maintaining the buildings and ensuring that the residents were all well looked after by the paid staff, Colin also oversaw the building of a number of extensions to the estate to provide flats and staff accommodation as well as the bungalows and the residential care home.

In 1971 as a young member of the Guildford Chapter of the RIBA he had organised the Guildford ABS Ball. In 2008, nearly 40 years later, he is still a Trustee of the ABS and an active member of the Case Committee.'

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Installation of three new liverymen by redemption

Simon Lincoln, Sarah Papworth and Giles Murphy are admitted to the livery at the court meeting on 8 July 2008.

Annual service and election court dinner - 8 July 2008

Cornwall in the City of London. Four fully-waved flags, courtesy of the Master for 2008, Jonathan Ball.

Canon Michael Bordeaux tells of religious revival in Russia from the pulpit of St. Lawrence Jewry.

In Carpenter's Hall, David Higgins tells of the Olympic Delivery Authority, while we contemplate the menu!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Chocks Away

The visit organized by Stephen Wagstaffe to the North Weald Airfield Museum on 29 June was greatly enjoyed by those who made the Sunday pilgrimage to this corner of Essex. It was a great day out.

The day started with a visit to the Museum which has been installed in the former Station Office of RAF North Weald. Dubbed as the 'House of Memories' it is largely a memorial to the people - both service personnel and civilians - 'who ave lived, worked, flown, fought and died here since the airfield was opened during the Great war 1n 1916. It contains a fascinating collection of artifacts and highlights, among many other things, the role played by the airmen of other countries who played their part in the Battle of Britain and the remainder of WW2.

Stephen, who is the President of the Museum Trust, then took us on a tour of the airfield (the location for many famous films) getting us access into hangers where historic aircraft from a number of countries are being rebuilt by enthusiasts before taking us to the Squadron Flying Club for a buffet lunch.

Stephen's guidance, his driving of the community bus and his organization of what was a great day out were greatly appreciated. Past Master Michael West thanked him for all he had done.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008