Appel à propositions Symposium The Official Architect; missing chapters in the history of the profession (Londres, 2016)
2016 Annual Symposium of The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
21 May 2016
Londres, Royal Institute of British Architects
Official architects, if considered at all, are now most readily associated with the work of
the once powerful local authority architects departments of the post-war era. However
they have an earlier and more varied history. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and for
much of the twentieth century in Britain the title applied to any architect in salaried
employment, often working for the state in departments such as the Office of Works, the
Admiralty, or the Post Office. Yet such posts were also relied on in bodies as varied as
the Miners Welfare Association, the Imperial War Graves Commission, and large private
companies such as Boots, Woolworths, the Co-Operative Wholesale Society, and major
railway companies such as the L.M.S. Responsible for the design of large swathes of the
built environment the work of such architects was as often referred to derogatively as
‘departmental architecture’ and attacked for its poor quality or gone unnoticed due to the
culture of bureaucratic anonymity.
This annual symposium of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, held
in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects, aims to explore the history
of salaried official architects and their work – from Borough Surveyors to County, City
or Chief Architects and others – including those in the state and public sectors, major
companies and international corporations. Contributions are welcome which highlight
individual careers, institutions, working methods, major buildings/projects, and the
political and professional debates surrounding Official architecture in this country and
beyond over the last two hundred years or more the better to understand this strand in the
history of practice.
Please send initial 300 word proposal, or enquiries, to the organiser, Dr. Julian Holder, at
by 31 October 2015.
Review of papers will be finalised by December 31 2015.
Papers should present original research and should be of 20 minutes in duration.
Draft papers will be welcomed by 31 March 2016.
Publication of suitable quality papers is envisaged.
Speakers are not charged the Symposium fee and are invited to an informal dinner as
guests of the Society the night preceding the Symposium. All other associated costs such
as travel and accommodation must be met by the speaker.