Current Work | Peter Barber: 100 Mile City and Other Stories

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 12 - 2pm

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McGrath Road, London Borough of Newham. Image courtesy of Morley von Sternberg. 

McGrath Road, London Borough of Newham. Image courtesy of Morley von Sternberg. 

This event will be conducted through Zoom. Zoom account registration is required, please register in advance here.

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.”
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 event is organized by The Architectural League of New York and co-presented with The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

This lecture is free and accessible to the public through Zoom. 

View the full Fall 2021 Lectures and Events List.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.