Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.
This fall and early winter, Current Work spotlights influential and innovative design practices that bring widely varying perspectives to contemporary housing challenges.
Peter Barber is the founder and director of Peter Barber Architects, a studio reshaping London’s approach to social housing. His residential projects “read as much as urban manifestos as homes,” according to Metropolis, offering provocative, humane responses to today’s compounded urban housing crises. Formally, his work revives a wide variety of historic spatial and stylistic typologies. As one critic recently observed, Barber achieves “a kind of militant, architectural evangelism, pushing boundaries of design, chivvying the political class and renegotiating housing’s wider social contract with the city.”
Recent housing projects include:
- McGrath Road, a 26-unit housing development in East London conceived by the firm as “a radical reworking of ‘back of pavement terraces’ and ‘back to back’ house types.”
- Holmes Road Studios, a residential and counseling facility for unhoused people in North London.
- 365 Cities, a series of speculative projects shared daily via Instagram, defined by Barber as “an attempt to design a city a day for a year.”
Joining Barber are respondents Florian Idenburg, co-founding principal of Brooklyn-based SO-IL, and Sarah Watson, deputy director of the policy and research organization Citizens Housing and Planning Council. The discussion will be moderated by League executive director Rosalie Genevro.
Peter Barber worked with Richard Rogers, Will Alsop, and Jestico+Whiles prior to establishing his own practice in 1989. He is currently a lecturer and reader in architecture at the University of Westminster. In 2021, he received the AJ100 Contribution to the Profession Award, as well as an Order of the British Empire for services to architecture. His work has been short-listed twice for the international Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and his projects have received numerous Housing Design Awards, RIBA Awards, and AIA Awards.
This program is free and open to all. Advance registration is required. All registered participants will be sent a link to participate through Zoom.
Image: Peter Barber Architects | McGrath Road, London, UK, 2019. Credit: Morley von Sternberg