u3a

Thornbury u3a

Architecture

Status:Active, open to new members
Leader:
Group email: Architecture group
When: Monthly on Tuesday mornings
at 10:30am on the First Tuesday of each month
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall
Cost: £1.00 each meeting to cover room hire and refreshments

We are all involved in architecture as it affects our daily lives whether it is your home or the place where you socialise - you can't avoid it! In 2009, Audrey Shepherd and Helen Roberts formed the group and many of the original members are still regularly attending our monthly meetings.

The Architecture group meets at 10:30am on the first Tuesday of each month in the Methodist Upper (Wesley) Hall in Thornbury. The maximum capacity of the hall is 100 (we currently have 139 members), so please arrive in plenty of time to avoid disappointment. There is a £1.00 charge at each meeting to cover the hire of the room and refreshments.

The group’s membership continues to increase, a reflection of the excellent reputation it has gained for a programme of fascinating talks which are presented each year. These talks demonstrate that architecture involves aspects which touch upon a broad range of interests – such as art, engineering, design and history. The programme for 2024 covers just such a variety and new members are most welcome.

Further details can be obtained from Doug Fowler by email using the link above

  • Thornbury U3A Architecture Group Programme 2024
  • Venue: 10.30 Methodist Church Hall (Wesley Hall) 4, High Street, Thornbury, BS35 2AQ
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  • Tuesday 9 January: ‘Inside the Mind of an Architect (6)’ - Models in Architecture – Doug Fowler
  • Doug will trace the development of models used in the creative side of architecture and show how these have helped to influence designs over the years. He will also show examples of great architects with the models that helped them create great buildings.
  • Tuesday 6 Feb: Crystal Palace and The Great Exhibition – Jon Higgins
  • Jon’s talk will discuss the background for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the Crystal Palace itself - a vast cast iron and glass edifice which was built in Hyde Park to house it.  Jon will give us a guided tour of some of the most significant – and controversial - exhibits in the Great Exhibition.  Jon will then describe why the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham where it was “re-purposed”, and its sad demise in 1936.  He will conclude by telling us about its enduring legacy: “The Royal Commission for Great Exhibition”.
  • Tuesday 5 March: Bamboo Architecture – Kevin Simpson
  • Kevin will show how history may be repeating itself but under a new set of conditions, whereby climate change has given bamboo construction an enhanced role in the future of architecture, perhaps pushing it into a second golden age.
  • Tuesday 2 April: – Ironwork - Alan Heath 
  • Alan’s talk will cover a brief history of the many and beautiful designs in cast iron for bridges, screens, railings, balconies and works of art. His reference to bridges will include Ironbridge, Craigellachie and a couple of others.
  • Tuesday 7 May: Photographing Buildings – Bob Dale
  • We've all done it; arrived in front of, or entered, a building and thought "Wow" - grabbed the box-brownie or the i-phone and - "Click".  What if we had the luxury of pausing for a few seconds before pressing the shutter? 
  • Bob will give us some thoughts on how we might capture not only the image, but also that ‘wow’ moment.
  • Tuesday 4 June:  Clough Williams-Ellis & Portmeirion – Doug Fowler
  • Doug will take us through the development of Portmeirion where architect Clough Williams-Ellis wanted to demonstrate how a site could be developed without spoiling it. He created a landscape of anachronisms: the whole site was an exercise in historic restoration, with many buildings - destined for demolition elsewhere – dismantled and reconstructed here. 
  • Tuesday 2 July:  Brutalism – Helen Roberts
  • The most unpopular architectural style. But what is brutal about Brutalism?  Why have so many grand brutalist schemes been demolished? So why does the Twentieth Century Society campaign to save the remaining brutalist buildings? In her talk, Helen will reveal answers to these questions.
  • August – Possible ‘workshop’ to discuss our future meetings – TBA.
  • Tuesday 3 September: ‘The Answer is Leipzig’ – John Ellis
  • The title is the City’s slogan, and John’s 3 years residence/10 years visiting helped to answer his company’s mission at the time - how to invest successfully in European property. John’s talk will be illustrated with three personal projects.
  • Tuesday 1 October:  ‘Laurie Baker – a trailblazer for sustainable architecture on the Indian Subcontinent’ – Alan Soldat 
  • Lawrence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker was a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and designs that maximized space, ventilation and light and maintained an uncluttered yet striking aesthetic sensibility.
  • Tuesday 5 November: Pro Patria Mori – WW1 Memorials – Mark Walker
  • Mark will be talking about some of the great architects of the early 20th Century and in particular, their creation of monuments to commemorate the fallen in the Great War.  Mark does not consider himself in any way an expert on architecture, but the Great War is a subject that he has been interested in throughout his adult life. For 9 years, he led the Thornbury U3A Great War Group - twice as long as the war itself!
  • Tuesday 3 December: Christmas Event - Fun and games in a relaxing festive mood.

Links

Books to borrow on Architecture

Forthcoming events

2nd July 2024
Meeting

Brutalism in Architecture with Helen Roberts

The most unpopular architectural style. But what is brutal about Brutalism? Why have so many grand brutalist schemes been demolished? So why does the Twentieth Century Society campaign to save […]
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall

3rd September 2024
Meeting

The Answer is Leipzig with John Ellis

The title is the City’s slogan, and John’s 3 years residence/10 years visiting helped to answer his company’s mission at the time - how to invest successfully in European property. […]
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall

1st October 2024
Meeting

Laurie Baker - a Trailblazer for Sustainable Architecture on the Indian sub-continent with Alan Soldat

Lawrence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker was a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and designs that maximized space, ventilation and light and maintained an uncluttered yet […]
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall

5th November 2024
Meeting

WW1 Memorials - 'Pro Patria Mori' with Mark Walker

Mark will be talking about some of the great architects of the early 20th Century and in particular, their creation of monuments to commemorate the fallen in the Great War. […]
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall

3rd December 2024
Social

Architecture Group Christmas Event

Fun and games in a relaxing festive mood.
Venue: Thornbury Methodist Church - Upper Hall