Home Courses History of London Architecture at Bishopsgate Institute

History of London Architecture courses

Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archives hold over 250,000 images of London from the mid-Victorian period onwards. A number of these collections showcase the many architectural styles employed around the city throughout the centuries. These Special Collections and Archives images inform much of the Bishopsgate Institute programme, including this autumn’s new architectural history courses, a social housing walking tour and an unmissable oral history event. 

Book online at bishopsgate.org.uk or via the box office on 020 7392 9200.


Through visits to St Pancras, Somers Town and King’s Cross, the Boundary Estate , the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate (among other sites), this series of walks will examine the changing face of social housing, from the early philanthropic ventures of George Peabody, The Guinness Trust and the St Pancras House Improvement Society, to the post-war work of the LCC. 

London is forever being re imagined and rebuilt, and for every design that is realised in bricks and mortar (or in concrete, glass and steel), there are countless others that never make it off the architect’s drawing board. This session will look at some 20th-century examples of this unbuilt architecture, including unrealised plans for post-war reconstruction, the domestic architecture of Alison and Peter Smithson, and the radical visions of Cedric Price.  

The Changing City - Building the Square Mile 

Explore the architectural history of The City of London, starting with Sir Christopher Wren and St Paul’s Cathedral, taking in Sir John Soane, and working our way through to the present day’s ‘starchitects’. Learn about notable buildings within the Square Mile and the events that shaped them, from disasters to controversies to game-changing design, all in a skyline that never stops changing. You will contextualise building history, explore the area on foot to check out the buildings in person, and learn some basic architectural drawing techniques to take away and wow your friends and family. 

Modernist London in 10 Buildings

The National Theatre, the Isokon building, Trellick Tower; London is home to some striking modernist architecture. This session will identify some of the key ideas, principles and features of modernist architecture, and will consider how these have been embodied in some of London’s buildings. Focusing on ten examples of modernist architecture in the city, we will examine the historical contexts of modernism, its legacy, and its shifting status in the popular imagination. 

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