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2019 End of Year Review

Club Review | Michael Stiff & Lynne Bryant

Thursday 5 December 2019

We congratulate Mike Stiff for his first full year as The Architecture Club Chairman. Special thanks to our committee members who have given us a year of varied events, and farewell to those who are stepping down. Moving towards 2022 and our one hundredth anniversary we're securing the Clubs future by attracting a younger generation. Thank you all for your support of the Architecture Club and I hand you over to Mike.

Lynne Bryant
Hon. Secretary

2019 has been a remarkable year on many levels, Brexit deadlines have come and gone, we have another general election, and perhaps most importantly as “Architects Declared”, climate change moved to the top of the agenda. We debated this subject in November at a well attended dinner and discussion at The Department Store.

This year we instigated a Summer drinks party to complement our traditional get together in January. These events are at the heart of the club, they enable all members to meet socially, and despite the weather, our inaugural June event was a great success. We are grateful to Michael Squire whose generosity allows us to make these occasions affordable, and most of all fun.

Asmara in Eritrea lived up to its billing as “Africa’s Modernist City”, a group of around 25 members explored this extraordinary country’s diverse landscape, architecture and traditions back in February. We are in the early stages of planning another overseas trip for 2021.

In July we visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth, this was a memorable day highlighted by Fergus Feilden’s fascinating tour of his new Weston building .
In addition, building visits to the Royal Opera House with Stanton William and The Brunel building with Fletcher Priest and Derwent London were well attended.

It goes without saying that all of these events take a great deal of organisation. We would not be able to do this without the help and patience of Rowena Ellims our administrator. But it is our committee members who put in many hours of unpaid work that ensure the success of our event programme. Peter Murray deserves thanks for organising Asmara, and Keith Williams and Robert Adam for the spring debate at the Athenaeum which discussed architectural awards. A special mention must go to Kay Hughes and Claire Curtice for their work on the climate change debate and the summer excursion respectively, and as they step down from the committee I would like to thank them for all of their enthusiasm and commitment to the club and its activities in recent years..

I am pleased to say that Sarah Featherstone and Emily Watson have joined the committee. Engaging with the next generation, encouraging them to join and participate in the club is at the heart of our mission for 2020. Whilst we have made good progress on that front in 2019, Emily will be representing our younger members at committee level.

I am also pleased to say that our membership has strengthened, we are now 335 strong. In recruiting new members we are obliged to encourage non architects, the club is enriched by the diversity of the professions and interests of our members. We are also striving to address the issue of gender balance, and I can report that as a policy we now admit an equal number of male and female applicants.

We hope that these aspirations will ensure the future of the club and reflect the changing landscape of the cultural worlds we all operate in.

Next year promises to be another good one, we have building visits lined up, including One Finsbury Avenue by AHMM, The Town House at Kingston University by Grafton and PLP’s 22 Bishopsgate. The plans for our Spring debate and Summer excursion are being formulated.

Finally, on behalf of the committee we would like to wish you all an enjoyable, restful and peaceful break and look forward to seeing many of you at the Winter drinks party on February 3rd

Michael Stiff