From the glittering windows of Hardwick Hall and the severe shadows of the Trellick Tower, to the poetry of Chandigarh and the brash neon of Las Vegas, light is a defining factor in any form of architectural design.
Coinciding with the exhibition Lumière Mystérieuse: Soane and the Architecture of Light (19 June – 8 September 2019) at Sir John Soane’s Museum, the 2019 Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) Annual Symposium explores the presence, use and meaning of light in architectural design across all periods and styles.
The starting point will be the notion that, just as light is understood scientifically as a wave-particle duality, in architecture light exists and functions as both a natural and cultural phenomenon. While on the one hand, the way (sun)light falls over a building is arguably architecture at its most elemental, how we view those light effects is always culturally conditioned. The symposium will reflect, develop and challenge this dualism.
A full programme is available on the website and online booking is open. Tickets are £50 for the day (including the drinks reception). A limited number of student and early career tickets at £35 are available on application.
The venue for the symposium is Nicholas Hawksmoor's church of St George, Bloomsbury – whose own powerful and evocative use of light with provide a fitting backdrop to the discussion. The day includes tea and coffee on arrival, a buffet lunch and tea and coffee during the afternoon break. It concludes with an evening drinks reception at Sir John Soane's Museum where there will be an opportunity to explore the Museum and view the exhibition Lumière Mystérieuse.
Timings and locations
10:30–17:00 at St George’s Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SA
Reception and private view of Lumière Mystérieuse
17:30–19:00 at Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP
Publicity Officer at Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB)