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Talks and lectures

In conversation with Waugh Thistleton and Barnabas Calder

For the seventh talk in our Architecture Anew series, we will host an in-person conversation with architects Waugh Thistleton and architectural historian Barnabas Calder about the relationship between architecture and energy resources past, present and future.

Join us for the seventh talk in our Architecture Anew talk series, a season of RIBA + VitrA talks, bringing people together to discuss new ideas about the role of architecture in designing a more sustainable future.

“There is a direct line between buildings and energy consumption and the climate crisis we find ourselves in.” Barnabas Calder

For architectural historian Barnabas Calder, energy use is the major crisis of our time, being the one that could in fact "wipe us out" if we don’t act fast by evolving the way we live and work. Through his recent book Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency, Calder charts the intertwining trajectories of energy and architectural histories, outlining how the availability and types of energy resources have always shaped the ways in which we built our world. If architecture has always adapted to new materials, the most efficient sources of energy and technological innovations, how will today’s architects evolve in response to our current state of climate emergency coupled with limited resources?

Leading the way through setting an example is the London-based architecture office Waugh Thistleton. The practice is completely committed to low carbon construction, and has become internationally renowned for its extensive research and built work using timber construction. Led by Andrew Waugh and Anthony Thistleton, the office adopts methods that have the lowest possible energy impact whilst also finding ways to exclude materials with a high embodied carbon. Known for their considerable range of timber buildings, including the world’s largest CLT building, Dalston Works, in 2017, the practice has also more recently worked with methods such as rammed earth on the 2018 Stirling nominated Bushey Cemetery and is increasingly focussed on regenerative means of working.

Tickets are free but booking is essential, please follow the link above to register. Following the speakers’ conversation, there will be time for questions from the audience.


Andrew Waugh is a founding director of the London-based practice, Waugh Thistleton Architects. The core ethos of the practice is to design and construct sustainable, beautiful buildings, reusing and repurposing materials where possible. Andrew’s passion for architecture extends beyond the physical practice to a wide-ranging research in sustainable construction - for which he won the RIBA president’s medal in 2010 and upon which he continues to write, teach and lecture at every opportunity. Andrew is also a visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.

Dr Barnabas Calder is a historian of the relationship between architecture and energy. He is Head of the Architectural and Urban History Group at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture, and author of Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency (Pelican, 2021) and Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism (William Heinemann, 2016).

Architecture Anew is a RIBA + VitrA Partnership

This partnership reflects a shared commitment to add social, economic and cultural value to society, and VitrA Bathrooms are proud to be supporting such an inspiring programme.

With innovation at its core, a global reach and a tradition of collaborating with celebrated architects and designers, the VitrA bathroom brand has become a world leader, synonymous with contemporary sophistication since the mid-1900s.